JoAnn Martin                                                                                       So/An 321;LTST 321

Bolling  Center 323                                                                              Carpenter 320                                                                          Mon., Wed., Fri  2:30

Office Hours:  By appointment with secretaries

In social science office

Latin America: culture and



This course explores the intersections of race, power and empire through an examination of the societies formed by Spanish colonial excursions. As the author of the first text that we will read, Michael Taussig's Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man notes, colonial power implied a "politics of interpretation and representation" that has survived into the present day (xiii). In short, colonialism leaned upon a way of creating order, both discursive and non-discursive, that continues to intersect with the anthropological project of cultural interpretation. One goal of this course, therefore, is to examine contemporary anthropological studies of colonialism with an eye toward the reiteration and/or disruption of colonial senses of order. More broadly, the course aims to define what kind of anthropology might bring us beyond colonialism.

The course will be organized as a seminar with emphasis on discussion and reading of key texts in the area. After reading each text, students will write a five- to seven-page, typed double, spaced paper addressing a topic that has emerged as a result of the discussion. Students will write four such papers throughout the semester.

Required Readings:


Lewis, Laura

2003 Hall of Mirrors: Power, Witchcraft, and Caste in Colonial Mexico. Durham and London: Duke Universith Press.

Sliverblatt, Irene

2004 Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Taussig, Michael

1987 Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A study in terror and healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Wachtel, Nathan

1994 Gods and Vampires: Return to Chipaya. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.




Week 1 – Introduction

8/24-8/26  Readings: Taussig  pp. 3-36.

Week 2

8/29 - 9/2  Readings:  Taussig pp. 37-92;93-135. 

Week 3  

9/5-9/9  Readings:  Taussig pp. 139-187; 188-241.

Week 4 

9/12-9/16  Readings:  Taussig pp. 242-286;287-341.

Week 5 

9/19-9/23  Readings:  Taussig pp. 342-434;435-473.

Paper due 9/26

Week 6

9/26-9/30  Readings:  Lewis pp. 1-45.

Week 7 

10/3-10/7  Readings: pp. 46-94; 95-131.

Midsemester Break 10/13-10/16

Week 8 

10/10-10/14  Readings: pp. 132-183

Paper due 10/17

Week 9

10/17-10/21   Readings:  Silverblatt pp. 3-53.

Week 10 

10/24-10/28  Readings:  Silverblatt pp.57-97; 101-139. 

Week 11 

10/31-11/4 Readings:  Silverblatt pp 143-185;189-233.

Paper due 11/7 

Week 12

11/7-11/11  Readings:  Wachtel pp. 1-29.

Week 13 

11/14-11/18 Readings: Wachtel pp. 30-51;52-71.

Week 14  Fall Break


Week 15

11/28-12/2 Readings: Wachtel pp. 72-105;106-140.

Paper due 12/5

Week 16 

12/5-12/9 Discussion of Course