Firsting in the Early-Modern Atlantic World  book cover
1st Edition

Firsting in the Early-Modern Atlantic World

Edited By

Lauren Beck

ISBN 9781032092065
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
276 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations


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Book Description

For centuries, historians have narrated the arrival of Europeans using terminology (discovery, invasion, conquest, and colonization) that emphasizes their agency and disempowers that of Native Americans. This book explores firsting, a discourse that privileges European and settler-colonial presence, movements, knowledges, and experiences as a technology of colonization in the early modern Atlantic world, 1492-1900. It exposes how textual culture has ensured that Euro-settlers dominate Native Americans, while detailing misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples as unmodern and proposing how the western world can be un-firsted in scholarship on this time and place.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Firsting and the Architecture of Decolonizing Scholarship on the Early-Modern Atlantic World

Lauren Beck

Part I: The Foundations for Firsting in Historiography and Literature

1. John Dee, Humphrey Gilbert, and Richard Hakluyt’s Erasure of Native Americans

Nate Probasco

2. The Last of the First? Madness and the Jungle in the Chronicles of the Indies: Lope de Aguirre and His Writing

Manuel Lucena Giraldo

3. Dying in their Own Minds: Firsting and Lasting in the Early Jesuit Work with the Tupi Language in Brazil

Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá

4. Literacy and Colonial Beginnings: Inca Garcilaso’s Story of the Letter in Context

Julián Díez Torres

Part II: Modernity and Unfamiliarity as Firsting Principles

5. The Grammar of Inanimacy: Frances Brooke and the Production of North American Settler States

Rachel Bryant

6. Firsting and Lasting in the History of Science: Francisco José de Caldas and the Priority Dispute over Hypsometry

Jorge M. Escobar

7. History and Progress: Regional Identity and the Useable Past in Nova Scotia, 1857-1877

Nicolas Haisell

8. The Afterlife of Settler-Colonial Occupation: Archaeological Excavation as Militarization in the United States-Mexico Borderlands

Claire Urbanski

Part III: Un-Firsting the West

9. American Indian Discovery

Jonathan DeCoster

10. Unsettling Spanish Atlantic History: Experiences of the Colonized Through Visual and Material Culture

Lauren Beck

11. "This Is an Indigenous City": Un-Firsting Early Representations of Vancouver

Ashley Caranto Morford

12. Native American Contributions to Democracy, Marxism, Feminism, Gender Fluidity, and Environmentalism

Bruce E. Johansen

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Lauren Beck holds the Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter and is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at Mount Allison University.


"A valuable, trendsetting collection for all college libraries."

-R. Berleant-Schiller, emerita, University of Connecticut, Highly Recommended CHOICE