W 09/21: Since Time Immemorial: Native Custom and Law in Colonial Mexico Workshop

The Interdisciplinary Workshop in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and the Emory Department of History hosts the first event of their Fall 2022 Colonial/Postcolonial Seminar Series with Professor Yanna Yannakakis. She will present a section of her forthcoming book, Since Time Immemorial: Native Custom and Law in Colonial Mexico.

Since Time Immemorial traces the invention, translation, and deployment of Native custom as a legal category and strategy of empire in colonial Mexico. After the Spanish conquest, custom represented the primary mode through which Indigenous communities governed themselves and interfaced with authorities outside the community from the early 16th c. until independence from Spain in 1821. This book examines how the European category of custom was given local meaning, how it became part of the fabric of Indigenous communal life and a potent claim in Spanish courts, and how its purview changed and narrowed over time.

Professor Yannakakis’ Bio: Her research explores the social and cultural history of colonial Latin America, the history of Mexico, ethnohistory, the history of legal systems, and the interaction of indigenous peoples and institutions in Mexico. Her first book, The Art of Being In-Between: Native Intermediaries, Indian Identity, and Local Rule in Colonial Oaxaca (Duke University Press, 2008) examines how native cultural brokers negotiated with Spanish courts and the Catholic Church to open and maintain a space for the political and cultural autonomy of indigenous elites and their communities during Mexico’s colonial period. This book was awarded the 2009 Howard Francis Cline Memorial Award given by the Conference on Latin American History for the best book on the history of Latin America’s indigenous peoples.

Time: Wednesday, September 21st, 4pm-6pm EST

Location: Anthropology Building, Room 206

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Emory History Department. For questions, and if you would like to read a background chapter of Yannakakis’ book, please contact Hugo Hansen at hugo [dot] hansen [at] emory [dot] edu