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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Event Archive

Hands of God: Evangelisation and Visual Representation in Juan de la Cruz's Doctrina Christiana

18th November 2014, 17:30, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library, Dr Yari Perez Marin, Durham University

followed by a drinks reception at the Cafe, Palace Green Library.

This event is part of the IMEMS Limits of the Human seminar series for 2014/15. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place click here

Abstract: Juan de la Cruz's 1571 Doctrina christiana en la lengua guasteca co[n] la lengua castellana is one of the 131 texts known to have been printed in New Spain before 1600 that survive to this day. Because their explicit purpose was religious conversion, paradoxically, doctrinas often had to afford greater space to indigenous languages and understandings than did other period sources in their attempts to negotiate meaning and propose trans-cultural equivalencies. Cruz stands out in his appropriation and refashioning of the medieval Guidonian hand, which he repeatedly inscribes both in Castilian and Huastec. This talk will examine the uses as well as limits of this strategy in its given historical context, considering also that Cruz's work became the most profusely illustrated book printed in Mexico in the sixteenth century.

Yarí Pérez Marín specializes in colonial Latin American literature and culture. She has received awards from the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and has been a fellow-in-residence at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, RI. In her upcoming book project, Marvels of Medicine: Literature and Scientific Inquiry in Early Colonial Spanish America,1565-1592, she examines texts written in Spain and colonial Mexico in which American nature takes center stage in the ongoing feud between Renaissance humanism and experiential modes of knowledge-production. Her analysis makes a case for the incorporation of scientific writing into current discussions on early modern historiography and literature.

Contact admin.imems@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.