Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Modern Languages and Literatures
Jorge L. Terukina
Lu Ann Homza
This project examines four 16th- and 17th-century historiographical works on colonial Peru and the way in which scientific discourse was manipulated to defend and contest the political rights of various groups (Spaniards, Jesuit missionaries, mestizos, and creoles). The five-zone theory, which posited a correlation among geographic location, "extreme" tropical environments, and "extreme" human natures, served as one of the primary justifications for Spanish rule over the Americas. However, by appropriating this discourse but claiming that Peru enjoyed a temperate climate, colonial writers were able to claim that various inhabitants of Peru were also temperate and thus challenged the legitimacy of Spanish imperialism. Examining the manipulations of this theory by Francisco López de Gómara, José de Acosta, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Antonio de la Calancha, I seek to demonstrate the role of science in Hispanic colonial literature as an instrumental tool in the negotiation of political power in Peru.
Brown, Katherine, "Imaginando el derecho "natural" en el imperio español: Apropiaciones del discurso científico y la posesión de los Andes en la historiografía colonial" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 876.
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