So far this semester, I have been intrigued by the effect of European colonization on Native people’s perception towards their use of crops, agriculture, and eating habits. Obviously, we have seen how native people internalized sentiments of inferiority in relation to colonizers and therefore shifted many of their practices, and I would doubt that this did not also extend to the gastronomy of the indigenous people of Latin America. I would also analyze food and recipes as material culture to see how they have been preserved and/or lost over time.
Therefore, I would pose the question, How did the enforcement of new norms and laws throughout society by European colonizers impact the gastronomy of indigenous Latin American peoples?
I’m interested in researching how colonial powers used religion as part of cultural imperialism in the middle and later colonial period in Latin America. I would hope to find primary sources from different ethnic and socioeconomic groups and their views on religious practice. Looking at the spread of Christianity, from King Ferdinand’s claim of God giving his monarchy power over the “new world” to continued missionary efforts, may shed light on religious difference today.
I have been thinking of researching the topic of mapmaking, specifically how it started, and its uses in the colonization of the New World, as cartography has always been something I’m interested in.
One idea for a research question that I have is “How did French and Spanish colonizers in Colonial Hispaniola create differing conceptions of race?” I believe that this question is important to understanding Colonial Latin America because it allows for comparison between racial hierarchical systems which develop and remain relevant today. Furthermore, it allows for comparison between how two different colonizing groups viewed mixed-race children. Mixed-race children were prevalent throughout the colonies, and you can tell a lot about the colonizers, and about modern day society in those areas based on how mixed-race children were seen during the colonial era.
A topic that I am interested in is the Mapuche in modern day Chile. I am curious about the conflict between the Mapuche and the Spanish settlers turned Chileans. One possible research question could be, what impact did the conflict with the Spanish have on the Mapuche. Clearly there is an answer but I would like to further explore the lasting impact of the conflict
A potential research question : How did music shape the development of culture in Latin America?
I have always wondered about the impact music has had on history in different parts of the world. I enjoy music and play music a lot and that is why I find the topic so interesting. I would be interested to see if there was a development of music styles special to the area much like the United States with Jazz for example. I also do wonder though if there is enough information that can be found to create solid research.
One area of research I am interested in is how colonization impacted gender roles in Latin America, specifically in the Andes. In our book we read that before colonization women and men in the Andes had separate roles but that both were valued as equally important unlike the European gender roles at the time. I am curious about how women’s lives changed after the colonizers took over and how they effected the gender dynamic within the native tribes. I think it would be interesting to see if they embraced the European ideals of separate spheres or if they continued to value both genders and the ways they contributed to society as equally important. I would also like to further explore gender roles in modern day Latin America to see the evolution and the impacts that the Europeans had or did not have on this issue.
I am also interested in Catholicism in Latin America and looking deeper into the work of missionaries after the initial colonization. I do not have anything specific that I am interested in but I have read about missionaries in other parts of the world but I do not know much about the missionaries in Latin America. I would like to learn more about the tactics that were used by missionaries and how they may have compared to missionaries that went to other places in the world.
What influence has the colonial era of Argentina had on modern day Argentinian society (culture, politics, language, values)?
I think this question in important to our understanding of colonial latin america, as through the answering of this question one could understand the roots that colonialism planted in the “new world” societies and how they’ve continued to have an effect to this day. I really enjoy this topic because it delves into the history of modern day Argentina, all the way back to colonial times. But, I also understand that it might not be what you’re looking for.
If that is not what youre looking for, an alternative question is:
What impact did the arguments of Las Casas have on the conquestidors and their future in Latin America?
I think that this question would be very interesting for our understanding of colonial latin america becuase Las Casas was one of the first docummented and powerful/respected man to stand up against the pratices of the conquestidors, as he recoginized the injustice beign done. Although he was not considered to have won the debate, it would be interesting to research his impact.
I think one potential research question that I would possibly like to follow is how the colonization of Latin America changed the environment. I think this is important to study because this time period of colonialism is when environments started to change and really be disturbed by humans. I know that many of the indigenous empires did farm and cultivate the lands, so I am also curious about how the Europeans changed the way that the native people used land. We also know that because of the die-off of millions of people during this time caused the land to be reclaimed by forests and cooled the atmosphere. I am excited to learn more about different environmental changes.
One of the research avenues I am toying with pursuing is to review colonial Latin American conquest dramas such as The End of Atau Wallpa and The Loa for the Auto Sacramental of The Divine Narcissus. How do these conquest dramas express the attitudes of the native peoples toward colonization, and how do those performative reflections stack up to primary documents detailing those same attitudes?
In my major, it is important to recognize the importance of pieces of drama from parts of the world that are not Europe. And further, in recognizing those records as historically relevant, they are made all the more important in academia; we should study the texts in the same ways as we study Shakespeare.