Camilla Townsend is Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University. She is a leading scholar in Nahuatl, the Aztec language and culture of the central valley of Mexico, and in the complex colonial mixing of native and European traditions during the early modern period in the Americas. She has won major scholarly grants and prizes, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Fulbright Commission grant, and has received numerous international distinctions for her academic work on Native American cultures, including gender relations, on Mexico, the Andes and the Chesapeake region. Among her published books are Here in This Year: Seventeenth-Century Nahuatl Annals of the Tlaxcala-Puebla Valley (Stanford, 2010); Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (New Mexico, 2006); Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma (Hill & Wang, 2004); and her recent Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept their History Alive (Oxford, 2016).
Abstract: Professor Townsend will be describing her recent work on 16th-century Nahuatl “year counts,” traditional storytelling performances that were transcribed into Roman letters after the alphabetization of young Nahuas by Spanish friars. These Mexican annals were written by Indians to be consumed by Indians and stand out as great examples of the vitality of indigenous cultures. Her research has recovered the identities and contexts of generations of indigenous writers that narrated their own history in a highly complex colonial context.
Professor Townsend’s lecture is part of MEXICO 500+: Indigenous and Global Cultures in Colonial Mesoamerica.
This Provost’s Lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature, Humanities Institute, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies Center, will be held on Wednesday, October 2, at 1 pm in Humanities, Room 1008.