Accepted paper:

Contributions to Anthropos-logos from the Renaissance: accounts about the peoples and cultures of the Indies written by Spanish authors

Authors:

Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Fermin del Pino-Diaz (Consejo Superior de Investig-cientif.)

Paper short abstract:

The paper proposes revisiting the large body of chronicles, memorials, grammars, natural and moral histories written by Spanish authors after the 'discovery' of the Indies; with the aim to take account of works and authors indeed relevant to the history of a science of anthropology

Paper long abstract:

The arrival of Colon to the shores of La Hispaniola sent intellectual and political shockwaves back to Europe. Academics and public figures from all walks of life were forced to adjust their worldviews, theological and scientific principles to the realities told and written about by the returning sailors and clerics. Passionate debates unfolded in the academic and clerical circles in the most important cities. People like the Franciscans Andrés de Olmos, Toribio de Benavente, Bernardino de Sahagún wrote the first grammars of these languages, and the first 'histories' of the Indians. They were true pioneers in what today would be labeled ethno-linguistics, ethno-history or ethnography. As regards the theological and doctrinal debates conducted in the metropolis, we ought to take into account leading figures like Francisco de Vitoria, Bartolomé Las Casas or José de Acosta. In revisiting such extraordinary people and works, produced in the context of colonial Mexico or Peru, we ought to consider the complex interplay between the diverse forces and factors that converge in this particular socio-political and historical field: The Crown, the Church, the Conquistadores, the Missionaries, the Indians. But our intention is not just to add some notes on the margins of a conventional history of anthropology, built by accumulating biographies of prominent authors, and lists of their contributions. The reappraisal of these authors and works is to be carried out in the broader context of the history and philosophy of science.

panel P048
'Peripheral' anthropologies of Europe. Their histories and intellectual genealogies [Europeanist network]