Know Mexico: Myths and Realities of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  9/4/2012

Robert HaskettThe Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most significant campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Join historian Robert Haskett at the Sunriver Area Public Library on Friday, September 14, at 12:00 p.m. for a compelling new look the Aztec Empire under Spanish Rule. This is a free presentation as part of September’s “Know Mexico” series of programs at the Deschutes Public Library.

The time-honored approach taken when writing about the Spanish invasion of Mexico is to emphasize the conquistadores’ destructive power and the inability of indigenous societies to withstand this European onslaught. Over the centuries a number of enduring tales and stereotypes about the conquest have taken shape that have taken on the quality of myth—a process that has diminished its complexities, often depicting indigenous peoples as helpless objects of Spanish expansionist desire.

Now, thanks to the increasing use of exciting new kinds of sources written by surviving indigenous peoples themselves, it is possible to test these myths, to grasp why they have enjoyed so much staying power, and how they can be explored in ways that bring us to a better understanding of what really happened after Hernando Cortes landed in Mexico on that fateful day in 1519.

Robert Haskett is a Professor in the Department of History at University of Oregon in Eugene. He specializes in the history of Mexico during the colonial centuries. Haskett’s has a particular interest in the ways in which Mexico’s indigenous peoples confronted, made sense of, and coped with military conquest and Spanish rule. He has studied manuscripts written in the Nahuatl, or Aztec, language since his graduate days at University of California at Los Angeles, and has been teaching at the University of Oregon since 1987.

For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Tina at 541-312-1034.

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