How to Write the History of the New World Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

ISBN-10: 0804746931
ISBN-13: 9780804746939
Edition: 2001
List price: $28.95 Buy it from $20.64
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Description: In the mid-eighteenth century, the French naturalist Buffon contended that the New World was in fact geologically new—that it had recently emerged from the waters—and that dangerous miasmas had caused all organic life on the continents to  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 4/16/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 488
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

In the mid-eighteenth century, the French naturalist Buffon contended that the New World was in fact geologically new—that it had recently emerged from the waters—and that dangerous miasmas had caused all organic life on the continents to degenerate. In the “dispute of the New World” many historians, naturalists, and moral philosophers from Europe and the Americas (including Thomas Jefferson) sought either to confirm or refute Buffon’s views. This book maintains that the “dispute” was also a debate over historical authority: upon whose sources and facts should naturalists and historians reconstruct the history of the continent and its peoples? The author traces the cultural processes that led early-modern intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic to question primary sources that had long been considered authoritative: Mesoamerican codices, early colonial Spanish chronicles, and travel accounts. In the process, he demonstrates how the writings of these critics led to the rise of the genre of conjectural history. The book also adds to the literature on nation formation by exploring the creation of specific identities in Spain and Spanish America by means of particular historical narratives and institutions. Finally, it demonstrates that colonial intellectuals went beyond mirroring or contesting European ideas and put forth daring and original critiques of European epistemologies that resulted in substantially new historiographical concepts.

List of Illustrations
Introduction
Toward a New Art of Reading and New Historical Interpretations
Philosophical Travelers and the Humanist Art of Reading
Compilations of Travel Narratives
Cornelius de Pauw's New Art of Reading
The Critique of Classical Analogies in the Historiography of the New World
Conjectural and Philosophical Histories of America
Amerindians as Evidence
The Pursuit of Objectivity
New Similes, Same Historiography
Changing European Interpretations of the Reliability of Indigenous Sources
Primitive Scripts, Reliable Historical Documents
Philology, Collation, and Translation
Images as Sources in the Early Modern European World
Curiosities, Renaissance Humanists, and Amerindian Scripts
Conjectural Histories of Writing
Natural Histories of the Mind
Amerindian Sources in Eighteenth-Century European Historiography
Historiography and Patriotism in Spain
The Travails of Lorenzo Boturini
Boturini's Idea de una nueva historia general de la America Septentrional
Clashing Patriotic Agendas
Boturini's Ciclografia
Empires Are Lost or Won in the Struggle over Naming and Remembering
The Royal Academy of History and the History of the New World, 1755-1770
The First Debate
The Council of the Indies and the Academy
The Second Debate
The Archive of the Indies
The Reception of Robertson's History of America
Footnoting Robertson's History
The Anonymous Review
Juan Nuix's Riflessioni imparziali
Ramon Diosdado Caballero
Juan Bautista Munoz
Why Create Archives?
Munoz's History
Crisis in the Academy
Francisco Iturri's Critique
Conclusion
The Making of a "Patriotic Epistemology"
Patriotic Epistemology: An Overview
The Making of Patriotic Epistemology: Mexico, 1750-1780
Juan Jose de Eguiaray Eguren
Mariano Fernandez de Echeverriay Veytia
Three Processes of Distortion
Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl
Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri
Jose Joaquin Granados y Galvez
Creole Jesuits in Exile
Francisco Xavier Clavijero
Juan de Velasco
Juan Ignacio Molina
Pedro Jose Marquez
Jose Lino Fabrega
Manco Capac: The Ultimate Sage
Whose Enlightenment Was It Anyway?
The Stones: Interpreting the Spanish-American Enlightenment
Antonio de Leon y Gama's Descripcion historica
Jose Antonio de Alzate y Ramirez's Misgivings
Alzate y Ramirez on Xochicalco
Alzate y Ramirez's Critique of Leon y Gama
Leon y Gama's Reply
Lizards and Epistemology
A General Key to Mesoamerican Hieroglyphs?
Why Did Boturini's Collection Never Reach Madrid?
Our Lady of Guadalupe as Neoplatonic Seal and Mesoamerican Glyph
Jose Ignacio Borunda's Clave general de geroglificos americanos
Borunda on the Stones
Christian Icons and Nahua Glyphs
The Ruins of Palenque
The Parish Priest and the Governor
Antonio Bernasconi's Expedition to Palenque
Antonio del Rio's Expedition to Palenque
Interpreting Palenque
Interpreting the Provanza de Votan
Pablo Felix Cabrera's Theatro critico americano
A Biblical Exegesis of the Popol Vuh
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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