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Volume 62 / Humanities


Colonial Period

MICHAEL T. HAMERLY, Special Project Librarian, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
JERRY W. COONEY, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Louisville
LANCE R. GRAHN, Dean, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
S. ELIZABETH PENRY, Director, Latin American and Latino Studies, Fordham University


More than three and a half decades have passed since I succeeded the late Lino Gómez Canedo as contributing editor of the "History: Spanish South America: General" and "History: Spanish South America: Colonial Period" sections. I was solely responsible for both sections initially (i.e., for HLAS 34 and 36), but as the volume of scholarly production grew so too did the need for collaborators. Therefore John Hoyt Williams was brought in to cover Río de la Plata materials from HLAS 38 through HLAS 44. Susan M. Socolow took over from Williams from HLAS 46 to HLAS 60, and distinguished historian Jerry Cooney is beginning his work with this volume, HLAS 62. Commencing with HLAS 38, Kathy Waldron began to annotate the materials on colonial Colombia and Venezuela. Lance R. Grahn relieved Waldron, effective with HLAS 56, and as of HLAS 60, S. Elizabeth Penry assumed responsibility for Upper and Lower Peru.

Now the time has come for me to relinquish altogether what has been mostly an enjoyable task. I have been privileged to have been able to review appreciably far more good than bad work, and extraordinarily fortunate in having outstanding colleagues and supportive editors. An enormous debt of gratitude is due my co-contributors and to former editors Donald E.J. Stewart and the late Dolores Moyano Martin (RIP), past editor Lawrence Boudon, current Humanities editor Katherine McCann, and other Handbook of Latin American Studies and Hispanic Division staff members. I am also pleased to welcome as my successor a new, well-trained ecuatorianista, who has already more than demonstrated her worth (see item #bi2004000173#), Kimberly Gauderman at the University of New Mexico

Only a literal handful of general works came to our attention, probably because specialized studies continue to dominate the journals and presses. The most important recent book is Volume 3 of the indispensable "Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas," on South America as edited by Frank Salomon and Stuart B. Schwartz (item #bi2005002550#). [MTH]


This impressive biennial set of works reflects a thematic emphasis on organizing and administering social and political space. In these studies, space is not just a place; rather, it is a dynamic construct that exhibits power relationships, economic regionalism, and cultural dislocations. Space is not so much topography and physical geography as it is the intellectual, commercial, and spiritual landscape perceived by the historical actors themselves within which praxis confronts the ideal of utilized territory. Two parallel examinations of the 1673 and 1674 earthquakes highlight this newer spatial analysis. Whereas Christl Palme and Rogelio Altez look at the tremors as a geophysical disaster (item #bi2002005952#), Edda Samudio A. sees them as social and economic calamities (item #bi2002006899#). More notably, Marta Herrera Angel's masterful Ordenar para controlar: ordenamiento espacial y control político en las llanuras del Caribe y en los Andes Centrales Neogranadinos, siglo XVIII analyzes regional integration in light of efforts to define the societal interactions of space utilization (item #bi2006002506#). Jorge Conde Calderón and Antonino Vidal Ortega apply this same perspective to their respective studies of Cartagena province (items #bi2005003954# and #bi2005003977#, respectively). The viceregal project to tie Cartagena de Indias' hinterlands more tightly to the port exhibited primarily a concern for organizing the fractious racial and economic environments of the area in order to strengthen royal authority, not for reaffirming boundaries. Similarly, Ligia Berbesí de Salazar and Belín Vásquez de Ferrer argue that the governmental efforts to control the space of Maracaibo province reflected the effort to prioritize cultural values and so more effectively order hierarchical power relationships (item #bi2004000641#). Monica Martini illustrates this same dialectic in a smaller space—the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario—where physical boundaries heightened academic and behavioral tensions (item #bi2004000756#). Even the documentary studies of Pedro de Aguado's 16th-century Recopilación historial (item #bi2005003781#) and Andrés de Ariza's important 18th-century accounts of the Darién (item #bi2005003783#) indicate both the authors' and the commentators' interest in the control of cultural space as a vehicle for controlling geopolitical space. As Frédérique Langue maintains, this recent focus reflects an important maturation in the historiography of colonial Colombia and Venezuela (item #bi2002005289#). [LRG]


Ecuadorian studies have become so robust in Europe that one of the 20 sessions of the 1996 meeting of the European Association of Latin American historians was devoted to Ecuador. Of the 20 papers presented, 14 were published in the four-volume Actas del XI Congreso Internacional de AHILA (Liverpool, 17–22 sept., 1996), edited by John R. Fisher (1998), vol. 1, p. 328–548. Of those 14 ponencias, 11 deal with the colonial period and are reviewed below. On the other three, see Manuel Lucena Salmoral's introduction to "Simposio 4: Estructuras y mecanismos de poder en la historia del Ecuador" (p. 328–332) in the Actas.

Ecuadorian studies have also become well established in the US and have begun to proliferate in Canada too. Although long since academically respectable, it is now also professionally feasible to be a "colonialist" specializing in "the northern Andes" in North America. See, for example, the contributions to Vol. 13, No. 1 (June 2004) of Colonial Latin American Review, all of which focus on the former Audiencia of Quito (items #bi2005002555#, #bi2005002561#, #bi2005002563#, #bi2005002586#, #bi2005002713#, and #bi2005002722#).

There are several recent books of varying importance that should have been noticed in this or the preceding Handbook, but were not: (1) Wilson Gutiérrez Marín, Baeza, la ciudad de los Quijos: su historia desde el siglo XVI al siglo XIX (2002); (2) the in-process multi-author, multivolume Historia marítima del Ecuador (Guayaquil. Ecuador: Armada del Ecuador, Instituto de Historia Marítima, 1997- ); (3) Fernando Jurado Noboa, Vida cuotidiana colonial y republicana en la sierra central del Ecuador, 1649–2001: el caso de la familia Villagómez, Col. "Amigos de la genealogía," 179 (2002); (4) Alexandra Kennedy Troya, Historia del Monasterio de las Conceptas (1999); (5) Jorge Núñez Sánchez, El cataclismo de 1797 (1995); and (6) Margarita Vega de Córdova, El Río Tomebamba en la historia de Cuenca (1997).

For pre-1996 materials not included in the Handbook, see Michael T. Hamerly's online three-volume Historical bibliography of Ecuador (LASA Section on Ecuadorian Studies, 2000–2004: http://www.ecuatorianistas.org/bibliographies/bibliographies.html); and for a comprehensive review of historical and related bibliographies, Hamerly and Miguel Díaz Cueva's Bibliography of Ecuadorian bibliographies, 2nd ed. rev. and aug., a special issue of Ecuadorian studies / Estudios ecuatorianos, No. 2 (Dec. 2002), also issued online (http://www.ecuatorianistas.org/bibliographies/bibliographies.html). See also Hamerly's forthcoming Recent Contributions to Ecuadorian Historiography: The Colonial Period, an in-depth examination of almost the entire output of 1990–2004. [MTH]


Easily the most important work on colonial Peru to be published in this biennial is Irene Silverblatt's Modern Inquisitions (item #bi2004003852#). Her argument that Spanish-American colonial relations created much of what we now think of as modernity (an effective and impersonal bureaucracy and the existence of a tangible state) is sure to be controversial. Another important book that tackles controversy head-on is Sabine Hyland's The Jesuit and the Incas (item #bi2006002505#). Hyland convincingly resolves the international scandal engendered by the discovery of the so-called Naples documents, which questioned the authorship of Guaman Poma de Ayala's masterwork. More importantly though, she continues a recent trend in scholarship on Andean Christianity (after significantly pushing back the time frame), that privileges Andean testimony over the accusations made by Creoles or Spaniards that Indians were idolaters. In her study of Blas Valera, one of the first and few mestizo Jesuits, she finds that after the council of Trent, no expression of Andean Christianity was trusted; all were viewed as fabrications to hide true beliefs. Juan Carlos Estenssoro writes in a similar vein to argue that priests had little motivation to trust in Andeans' conversion to Christianity, and much to gain by doubting it (items #bi2006002504# and #bi2003003722#). David T. Garrett's work is a close examination of why Túpac Amaru found so little support among the Andean nobility and specifically the Cuzco elite (item #bi2005002180#). This is revisionist history at its best, a carefully researched article that gently but irrevocably breaks with past interpretations. The rebellions of the 18th century continue to be more than a cottage industry for Peruvian historians, as several other works under consideration show (items #bi2003004928# and #bi2003000801#). A refreshing sign is a gradual turn toward interest in the 16th-century Peruvian civil wars; item #bi2003005243# is a succinct introduction to the topic. [SEP]


The major theme in the history of the colonial Audiencia of Charcas this biennium overwhelmingly is the late 18th century rebellions. Three major works under consideration here address them: Cajías de la Vega's Oruro 1781: sublevación de indios y rebelión criolla (item #bi2006002502#); Thomson's We Alone Will Rule (item #bi2006000614#) and Serulnikov's Subverting Colonial Authority (item #bi2006001732#). The former Bolivian ambassador to Spain, Cajias de la Vega contributes a work which is one of the first to closely analyze the events of Oruro and, especially, to look closely at why Indians and Creoles allied there. Thomson and Serulnikov both write social history in the vein of Steve Stern (see HLAS 50:737), giving primacy to social structures, particularly economic ones that were impacted by the Bourbon reforms, as leading elements in the crisis of cacical authority that led to rebellion. Thomson's work is a major advance that problematizes terms such as "Indian" to avoid reductionist pitfalls. Mangan's Trading Roles is the first major study of Potosí to appear in English that does not focus on the mita or Spanish elites (item #bi2005000399#). For that reason alone, it is important. Mangan's analysis of women's economic roles, particularly those of market women, the chicha and bread retailers, is well researched and a very welcome edition to Bolivian historiography. Another work on this important colonial city is item #bi2006002094#, originally the licentiate thesis by Marcela Inch, director of the Archivo y Biblioteca Nacionales de Bolivia. This is the most in-depth study to date on book ownership in the Audiencia de Charcas and a welcome addition to the growing literature on books and literacy in the colonial Andean world. Finally, a small work by Presta deserves mention (item #bi2006002503#). Presta's command of the Archivo Nacional de Bolivia's notarial records is unmatched and this article draws heavily from these records to illustrate the lives of elite women. [SEP]


Colonial studies are more robust and variegated in Chile than ever before. Examples of the proliferation and increasing sophistication of work on the colonial period are the first volume of Estudios coloniales, the "resultado del Primer Encuentro de Historia Colonial efectuado en la Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello durante el mes de noviembre de 1998" (item #bi2005002912#); and Historia de las mentalidades: homenaje a Georges Duby of the Depto. de Ciencias Históricas of the Universidad de Chile (item #bi2005002913#). Unfortunately, however, what has been a deplorable trend continues unchanged: only a literal handful or two of scholars outside of the country, mostly Europeans, evince any interest whatsoever in the pre-"patria boba" history of Chile.

Several major monographs—apparently unavailable in North America for the most part—deserve mention: (1) the late Alvaro Jara's Nuestro hacer de la historia: de la Guerra y sociedad en Chile a El costo del imperio español, 1700–1810 (Santiago: Ediciones del Depto. de Estudios Humanísticos, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Univ. de Chile, 1996); (2) Eduardo Cavieres F., Servir al soberano sin detrimiento del vasallo: el comercio hispano colonial y el sector mercantil de Santiago de Chile en el siglo XVIII (Valparaíso: Ediciones Universitarias de Valparaíso de la Univ. Católica de Valparaíso, 2003); (3) Cristián Guerrero Lira, La contrarrevolución de la independencia en Chile (item #bi2004003301#); (4) the three-volume Familias fundadoras de Chile by Julio Retamal Favereau et al. (vol. 1, 5a ed., Santiago de Chile: Empresa Editora Zig-Zag, 2001; vol. 2–3, Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Univ. Católica de Chile, 2000–03); (5) Leonardo León, El parlamento de Tapahue de 1774 (Santiago, Chile: Editorial Nutram, 1994); and (6) Sergio Villalobos R., Chile y Perú: la historia que no une y nos separa, 1535–1883 (2002). In this regard, a second negative, correlated trend remains unchanged. No North American or European library has been collecting the historical scholarship of Chile systematically and comprehensively, at least, not insofar as the colonial and independence periods are concerned. [MTH]


Frontier and mission history continues to attract historians. León handles well the complexity of Indian-European relations on the Tucumán frontier in the late 1700s (item #bi2004002653#) while Punta discusses Córdoba's frontiers (item #bi2003006221#). Outstanding studies of the Guaraní missions in the 1700s are Ganson (item #bi2004002663#) and Wilde (item #bi2002005226#), while Díaz presents an interesting aspect of children's life in the missions (item #bi2002006982#). Avalos (item #bi2004002648#) addresses evangelical activities in Tucumán while Farberman et al. (item #bi2004002631#) conclude that the problems of Indian reductions in the same province proved never ending. For the reduction of Quilmes near Buenos Aires, Levoratti gives a gloomy and concise account of its life and death (item #bi2004002657#).

Social history remains popular. The exhaustive study by Azcuy Ameghino of the marginalized rural populace of Buenos Aires and the Banda Oriental merits much attention (item #bi2004002655#). For women's history, D'Aloia Criado contributes a solid biographical account of the wife of a viceroy (item #bi2004002630#), while domestic difficulties are explored in Cuesta Figueroa (item #bi2004002647#) and Ghiradi de Hillar (item #bi2003005334#). The final volume of the series on Basque settlement in Argentina, dealing with Salta (item #bi2004002641#), provides very useful demographic material, as do Bianchi (item #bi2002005227#) and Bentancur (item #bi2003003816#). Peire (item #bi2004002659#) and Barrán (item #bi2004002638#) deal with the complexity of relations between the Church and society. Elissalde (item #bi2004002633#), González Fasani (item #bi2002006983#), and Del Valle (item #bi2002006989#) return to the theme of family importance in colonial society. Troisi Melean raises the possibility of quantitative history for the study of the gaucho (item #bi2003005853#).

Lesser places the origin of Argentina in the viceregency of José de Vértiz (item #bi2004002624#) while Tío Vallejo addresses the provincial identity of Tucumán (item #bi2004002646#). López de Albornoz discusses how the landholding elite of Tucumán in the late 18th century experienced changing economic goals (item #bi2004002662#), while transfers of rural property in Córdoba in the 17th century are treated by Ferrero and Nicolini (item #bi2003006219#). Some aspects of viceregal administrative history are explored by Leiva (item #bi2004002645#), and the detailed account of the postal system in the Banda Oriental by Villegas sheds light on administration and finances (item #bi2004000761#). In the areas of commerce and industry, Bentancur offers a very strong study of the port of Montevideo (item #bi2004002652#) while Mariluz Urquio supplies a full account of the Buenos Aires hat industry (item #bi2004002656#).

The appearance of Actas capitulares y documentos del Cabildo de Asunción del Paraguay, siglo XVI (item #bi2004002661#) is an important contribution, not only to Paraguayan history, but also to that of the colonial Río de la Plata. The first volume of the 18th-century account of Florián Baucke, Hacia allá y para acá, is now republished (item #bi2004002643#). Edited documents and accounts of the conquest era appear in Rela (item #bi2004002635#) as do travelers' accounts of the early 1700s in Rípodas Ardanaz (item #bi2004002650#).

Noteworthy in the last biennium is the strong representation of the interior, Córdoba and Tucumán, in both quantity and quality. While works on Uruguay are few, their quality is high. On the other hand there is a dearth of studies on Paraguay. A slight increase in women's history is noted. [JWC]

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