This vast advent to Colonial American literatures brings out the comparative and transatlantic nature of the writing of this era and highlights the interactions among local, non-scribal teams, and Europeans that helped to form early American writing.
Situates the writing of this era in its a variety of historic and cultural contexts, together with colonialism, imperialism, diaspora, and country formation.
Highlights interactions among local, non-scribal teams and Europeans through the early centuries of exploration.
Covers a variety of techniques to defining and studying early American writing.
Looks on the improvement of neighborhood spheres of impact within the 17th and eighteenth centuries.
Serves as an important adjunct to Castillo and Schweitzer's 'The Literatures of Colonial the US: An Anthology' (Blackwell Publishing, 2001).
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Additional info for A Companion to the Literatures of Colonial America
It is also useful to scrutinize historical accounts of indigenous women such as Dona Marina in Bernal Dı´az del Castillo’s History of the Conquest of New Spain or Pocahontas in John Smith’s Generall Historie of Virginia with an eye to the colonial politics of gender. Contemporary Native writers suggest that these famous figures were driven to ally themselves with powerful European colonists not out of overwhelming passion but rather to fulfill their own traditional values, diplomatic responsibilities, and political ambitions (Allen 2003).
Mayan and Mixtec peoples of preconquest Mexico and Central America also produced screenfold books now known as codices, which scribes called tlacuilos, imprinted with pictographs, ideographs, and phonetic symbols, as well as graphic indicators such as scale and position and chromatic indicators such as color to direct readers of the screenfolds. Spanish priests and conquistadors ordered the burning of Mixtec and Mayan libraries during the first two decades of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, between 1520 and 1540, destroying the archives of these indigenous literature cultures.
Clearly, one might choose (as I obviously did in yoking the political and economic in the first commonality I listed) to pair more than one feature as a combined point of entry into the others. These moves are never uninterested – they invariably involve explicit or implicit theories about why one chooses one commonality as the explanatory frame for the others. Whether comparison leads to similarities or differences, to parallelisms, to shared influences or to overarching systems, comparison invariably depends on the modes of entry that at once enable and condition it.
A Companion to the Literatures of Colonial America