Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Modern Languages and Literatures


Jorge L. Terukina

Committee Members

Robert Sanchez

Francie Cate-Arres

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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only