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Posts Tagged ‘ethnohistory’

I apologize, first, that I withdrew from this round table because I couldn’t come to San Diego. I wish I were there for what would be for me a fascinating discussion. I don’t know how useful it is at this point to add my 2 cents to the discussion, but I will.

Chad’s post from two weeks ago interested me very much. They seem right on target. (The chart of the rise and relative recent drop of Andeanist publications is a striking piece of quantitative research!) Building on part of what he wrote, I want to argue that the last several decades of colonial Andeanist historiography have focused disproportionately on these themes:

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The Future of the Andean Past

Comments prepared for the Andean Studies Section Roundtable

CLAH/AHA, San Diego, CA

7-10 January 2010

Let me preface these comments by noting some limitations. It’s not my intention here to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of Andean History at the end of this first decade of the twenty-first century. It’s also not my intention to engage any number of specific works that currently define the field.  Rather, I’d like to reflect on some issues of ethnohistorical method and the social-cultural history endeavor as a provocation for future work in the field. Additionally, I come to this as someone who works, as it were, from the margins of the traditionally conceived heartland of Andean History—I’m a historian of Quito and the north Andes who generally works on the casta plebeians of the city in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As a colonialist, I find myself on the margins of that periodization. As an Andeanist, I find myself on the margins of the heartland of Upper Peru and the Viceroyalty of Lima. And, as an Andeanist, I find myself on the margins of the area of scholarship I find most exciting- ethnohistory of the post-conquest period. And yet, that position within the scholarship gives me, I hope, an interesting perspective on the Future of the Andean Past.

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