Stephanie Wooden begins Transcending Conquest with a twelve-page foreword through which she describes not solely her methodology and supply base, but in addition her motivations for pursuing this challenge. Maybe as a preemptive defense-she notes that some would possibly dismiss her as “missing enough authority” to strategy the Nahuatl codices as an American English-speaker-Wooden spends an excessive amount of her introduction describing childhood experiences with Mexican migrant employees earlier than turning her consideration to extra technical issues (ix). This decidedly casual introduction appears oddly folksy, and nearly jarring, when the reader strikes from these pages into Wooden’s rationalization of her methodology and the meant objective of her analysis. She largely confines secondary sources and historiographical data to this preface and to her finish notes; there’s little context given in regards to the conquest itself, besides when related to a selected scene or determine.
Transcending Conquest contains six chapters, every transferring ahead in time to a selected chronological level when a selected sort of codex or manuscript was almost definitely composed and was most prevalent. She consists of a number of examples of every supply sort, and weaves illustrations all through the textual content quite than confining them to an insert someplace close to the e-book’s center. Thus, within the chapter describing codices written closest to the precise date of the conquest, a pictograph of a Spaniard battling an indigenous warrior seems simply earlier than Wooden’s evaluation of that pictograph. As she states in her preface, Wooden appears to be like past the extra apparent elements of indigenous portrayals of Spaniards to notice that these portrayals ceaselessly belie the standard assumption that the Aztecs and different indigenous teams regarded the Spanish as gods returned from the heavens.
Wooden explicitly states that she intends to write down not a monolithic treatise on indigenous views of the Spanish conquest and colonial interval, however quite a collection of chapters that perform as thematically associated essays drawing from a typical indigenous supply base. Maybe appropriately given the gradual introduction of alphabetic writing to Nahua “author-artists,” Wooden employs solely pictorial sources in her preliminary chapters, incorporating manuscripts and different textual sources because the e-book progresses from the conquest interval to the colonial (23). Her chosen pictographs and scenes come from codices in archives situated in each the Americas and France.
Wooden carefully reads her chosen sources-she argues that pictographs can certainly be learn, since they largely serve the identical perform as alphabetic texts-for clues and insights maybe missed by others who may need dismissed or downplayed the significance of pictorial proof, given the frequent European choice for word-based supplies. She doesn’t categorically exclude textual sources, however within the chapter coping with títulos, written paperwork detailing a city’s rights to say sure allotments of land, Wooden seems barely much less assured than in these about codices and mapas, paperwork combining textual and pictographic parts to narrate native histories and genealogies.
Transcending Conquest is maybe a bit temporary, with solely 162 pages of textual content, together with the preface; Wooden’s notes and bibliography are fairly hefty by comparability, taking over fifty-three further pages. Regardless of her said preliminary trepidation, Wooden succeeds together with her argument that there are additional clues to be present in indigenous codices and manuscripts, even for these inherently outdoors the discursive framework of indigeneity.