Event by The Bibliographical Society of America

Bibliographical Legacies: Reproduction & the Mesoamerican Book

Bibliographical Legacies: Reproduction & the Mesoamerican Book

Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (EST)
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The Mesoamerican book inhabits multiple bibliographical spaces that defy simple descriptions and straightforward categorization.  Media made from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries where Indigenous poets, priests, historians, intellectuals, translators, and artists stored and transmitted knowledge in pictorial and alphabetic formats, Mesoamerican books lived on in new editions tied to narratives of empire and state formation that decontextualized their original use to fulfill political or religious agendas. Participants will analyze a range of reproductions that include: the silencing of Mesoamerican scribal traditions and the invention of colonial ignorance in Alexander von Humboldt’s thirty-two volume, Le voyage aux régions equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, fait en 1799–1804; Mexican print technologies that repurposed Mesoamerican books in works such as Vicente Riva Palacio’s Mexico a través de los siglos (1882); the postcolonial life of the Pintura del gobernador, alcaldes y regidores de México that outlined abuses by Spanish authorities; and the Florentine Codex Initiative, an interactive digital platform that examines a sixteenth-century Mexican manuscript produced collaboratively by Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and a team of Nahua authors and artists.  

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Moderator: Alex Hidalgo, Associate Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Texas Christian University


  • Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Dominique Polanco, Research Associate, Department of Religion and Culture, Virginia Tech
  • Kim N. Richter, Senior Research Specialist, Getty Research Institute
  • Corinna Zeltsman, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Georgia Southern University

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English & Spanish Subtitling Courtesy of

Event hosted by

The Bibliographical Society of America
67 West Street, Suite 401 Unit C17
Brooklyn, NY, 11222
Erin McGuirl, Executive Director

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