21A.441 | Spring 2004 | Undergraduate

The Conquest of America


Below are required readings for the course by class session, as well as a bibliography of supplementary readings of interest.

Required Books

Cronon, William. Changes in the Land. Hill and Wang Publishers, 2003.

Taylor, Alan. American Colonies. USA: Penguin, 2002.

Wallace, Anthony. The Long, Bitter Trail. Hill and Wang Publishers, 1993.

Readings by Session

1 Introduction  
The Americas before Columbus
2 The Spanish Conquest    
3 Discuss Las Casas; the great debate on the nature of the Indians

Carmack, Robert, Janine Gasco, and Gary Gossen. “Mesoamerica and Spain: ‘The Colonial Period in Mesoamerica.’” The Legacy of Mesoamerica. Prentice Hall, 1995.; and

de las Casas, Bartolomé. Short Account Of The Destruction of the Indies. Translated by Nigel Griffin. USA: Penguin, 1999.

Taylor. Chaps. 1-3.

4 Native Commentaries  
Colonial Exploitation and Rule
Wolf, Eric. “Iberians in America.” Europe and the People without History. University of California Press, 1997. Reprint.  

Sweet, David. “The Ibero-American Frontier Mission in Native American History.” The New Latin American Mission History. Edited by Erick Langer, and Robert H. Jackson. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995, pp. 1-46.

Taylor. Chap. 4.

6 Class Presentations on the Colombian Exchange    
7 Missionizing the Americas Jesuit Relations Reader. Part A. First two texts:  
“What One Must Suffer in Wintering with the Savages.” (LeJeune 1635, Doc. XXIII).  
“Instruction for the Fathers of our Society who shall be sent to the Hurons.” (Brebeuf 1637, Doc. XXIX).  
Taylor. Chap. 5 and Chap. 16 through p. 382. (Rest of chapter recommended.)
8 (Partial) Film:  
The Mission.  
Discuss Readings
9 Resistance & rebellion in colonial Latin America Jesuit Relations Reader. First Part, all:  
“What one must suffer in Wintering with the Savages.” (LeJeune 1635, Doc. XXIII).  
“Instruction for the Fathers of our society who shall be sent to the Hurons.” (Brebeuf 1637, Doc. XXIX).  
“Relation of what occurred among the Hurons in the year 1635.” (Brebeuf 1635, Doc. XXV).  
“Relation of what occurred in the Mission of the Society of Jesus, in the Land of the Hurons, in the year 1637.” (LeMercier 637, Doc. XXIX).  
“How Father Jogues was taken by the Iroquois, and what he suffered.” (Lalemant 1647, Doc. LXIII).
10 Film: Black Robe   (PDF)
11 Colonization of North America, Fur Trade, New France

Jesuit Relations Reader. Part 2

Richter, Daniel. Ordeal of the Longhouse. Omohundro Institute of Early American History, 1993, pp. 57-74.

Wallace, Anthony F.C. “The Cult of Death.” Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Vintage Books, 1972, pp. 93-107.

Wogan, Peter. “Perceptions of European Literacy in Early Contact Situations.” Ethnohistory 41 (1994): 408-29.

Churchill, Ward. “And they did it like dogs in the dirt…:an indigenist analysis of Black Robe.” From a Native Son. South End Press, 1997, pp. 432-437.

Taylor. Chaps. 6, 8 (7 optional).

Cronon. Chaps. 1-3.

12 Discuss Jesuit Relations   (PDF)
13 Discuss Film: Black Robe    
14 Film: “Wilderness    
15 Discuss New England Environment and Economy

Bowden, Henry Warner. “Northeast Indians, English Missions.” American Indians and Christian Missions. University of Chicago Press. Reprint 1985.

Rowlandson, Mary. “The Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” (download from Project Gutenberg.)

Taylor. Chap. 17.

16 Discuss War  
17 Discuss 18th and 19th Century Frontiers  
Indians and the U.S.  
Film Showing: Civilization

Taylor. Chap. 18.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. “The Cult of Death.” Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Vintage Books, 1972. (All)

18 Independence, frontiers & extraction in 19th century Latin America    
19 Films: Spirit of Kuna Yala,  
Just us Kuna
Kuna Reader. Part 1.  
20 Historical Research  
Discuss Kuna Materials
22 Discuss Kuna Materials Kuna Reader. Part 2.  
23 Indian Activism and Organizing    
24 Film, “Out of the Forest”; discuss Kayapo   (PDF)
25 Discuss Kayapo

Turner, Terence. “The Role of Indigenous Peoples in the Environmental Crisis: The Example of the Kayapo of the Brazilian Amazon.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 36, 3 (1993): 526-545.

———. “An Indigenous People’s Struggle…” Journal of Latin American Anthropology 1, 1 (1995).

———. “Defiant images: The Kayapo Appropriation of Video.” Anthropology Today 8, 6 (Dec 1992).

26 Brazilian Films, Discuss Kayapo    
27 Indians: Images and Ideology    
28 Films, Wrap-up   (PDF)


Kuna Readings

Part 1  

  1. Articles from the Panama Journal, 1910. Article 1 (PDF), Article 2 (PDF)  
  2. Excerpts from Anna Coope. Sky Pilot of the San Blas Indians. Baltimore, Maryland: World Wide Missionary Society, Inc., 1917 & letter from President of Panama to Anna Coope. (PDF 1), (PDF 2)  
  3. Excerpts from An Oral History by High Chief Carlos López.

Part 2

  1. Letters to, from, and concerning the village of Nargana, January-June 1919. (PDF)  
  2. Excerpt from a published report by The Intendente of San Blas, July 1919. Excerpt 1 (PDF), Excerpt 2 (PDF)  
  3. Documents concerning the burning of Ticantiqui, November 1919. (PDF)  
  4. Table of exports from San Blas, 1920. (PDF)  
  5. Letters and documents to, from, and concerning the 2nd Detachment, Tupile and Playón Chico Villages, 1919-1923. (PDF)  
  6. Oral history about the pacification of Tupile, High Chief Carlos López. (PDF)  
  7. Two letters from The Intendente to the President of Panama, 1922. (PDF)  
  8. Metaphors sung by Chief Cimral Colman to Represent Dangers from Outside. (PDF)  
  9. Documents concerned with the Kuna rebellion of February-March 1925. Document 1 (PDF), Document 2 (PDF), Document 3 (PDF)  
  10. Star & Herald Articles. Article 1 (PDF), Article 2 (PDF), Article 3 (PDF)  
  11. Sample list of punishments. (PDF)  
  12. List of fines imposted on Indians who participated in revolt. (PDF)  
  13. Narrative of Killing of a Policeman. (PDF)  
  14. Terms of Agreement between San Blas Chieftans and Panama government authorities. (PDF)  

Supplementary Readings

A brief selection of recent, useful books chosen for readability, interest, and ease of access, mostly in paperback editions, as well as for quality of scholarship. Good alternative works not listed here are also available in almost all categories.


Carmack, Gasco, and Gossen. The Legacy of Mesoamerica. Prentice Hall, 1996.

Gruzinski, Serge. The Mestizo Mind. Routledge, 2002.

Burkholder, Mark, and Lyman Johnson. Colonial Latin America. Oxford, 1990.

Kicza, John, ed. The Indian in Latin American History. S.R.I., 2000. Revised edition.

Richter, Daniel. Facing East from Indian Country. Harvard, 2001.

Calloway, Colin. First Peoples. St. Martin’s, 1999.  

Reference Works (with excellent articles on all topics covered on this list)

Handbook of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution, 17 volumes, 1978-2001.

The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas. Cambridge.

  • Vol. 1, North America, 1996.
  • Vol. 2, Mesoamerica, 2000.
  • Vol. 3, South America, 1999.  

The Cambridge History of Latin America. Cambridge. 11 volumes, 1985-1995.

The Spanish Conquest

Restall, Matthew. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford, 2003.

Kamen, Henry. Empire: How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763. Harper, 2003.

Hemmings, John. The Conquest of the Incas. Harcourt and Brace, 1973.

Prescott, William. History of the Conquest of Peru & History of the Conquest of Mexico. [1843/1847]. Cooper Square Press, 2000.

Gruzinski, Serge. The Conquest of Mexico. Blackwell, 1993.

Restal, Matthew. Maya Conquistador. Beacon, 1998.

Las Casas and the Critique of Spanish Conquest

de las Casas, Bartolomé. The Devastation of the Indies. [1552]. Johns Hopkins, 1974.

Hanke, Lewis. All Mankind is One. Northern Illinois, 1994.

Colonial Exploitation, Native Survival

Stern, Steve. Peru’s Indian peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest. Wisconsin, 1982.

Lockhart, James. The Nahuas after the Conquest. Stanford, 1992.

Katz, Friedrich, ed. Riot, Rebellion, and Revolution. Princeton, 1988.

Stern, Steve, ed. Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World. Wisconsin, 1987.

Restall, Matthew. The Maya World. Stanford, 1997.

Lovell, George. Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala. McGill-Queen’s, 1992.

Schroeder, Susan, ed. Native Resistance and the Pax Colonial in New Spain. Nebraska, 1998.

Colonial Missionization

Griffith, Nicholas, and Fernando Cervantes, eds. Spiritual Encounters. Nebraska, 1999.

Gutiérrez, Ramón. When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away. Stanford, 1991.

Burkhart, Louise. The Slippery Earth. Arizona, 1989.

Clendinnen, Inga. Ambivalent Conquests. Cambridge, 1987.

Langer, Erick, and Robert Jackson, eds. The New Latin American Mission History. Nebraska, 1995.

New France And Jesuit Missionization

Axtell, James. The Invasion Within. Oxford, 1985.

Greer, Allan, ed. The Jesuit Relations. St. Martin’s, 2000.

Anderson, Karen. Chain Her by One Foot. Routledge, 1991.

Parkman, Francis. The Jesuits in North America. [1867]. Nebraska, 1997.

Blackburn, Carol. Harvest of Souls. McGill-Queen’s, 2000.

Trigger, Bruce. The Children of Aataentsic. McGill-Queen’s, 1987.

The Ecology Of Colonization

Crosby, Alfred. Ecological Imperialism. Cambridge, 1986.

Silver, Timothy. A New Face on the Countryside. Cambridge, 1990.

Merchant, Carolyn. Ecological Revolutions. North Carolina, 1989.

Muir, Diana. Reflections in Bullough’s Pond. University Press of New England, 2002.

Melville, Elinor. A Plague of Sheep. Cambridge, 1994.

Krech, Shephard. The Ecological Indian. Norton, 1999.

Colonial War and English Missionization

Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War. Knopf, 2000.

Lepore, Jill. The Name of War. Knopf, 1998.

Malone, Patrick. The Skulking Way of War. Johns Hopkins, 1991.

Chet, Guy. Conquering the American Wilderness. Massachusetts, 2003.

Axtell, James. The Invasion Within. Oxford, 1985.

Indian Slavery and White Captivity

Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade. Yale, 2002.

Brooks, James. Captives and Cousins. North Carolina, 2002.

Colley, Linda. Captives. Pantheon, 2002.

Demos, John. The Unredeemed Captive. Knopf, 1994.

Faery, Rebecca. Cartographies of Desire. Oklahoma, 1999.

Namais, June. White Captives. North Carolina, 1993.

———, ed. A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison. Oklahoma, 1992.

Rowlandson, Mary. The Sovereignty and Goodness of God. [1682]. Bedford, 1997.

France, England, and the Iroquois

Wallace, Anthony. The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Random House, 1969.

Richter, Daniel. The Ordeal of the Longhouse. North Carolina, 1992.

Fenton, William. The Great Law and the Longhouse. Oklahoma, 1998.

The Indian Frontier, Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries

Merrell, James. Into the American Woods. Norton, 1999.

White, Richard. The Middle Ground. Cambridge, 1991.

Calloway, Colin. The American Revolution in Indian Country. Cambridge, 1996.

McLoughlin, William. Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic. Princeton, 1986.

Wallace, Anthony. Jefferson and the Indians. Harvard, 1999.

Perdue, Theda, and Michael Green, eds. The Cherokee Removal. St. Martin’s, 1995.

Spain, Panama, and The Kuna

Gallup-Diaz, Ignacio. The ‘Door of the Seas and the Key to the Universe’: Indian Politics and Imperial Rivalry in the Darién, 1640–1750. Princeton University, 1999.  
Gutenberg project, electronic book.

Howe, James. A People Who Would Not Kneel. Smithsonian, 1998.

20th Century Indigenous Organizing in Latin America

Lee Van Cott, Donna, ed. Indian Peoples and Democracy in Latin America. St. Martin’s, 1994.

Langer, Erick, and Elena Muñoz. Contemporary Indigenous Movements in Latin America. S. R. I., 2003.

Warren, Kay, and Jean Jackson, eds. Indigenous Movements, Self-Representation, and the State in Latin America. Texas, 2003.

Maybury-Lewis, David, ed. The Politics of Ethnicity. Harvard, 2002.

Warren, Kay. Indigenous Movements and Their Critics. Princeton, 1998.

Indigenous Struggle in 20th Century Brazil

Ramos, Alcida. Indigenism. Wisconsin, 1998.

Seth, Garfield. Indigenous Struggle at the Heart of Brazil. Duke, 2001.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments