Interdisciplinary Symposia on Latin America

Documenting and Structuring Knowledge Outside of European Forms


Documenting and Structuring Knowledge Outside of European Forms


Download Conference Program (0 B)

Download Conference Flyer (0 B)


Following the publication of Ángel Rama’s La ciudad letrada (1984), many scholars worked from the premise that writing entered the “New World” as the instrument of authority and domination. The vision that divides colonial society and knowledge systems into a European lettered city and an illiterate colonized population that recorded knowledge only in oral traditions has become increasingly challenged and nuanced since Elizabeth Boone and Walter Mignolo’s Writing without Words (1994). This panel further explores the expansion of notions of literacy to the practices of knowledge-keeping by indigenous and mestizo communities long considered illiterate, where, in fact, writing emerged early in the colonial period, in conjunction with other material media of record keeping and knowledge production, such as map-making and cord-knotting, as communities constructed the local and contested state authority.


Media is loading

Publication Date



"Authority and Identity in Colonial Ibero-America" is a two-day, interdisciplinary symposium which brings to UNM eight prominent colonial scholars from History, Art History, and Literary and Cultural Studies for an interdisciplinary dialogue.

The symposium is made possible by Dr. Richard E. Greenleaf's generous endowment to the LAII and the LAII's US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant.

Documenting and Structuring Knowledge Outside of European Forms