Professor Covarrubias, Professor Gamboa
SECTION ONE: Indigenous Mesoamerica
b. To what extent has the history of Mesoamerica been taught from a Eurocentric perspective? What theories, ideas, and/or terminology are problematic when trying to assert an Indigenous perspective? (For example: Bering Strait, Malintzin, Cuauhtemoc, Human Sacrifice...there are many more examples!)
In the United States the history of Mesoamerica has always been included in textbooks and lectures around the nation. The parts of the history that are included, however, are what is often put into question. While writing any piece or publishing any book there will always be a set bias. There is only so much you
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The main point of reference that textbooks usually take is that countless indigenous people were killed by disease. While evidenced, and probably the biggest cause of deaths during the conquest the brutal genocide that took place as well is hardly referenced, and if it is many of the methods used are excluded. The reason for this is often cited to be that the atrocities committed are too gruesome and violent to be taught when the material presented to developing students. Meanwhile the same aged students are presented with similar information when informed about different Holocausts. That said, even text with seemingly non-Eurocentric views have struggles in relaying what really happened and how it came to be. For example, as Carrasco points out, many of the students he taught at Harvard came in to his lectures having read “True History of the Conquest of New Spain”, by Bernal Diaz de Castillo. Once known as the end all truth for what really happened, Carrasco points out some inaccuracies. One example being that there weren’t just 500 Spaniards against an entire civilization but rather the Spaniards recruited and forced many of the indigenous people to fight against their own. If these inaccuracies can be found in what is supposed to be the most sound of text then it is easy to see why the unfortunate Eurocentric views are still prevalent.