Thèse : Sahagún as worldmaker : an epistemological approach to the gender bias in colonial Mexican documents


  • Jacqueline, Rodenburg
  • Jansen, M.E.R.G.N. Directeur


The Florentine Codex is used in many studies to provide information on Mesoamerican social life, and as complementing and reaffirming archaeological data. However, the information in the chronicle has been filtered through a masculine lens and interpreted by a Spanish friar. To understand the possible influences of Sahagún’s representations of Mesoamerican gender relations, Goodman’s ways of worldmaking (1978) will be applied. This theory provides insights into the processes of knowledge creation which helps us to make sense of the way Mesoamerican culture is presented in the document. The inclusion of a description of early modern Spanish gender roles and ideals reveals, and urges us to rethink, the Spaniard’s and our own conceptual framed assumptions on gender categories. Next to this, additional data is needed to confirm or reject statements made in the Spanish document: colonial native documents will be compared and complemented, as providing insider views, experiences and practices of the ideal described in the Florentine Codex. Furthermore the purpose, application and addressees of the Florentine Codex guided the represented information towards an attempt of creating a new world made out of the ideals from a Western male worldview. Understanding how the new world is created out of the familiar Spanish conceptual frame, and of what this view is composed of, provides insight in how gender roles and man-woman relations are portrayed, identified and categorised and why specific aspects are left out or accentuated. Knowing this, and the realisation of the knowledge in the document, enables us to look more critical and in concrete ways to the document before we typify something as a Mesoamerican gender category.

Références bibliographiques

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de la valorisation et des données de la recherche > Coordination de la recherche > Délégation à la Stratégie et à la recherche > Bibliothèque nationale de France

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