Class Notes 9/16

Class Topic: First Reports

Historical Analysis:

  • How does the process of European “discovery” of the Americas unfold? How do Iberian explorers present New World territories to their rulers?
  • Historical Communication: How does Meléndez structure her chapter to communicate her argument?
  • Dr.Meléndez’s argument: How does material culture shape first impressions?
  • Textual Analysis: Columbus’ journal

Dr. Mariselle Meléndez

  • Professor of Colonial Spanish American literatures and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Uses clothing as a “text” to understand colonial identities and power relationships

Writing Strategies:

  • Clear statement of argument at the beginning
  • Roadmap for chapter (not necessary for short essay)
  • Historiography:
    • They Say, I say strategy (page 18 engagement with Walter Mingolo)
  • Clearly states links between argument and evidence
  • Conclusion that reiterates central argument, explains the “so what?”

Christopher Columbus’

  • General misconceptions- people knew the earth was not flat, they just didn’t know the dimensions

German Views of Iberian Dress: Christoph Weiditz (1529)

  • emphasizes the colonialist viewpoint in writings
  • categories of difference
  • emphasis on women in culture: nudity, identity, power
  • the role of clothing in identity and power
    • Nudity in Catholicism:
      • Adam and Eve -> innocence
      • Sex (nudity = sexual available)

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