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Professor Matthew Restall
Title: Turning Cortés and Moctezuma upside down

Abstract: The first meeting of Cortés and Moctezuma in 1519 is famous and familiar, generally taken to be the act of surrender that the conquistador claimed it was. But what if Moctezuma did not surrender?  What if the events of that day, and those that surrounded it, have been depicted in ways that created a false image of the conquistador and emperor?  How might our understanding of the entire Spanish Conquest be altered if we turn upside down the stereotypes that comprise the mythical Cortés and Moctezuma?  Might our assumptions about all well-known historical moments be thereby challenged?

Bio: Matthew Restall is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History at the Pennsylvania State University, and co-editor of Ethnohistory.  His twenty books focus on three areas: colonial Mesoamerica, primarily Yucatan and the Maya; Africans in Spanish America; and the Spanish Conquest.  His work on Maya history includes The Maya World (1997), Maya Conquistador (1998) and 2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse (2011, with Amara Solari).  His books on Afro-Spanish America include The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan, which won the CLAH prize for 2009's best book on Mexican history.  His contributions to the New Conquest History include Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest (2003), Invading Guatemala (2007) - published in Penn State Press' Latin American Originals series, of which he is editor - and The Conquistadors (2011, with Felipe Fernández-Armesto).  He is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, where he is writing books on Belize and on Cortés and Moctezuma.


Professor Javier Auyero
Title: Towards a political sociology of urban marginality

Abstract: This talk reviews the main themes that underlined two decades of (mostly, ethnographic) research and outlines the contours of a political sociology of urban marginality. Political clientelism, its relationship with collective action, the role of clandestine connections in politics, environmental suffering, poor people’s waiting as way of experiencing political domination, and the concatenated form that violence acquires at the urban margins: the talk will cover these (admittedly, very broad) topics and, based on the lessons learned in the field, will propose ways of improving our social scientific understanding and explanation of urban marginality in Latin America.

Bio: Javier Auyero is Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Professor in Latin American Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Poor People’s Politics (Duke University Press), Contentious Lives (Duke University Press), Routine Politics and Violence in Argentina (Cambridge University Press), and Patients of the State (Duke University Press). Together with Débora Swistun, he is the author of Flammable (Oxford University Press), and more recently, with María Fernanda Berti, of La Violencia en los Márgenes (Katz Ediciones). Javier has been the editor of the journal Qualitative Sociology and he is currently the editor of the book series Global and Comparative Ethnographies at Oxford University Press.