151: Rhetoric of Contact and Conquest
Instructor(s) Michael Wintroub
The first European observers of America saw a world populated alternatively by savages or by angels; they saw peoples apparently without laws, religion, rulers, or indeed clothes. Yet much of what they saw was conditioned by what they expected to see. This course will explore the social and intellectual world(s) of those who first came to the Americas. It will follow these explorers, conquerors and chroniclers on their journeys from the Old World to the New, and will analyze not simply their impact on the New World, but how their experiences were translated into histories that fundamentally changed the way “Europeans” thought about themselves.