Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

The Early Modern Amazon: Indigenous Histories from Above and Below

Monday, October 17, 2016

4:00pm – 6:30pm

MacMillan Reading Room, John Carter Brown Library.

When does Amazonian history begin? Certainly not with Francisco Pizarro or other European “conquistadors” that began to traverse the vast interiors of South America in the early sixteenth century. Recent research by Amazonian archaeologists has demonstrated the existence of indigenous populations in the Amazon stretching back millennia, with sophisticated urban structures and dynamic relationships with their tropical surroundings. Anthropologists have demonstrated that Amerindian communities in Amazonia have their own temporal framework for recounting historical events, as well as intricate worldviews that differ radically from Western ontological notiobs. So what contributions can early modern Amazonian history – a period roughly from 1500-1800 – make to the indigenous history of this region? A discussion with some of the world’s leading experts on Amazonian anthropology, archaeology, and history will shed light on the early modern Amazon and its indigenous histories.

Participants: Karl Heinz Arenz (Universidade Federal do Pará & JCB Collaborative Fellow) Rafael Chambouleyron (Universidade Federal do Pará & JCB Collaborative Fellow) Carlos Fausto (Museu Nacional/UFRJ, Brazil) Eduardo Neves (University of São Paulo/Harvard University) Marcy Norton (George Washington University & JCB Long-Term Fellow) Heather Roller (Colgate University) Neil Safier (John Carter Brown Library).

4-5:30 Roundtable discussion with Karl Heinz Arenz, Rafael Chambouleyron, Carlos Fausto, Eduardo Neves, and Marcy Norton.

5:30-6:30 Lecture and Book Presentation: “Amazonian Routes: Indigenous Mobility and Colonial Communities in Northern Brazil,” Stanford University Press, 2014, Heather F. Roller. Comments by Rafael Chambouleyron and Neil Safier.