Thèse : Theaters of rule, theaters of resistance: Franciscan discourses of spiritual conquest in colonial Yucatán, 1541–1688


  • Enriquez, Alejandro
  • Spadaccini, Nicholas (dir.)


This dissertation examines issues of power and representation in colonial Yucatán, primarily as expressed through the writings of Franciscan missionaries. My thesis is two-fold: first, I will show that the Spanish conquest of Maya society in the colonial outpost of the Yucatán yields distinct power relations among the conquistadors, the encomenderos (the Spanish settlers given large tracts of lands to be worked by the indigenous), and the Franciscan missionaries sent to convert the native population to Christianity; second, I will examine how missionary texts reveal an image of what I will call the friar-conquistador and how the writing itself belies what I term colonial anxiety, i.e. gestures within the text that seek to eliminate by any and all means necessary the perceived threat posed by the other (in this case, the Maya) to the identity of the friars and the truths (religious and political) that they held sacred. My approach is interdisciplinary, draws on Mayanist and colonial history and ethnography, but it is grounded in a discourse analysis of literary texts that at once places them in their context of production and circulation and reads them both for their explicit meanings and their ideological underpinnings. The first part of the dissertation details the historical context of the Yucatán and the theoretical debates in colonial studies that will be in play; the second part delves into a textual analysis of three Franciscan missionaries, Diego de Landa, Bernardo de Lizana, and Diego López de Cogulludo.

Informations pratiques

  • University of Minnesota, 2010, 1 vol. (309 p.).
  • Thèse de doctorat : philosophie : University of Minnesota : 2010.

Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2020, 30 décembre). Thèse : Theaters of rule, theaters of resistance: Franciscan discourses of spiritual conquest in colonial Yucatán, 1541–1688. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 20 juin 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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