New Philology

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New Philology is a school within philology and the social and cultural history of Indians or ethnohistory that seeks to describe the history of an era using the written sources of a culture to understand their perspective of their own social and history. It has been particularly applied to studying the history of colonized people by using the colonized peoples' own written sources, but has also been applied in other disciplines such as medieval studies.[1] The New Philology of colonial literature focuses on the translation and interpretation of sources written in the colonized peoples' own languages - sources that have often been neglected due to their difficult accessibility. Historians working in the New Philology tradition are James Lockhart, S.L. (Sarah) Cline, Susan Schroeder, Rebecca Horn, Stephanie Wood, Robert Haskett, Lisa Sousa, Matthew Restall, and Kevin Terraciano.

Development[edit]

The school was developed from the 1970s and onwards, building on the work of a previous generation of scholars, most especially historian Charles Gibson, whose Aztecs under Spanish Rule (1964)[2] and his earlier Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century(1952)[3] were major scholarly achievements, placing Nahuas at the center of historical analysis. The leading figure in the establishment of the New Philological historiographical approach was James Lockhart who, in the early 1970s, began learning Nahuatl and studying local level indigenous sources in the Nahuatl language. His magnum opus was published in 1992, The Nahuas After the Conquest.[4], which incorporated and extended his own work and that of others. An early and important text in this vein was Nahuatl in the Middle Years(1976), published by Lockhart and University of Texas linguist Frances Karttunen.[5] Also important for the early history of the New Philology was the publication of Beyond the Codices(1976), alluding to the existence of native language texts other than the formal ones termed codices.[6] Arthur J.O. Anderson, a leading figure in Mesoamerican ethnohistory for his collaboration with Charles Dibble in publishing an English translation of the Florentine Codex by Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagun, participated in this early project of publishing local-level colonial documents. In the mid-1970s Lockhart began mentoring history doctoral students at UCLA, who learned Nahuatl and began research on particular region documentation in Nahuatl. S.L. (Sarah) Cline was the first to complete a dissertation in 1981, based on these types of local-level sources, a set of 60 testaments from the central Mexican Indian polity or altepetl of Culhuacan.[7][8]. In this first generation of local-level studies is also Robert Haskett, who examined Nahuatl texts on colonial Cuernavaca.[9] Susan Schroeder delved into the rich texts produced by seventeenth-century Nahua historian, Chimalpahin, resulting in several publications [10][11][12] Cline published in 1993 one set of early local-level Nahuatl censuses from the Cuernavaca, as The Book of Tributes, as well as an analysis of all three volumes, adding to the existing published corpus.[13][14] The largest number of local-level indigenous documents, such as testaments and bills of sale, are in Nahuatl, resulting in Nahuatl having the largest set of published sets of documents and monographic scholarly analyses.

Some others doctoral students of Lockhart, particularly Matthew Restall and Kevin Terraciano, first learned Nahuatl and then other Mesoamerican indigenous languages (Mixtec and Yucatec Maya) that had a significant corpus of documents in the language. Restall's UCLA 1995 dissertation "The World of the Cah: postconquest Yucatec Maya Society" was followed by his 1995 publication of a collection of eighteenth-century wills.[15] and culminating in his Stanford University Press monograph The Maya World: Yucatec culture and society, 1550-1850.[16] Terraciano's 1994 dissertation on the Mixtecs of Oaxaca was entitled Nudzahui history: Mixtec writing and culture in colonial Oaxaca followed by his 2001 monograph ''The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Nudzahui History.[17]

Rather than trying to reach knowledge about events in the colonial or pre-colonial period from studying the sources, as was the usual approach, he attempted to achieve understanding about the indigenous societies that produced the sources. This approach made possible the use of sources that had earlier been deemed to be too difficult to understand or too problematic to interpret, e.g. the documents known as Primordial titles, colonial legal documents in the Nahuatl language, testaments and acts of the colonial administration.

Lauren Lambert Jennings explicitly applied techniques from New Philology to the study of European Song texts quoting their "central premise [as] the idea that codex is not merely a neutral container for its texts." She continues by saying that the New Philologists and scholars of "textual cultures" "posit that a work's meaning (literary and cultural) is determined by the entire manuscript matrix — its physical form, contents, scribe(s), readers, and history."[18]

Important works[edit]

A selection of important works written in the New Philology tradition:

  • Nahuatl in the Middle Years: Language contact Phenomena in Texts of the Colonial Period, Frances Karttunen & James Lockhart, 1976, University of California Press, Berkeley, California.
  • Beyond the Codices Arthur J.O. Anderson, Frances Berdan, and James Lockhart, 1976. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Azteckischer Zensus, Zur indianischen Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft im Marquesado um 1540: Aus dem "Libro de Tributos" (Col. Ant. Ms. 551) im Archivo Historico, Mexico. 2 vols. Eike Hinz, Claudine Hartau, and Marie Luise Heimann-Koenen, eds. 1983. Hanover.
  • The Testaments of Culhuacan. S.L. Cline and Miguel Leon-Portilla (Eds.) 1984. UCLA Latin American Center Nahuatl Studies Series, vol. 1.
  • Colonial Culhuacan, 1580-1600: A Social History of an Aztec Town, S.L. Cline, 1986. New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Nahuas and Spaniards: Postconquest Central Mexican History and Philology, James Lockhart, 1991, Stanford University Press and UCLA Latin American Center Publications
  • Chimalpahin and the Kingdoms of Chalco, 1991, Susan Schroeder, Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • The Tlaxcalan Actas: A Compendium of the Records of the Cabildo of Tlaxcala (1545-1627) James Lockhart, Frances Berdan, and Arthur J.O. Anderson. 1986. University of Utah Press.
  • Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Indian Town Government in Colonial Cuernavaca, Robert Haskett, 1991, University of New Mexico Press.
  • Nahuas After the Conquest: Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, James Lockhart, 1992. Stanford University Press.
  • We People Here: Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico, James Lockhart. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • The Book of Tributes: Early Sixteenth-Century Nahuatl Censuses from Morelos. S. L. Cline, 1993, Museo de Antropología e Historia, Archivo Histórico Collección Antigua, vol. 549. UCLA Latin American Center Publications
  • Life and Death in a Maya Community: The Ixil Testaments of the 1760s. Matthew Restall, 1995. Lancaster CA: Labyrinthos
  • Indian Women of Early Mexico Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett (Eds.) 1997, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • The Maya World: Yucatec culture and society, 1550-1850. Matthew Restall. 1997, Stanford University Press.
  • Codex Chimalpahin: Society and Politics in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua Altetpetl in Central Mexico. Domingo de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuantzin, Arthur J.O. Anderson, Susan Schroeder, Wayne Ruwet. 1997. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Postconquest Coyoacan: Nahua-Spanish Relations in the Valley of Mexico. Rebecca Horn, 1997. Stanford University Press.
  • Saltillo, 1700-1810: Town and Region in the Mexican North. Leslie Offutt, 2001. University of Arizona Press.
  • Annals of His Time: Don Domingo de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin QuahtlehuantzinJames Lockhart, Susan Schroeder, and Doris Namala.
  • Visions of Paradise: Primordial Titles and Mesoamerican History in Cuernavaca, Robert Haskett, 2005, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Nudzahui History, sixteen through eighteenth centuries. 2001, Stanford University Press.
  • Transcending conquest: Nahua Views of Spanish Colonial Mexico, Stephanie Wood, 2003, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman: USA
  • Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest, Matthew Restall, 2003 Oxford University Press (2003) ISBN 0-19-516077-0
  • Mesoamerican Voices: Native Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala, Matthew Restall, Lisa Sousa, and Kevin Terraciano. 2005. Cambridge University Press.
  • Testaments of Toluca, Caterina Pizzigoni. 2007. Stanford University Press and UCLA Latin American Center Publications.
  • The Life Within: Local Indigenous Society in Mexico's Toluca Valley, 1650-1800 Caterina Pizzigoni. 2012, Stanford University Press.
  • Chimalpahin's Conquest: A Nahua Historian's Rewriting of Francisco Lopez de Gomara's La Conquista de Mexico. Domingo de san Anton Munon Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuantzin, Susan Schroeder, David Tavaez, Christian Roa de la Carrera. 2010. Stanford University Press.


References[edit]

  1. ^ M. J. Driscoll, "Creating the medieval saga: Versions, variability, and editorial interpretations of Old Norse saga literature," ed. Judy Quinn & Emily Lethbridge (Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2010), pp. 85-102, online at [1]
  2. ^ The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule> Charles Gibson, 1964 Stanford University Press
  3. ^ Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century Charles Gibson, 1952. Yale University Press
  4. ^ Nahuas After the Conquest: Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, James Lockhart, 1992. Stanford University Press.
  5. ^ Nahuatl in the Middle Years: Language contact Phenomena in Texts of the Colonial Period, Frances Karttunen & James Lockhart, 1976, University of California Press, Berkeley, California.
  6. ^ *Beyond the Codices Arthur J.O. Anderson, Frances Berdan, and James Lockhart, 1976. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  7. ^ The Testaments of Culhuacan. S.L. Cline and Miguel Leon-Portilla (Eds.) 1984. UCLA Latin American Center Nahuatl Studies Series, vol. 1.
  8. ^ Colonial Culhuacan, 1580-1600: A Social History of an Aztec Town, S.L. Cline, 1986. New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press.
  9. ^ Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Indian Town Government in Colonial Cuernavaca, Robert Haskett, 1991, University of New Mexico Press.
  10. ^ Chimalpahin and the Kingdoms of Chalco, 1991, Susan Schroeder, Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  11. ^ Codex Chimalpahin: Society and Politics in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua Altetpetl in Central Mexico. Domingo de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuantzin, Arthur J.O. Anderson, Susan Schroeder, Wayne Ruwet. 1997. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press
  12. ^ Annals of His Time: Don Domingo de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin QuahtlehuantzinJames Lockhart, Susan Schroeder, and Doris Namala.
  13. ^ The Book of Tributes: Early Sixteenth-Century Nahuatl Censuses from Morelos. S. L. Cline, 1993, Museo de Antropología e Historia, Archivo Histórico Collección Antigua, vol. 549. UCLA Latin American Center Publications.
  14. ^ Azteckischer Zensus, Zur indianischen Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft im Marquesado um 1540: Aus dem "Libro de Tributos" (Col. Ant. Ms. 551) im Archivo Historico, Mexico. 2 vols. Eike Hinz, Claudine Hartau, and Marie Luise Heimann-Koenen, eds. 1983. Hanover.
  15. ^ Life and Death in a Maya Community: The Ixil Testaments of the 1760s. Matthew Restall, 1995. Lancaster CA: Labyrinthos
  16. ^ The Maya World: Yucatec culture and society, 1550-1850. Matthew Restall. 1997, Stanford University Press.
  17. ^ The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Nudzahui History, sixteen through eighteenth centuries. 2001, Stanford University Press.
  18. ^ Lauren Lambert Jennings, "Tracing Voices: Song as Literature in Late Medieval Italy" (Ph.D. dissertation: University of Pennsylvania, 2012), p. 42, online at [2]
  • Restall, Matthew, "A History of the New Philology and the New Philology in History", Latin American Research Review - Volume 38, Number 1, 2003, pp. 113–134
  • James Lockhart, Lisa Sousa, and Stephanie Wood (eds.), Sources and Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, Provisional Version hosted by the Wired Humanities Project at the University of Oregon (2007). [3]