HISTART 394-001

The Art of Power in Colonial Spanish America

Tappan 180
M W 11:30am - 1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

In this class, students will examine material and visual culture produced in Latin America between 1519 and c. 1820, when much of it was claimed by the Spanish Empire. During those three centuries, this vast territory stretched from what is now the west coast of the United States to Chilean Patagonia, lands of staggering environmental variability that had long been home to diverse populations of Indigenous people. Looking at the images, objects, and architectural record that survives from this period provides crucial insight into the role that such materials played within a colonial environment where power was consistently being reinforced and undermined.

Although the class will focus on the uses of art in the construction and contestation of Spanish hegemony, themes addressed over the course of the semester will also include the persistence and adaptation of indigenous visual traditions in the wake of European expansion, the circulation of both people and art objects between Europe and the Americas, the development of colonial American identities, and the place of the Spanish Americas in the increasingly globalized world of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

Textbooks/Other Materials: All readings will be available on CANVAS

Course Requirements: Engagement with course materials and peers (20%), one annotated reading response (10%), three cumulative writing assignments: two ca. 1000 words (15 and 20 % respectively), and a final paper of ca. 2000 words (35%)

Intended Audience: All interested undergraduate students

Class Format: Two weekly meetings, a combination of lecture and discussion.

Estimated Cost of Materials: All materials available via CANVAS.

HISTART Distribution Requirements: Latin America, Europe and the US, Early Modern

Keywords: Latin America, colonization, power, art, architecture