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When we think of Spanish domination in colonial Latin America, how do we imagine the situation of indigenous peoples? What images come to our minds about their social and economic status? What do we know about the political agendas or everyday agencies of indigenous communities from Mexico to the Andes, beyond some of the well-known armed uprisings such as the Tupac Amaru II rebellion?
In this lecture I will address two specific cases of colonial Peru during the first half of the 18th century. In both cases, lettered knowledge is the decisive strategy that allows these groups of educated indigenous people a certain margin for agencies grounded on the power of the written word. The first case is about the participation of the indigenous elite in an official fiesta honoring King Felipe V in the city of Lima, in 1722, which is described in a book written by the Creole intellectual Pedro de Peralta y Barnuevo (officially printed in 1723). The second one, about a group of anonymous indigenous and mestizo intellectuals who clandestinely printed a book (ca. 1754-58) and sent it to Pope Benedict XIV in Rome. In this book titled Planctus Indorum in America Peruntina (A Cry of the Indians of Peruvian America), these indigenous and mestizo lettered men asked the Pope to expel all Spaniards from the viceroyalties of Peru and Mexico, and also requested him to assume the government of these territories according to the laws of the divine government in Christendom.
Lecture - Restricted to Campus Access
Peru, Incas, 18th century, rulers, Roman Church, monarchy, Spain, Andean studies
European History | History of Christianity | Indigenous Studies | Latin American History | Latin American Studies
Cornelio, Jose Eduardo, "History of the Incas and Indigenous Sovereignty: Two Cases in Colonial Peru, 1722-1758" (2021). Faculty Baden Presentations. 9.
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