Colonial Public Spheres: Rethinking Writing and Time in New Spain.

This work explores the emergence of social and discursive spaces between the Counter-Reformation and the early eighteenth century where, in spite of the close regulation of printed works by colonial authorities, indigenous intellectuals flourished either as members of autonomous authorship networks or in collaboration with doctrinal authors. Through an exploration of historical, calendrical, and religious genres influenced by transnational models and produced by indigenous authors Nahuatl, Zapotec, and Spanish, this book argues that these practitioners created spaces of dissent that display some of the traits usually associated with the emergence of the public sphere in Europe.

Singing for the Ancestors: A Colonial Zapotec Cosmology

In 1704, more than 100 copies of ritual calendars and four cycles of ritual songs, all produced clandestinely, were turned in to the bishop of Oaxaca by Zapotec ritual specialists. This extraordinary surrender provides us with the largest extant corpus of texts related to non-Christian collective indigenous ceremonies in colonial Spanish America. This book analyzes the structure and social significance of this colonial indigenous cosmology, focusing on the relationship between local historical narratives and the symbolic return of foundational ancestors and Zapotec deities through ritual practice.

The Permutation of Christ: Nahua intellectuals and the Devotio Moderna

An analysis of a landmark intellectual project in colonial Spanish America: the adaptation of the most popular early modern devotional text - Thomas à Kempis' De imitatione Christi - into Nahuatl. This project resulted in a surviving mid-16th century translation, and in a sweeping revision of it in the late 16th century. I have begun work on an analytical edition of the earlier translation - given as a gift to Philip II in the 1560's - in collaboration with another scholar.