Abstract Title

The Invention of America: How Eurocentrism Affected the Foundations of Spanish American Discourse

Abstract

The formation of the Spanish American discourse entails an array of sources that can be identified since the time of the Conquest of the Americas. Using an analytical research methodology, I examine the legacy of Indigenous cultures and the European discourse which predominated among the conquistadors and chroniclers. José Rabasa, in Inventing America: Spanish Historiography and the formation of Eurocentrism, exposes the tremendous influence of Eurocentrism, Western metaphysics, and racism in the perspective of the history of the Indigenous world (240). Indigenous discourse was mainly based on orality, but with the arrival of the Spaniards, as transcribed with the Spanish alphabet and later translated into a European language, it became undoubtedly influenced by the European discourse. For example, the translation of Popol Vuh, the Mayan book of Creation, originally transcribed in Quiché, sometimes shows a certain level of subjectivity, as it bears some passages that appear to detract from its authenticity and universality. Likewise, works written originally in Spanish from the European perspective tend to use a Christian and European ideology to represent that of the Indigenous; thus, my questioning their subjectivity. Consequently, it is essential to reflect on the effects that Eurocentrism has had on our understanding of the history of Latin America so that the biased perspective is changed. As a conclusion, this study reveals the subjectivity ingrained in the discourse of the colonial Spanish American period which tends to blur its veracity.

Modified Abstract

The formation of the Spanish American discourse entails an array of sources that can be identified since the time of the Conquest of the Americas. Using an analytical research methodology, I examine the legacy of Indigenous cultures and the European discourse followed by the conquistadors and chroniclers. Indigenous discourse was mainly based on orality, but with the arrival of the Spaniards, as transcribed with the Spanish alphabet and later translated into a European language, it became undoubtedly influenced by the European discourse. Reflecting on the effects that Eurocentrism has on our understanding of the history of Latin America can change the biased perspective. This study reveals the subjectivity ingrained in the discourse of the colonial Spanish American period which tends to blur its veracity.

Research Category

Political Sciences/Philosophy/History

Author Information

Julia MarcheseFollow

Primary Author's Major

Spanish Translation

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Luis Hermosilla

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Arts and Humanities | European History | European Languages and Societies | Indigenous Studies | Latin American History | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Latina/o Studies | Oral History | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Spanish Literature

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

The Invention of America: How Eurocentrism Affected the Foundations of Spanish American Discourse

The formation of the Spanish American discourse entails an array of sources that can be identified since the time of the Conquest of the Americas. Using an analytical research methodology, I examine the legacy of Indigenous cultures and the European discourse which predominated among the conquistadors and chroniclers. José Rabasa, in Inventing America: Spanish Historiography and the formation of Eurocentrism, exposes the tremendous influence of Eurocentrism, Western metaphysics, and racism in the perspective of the history of the Indigenous world (240). Indigenous discourse was mainly based on orality, but with the arrival of the Spaniards, as transcribed with the Spanish alphabet and later translated into a European language, it became undoubtedly influenced by the European discourse. For example, the translation of Popol Vuh, the Mayan book of Creation, originally transcribed in Quiché, sometimes shows a certain level of subjectivity, as it bears some passages that appear to detract from its authenticity and universality. Likewise, works written originally in Spanish from the European perspective tend to use a Christian and European ideology to represent that of the Indigenous; thus, my questioning their subjectivity. Consequently, it is essential to reflect on the effects that Eurocentrism has had on our understanding of the history of Latin America so that the biased perspective is changed. As a conclusion, this study reveals the subjectivity ingrained in the discourse of the colonial Spanish American period which tends to blur its veracity.