JCB Fellow's Talk: Emiro Martinez-Osorio

August 2, 2017 - 4:00pm

Emiro Martinez-Osorio (York University), José Amor y Vázquez Fellow

"Seeing, Naming, and Remembering: The Maps of the Provinces of Tunja and Santa Fe by Indigenous Chieftain Diego de Torres"

Diego de Torres (1549-1590) was the son of Doña Catalina de Moyachoque, the eldest sister of the Muisca chieftain of Turmequé, and Juan de Torres, a Spanish explorer and conquistador. Since chiefly succession within Muisca tradition was matrilineal, Torres inherited the title of ethnic lord (cacique) and served as chieftain for approximately four years. However, as a result of a legal dispute, Torres was stripped of his right and, at one point, was imprisoned. This presentation explores the significance of two maps produced by chieftain Diego de Torres as part of a broader effort to understand how native elites interacted with literacy in the New Kingdom of Granada in the sixteenth century. When examined in this manner, Torres’ maps emerge as texts whose interplay between words and images offers a critique of the Spanish imperial ideology of mapping, according to which, in the words of Barbara Mundy, “knowing was predicated on seeing."

The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 p.m.