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Thursday April 10, 2014 4:00pm: Indigenous Speaker Series- Camilla Townsend, (Rutgers) “Smoking Shield’s Masterpiece: The Life and Work of a 16th-century Mexican Indigenous Historian”

Date: Thursday April 10, 2014

Time: 4:00-5:30 pm

Location: Loser Hall  106

Camilla Townsend, Professor at Rutgers University

Professor Townsend will speak about her research on histories written in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the Nahuas (or Aztecs) in their own language. Spanish friars taught them the Roman alphabet so that they could be better Christians, but in the privacy of their own homes, the native people used the phonetic system to record their own traditional histories, which had previously been kept orally. They did this not for Spaniards, but for the sake of their own posterity. Through the texts that they produced, we can gain insight into the ways in which indigenous people conceptualized history and imagined the future.