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A forum for new interdisciplinary studies on the pre-colonial and early colonial period history of indigenous cultures on the American continent.

The indigenous cultures of North, Middle and South America, including the Caribbean, have a diverse and fascinating history, reaching from the early pre-colonial past until the present. Modern multidisciplinary research investigates many social, political, economic and religious aspects, such as the population movements, the original development of agriculture, sedentary communities, chiefdoms and early states, the effects of mobility and exchange, the forms, functions and meanings of writing systems and visual art, the indigenous knowledge, technology and organisation as well as cosmovision, rituals, biology and medicine, but also the process of European colonization, which caused major destruction as well as complex intercultural dynamics and synergies. Given the importance of cultural continuity in the present, this series pays further attention to living traditions and oral literature, as well as to the present-day issues of cultural values and indigenous rights.

The Early Americas: History and Culture provides an international peer-reviewed forum for innovative contributions and synthetic standard works in the fields of archaeology, iconography and epigraphy, history, anthropology, museology, material culture and heritage studies. The editors welcome original monographs, edited volumes, source editions and translations, preferably written in English. Submissions in Spanish and French will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the series editor, Professor Corinne Hofman or to the publisher, Dr Kate Hammond.

Brill is in full support of Open Access publishing and offers the option to publish your monograph, edited volume, or chapter in Open Access. Our Open Access services are fully compliant with funder requirements. We support Creative Commons licenses. For more information, please visit Brill Open or contact us at openacess@brill.com.
The Theology of God’s Power and Its Bearing on the Western Legal Tradition, 1100–1600
With a foreword by Diego Quaglioni

This book attempts to determine the degree to which the modern fate of the Western legal tradition depends on one of the most long-standing debates of the Middle Ages, the distinction between potentia Dei absoluta and ordinata (God’s absolute and ordered power). The mediaeval investigation into God’s attributes was originally concerned with the problem of divine almightiness. It underwent a slow but steady displacement from the territory of theology to the freshly emerging proceedings of legal analysis. Here, based on the distinction, late-mediaeval lawyers worked out a new terminology to define the extent of the power-holder’s authority. This effort would give rise, during the early modern era, to the gradual establishment of the legal-political framework represented by the concepts of the prince and sovereignty.
This study presents a contrasting hypothesis concerning the genesis and development of Islam in Mexico than the one generally held across academic spheres and current historiography. It demonstrates that Colonial and Early Independent Mexico and Islam may have as well known about the existence of each other. However, within the chronological framework in which the Viceroyalty of Nueva España lived and developed there were social hindrance, geopolitical imperatives and theological impediments and cosmovisions – in both sides of the Atlantic – that created the quasi– perfect circumstances for the Islamic tradition and Mexico not to really meet. This book provides new angles of study on the theme, and with it, new historiographical approaches.
This volume presents the up-to-date results of investigations into the Asian origins of the only two language families of North America that are widely acknowledged as having likely genetic links in northern Asia. It brings together all that has been proposed to date under the respective rubrics of the Uralo-Siberian (Eskimo-Yukaghir-Uralic) hypothesis and the Dene-Yeniseian hypothesis. The evolution of the two parallel research strategies for fleshing out these linguistic links between North America and Asia are compared and contrasted. Although focusing on stringently controlled linguistic reconstructions, the volume draws upon archaeological and human genetic data where relevant.
The Bourbon monarchs who ascended the Spanish throne in 1700 attempted to reform the colonial system they had inherited, and, in particular, to make administration more efficient and cost-effective. This book analyses one aspect of the Bourbon reforms, which was the efforts to transform frontier missions, to make the missions more cost-effective, and to accelerate the integration of indigenous peoples in northern Mexico to European cultural norms. In some instances, the Crown had funded missions for more than a century, but with minimal results. The book attempts to show how the mission programs changed, and what the consequences – especially demographic – were for the indigenous peoples brought to live on the missions.
Volume Editor: Alessia Frassani
This volume explores how visual arts functioned in the indigenous pre- and post-conquest New World as vehicles of social, religious, and political identity. Twelve scholars in the field of visual arts examine indigenous artistic expressions in the American continent from the pre-Hispanic age to the present. The contributions offer new interpretations of materials, objects, and techniques based on a critical analysis of historical and iconographic sources and argue that indigenous agency in the continent has been primarily conceived and expressed in visual forms in spite of the textual epistemology imposed since the conquest.

Contributors are: Miguel Arisa, Mary Brown, Ananda Cohen-Aponte, Elena FitzPatrick Sifford, Alessia Frassani, Jeremy James George, Orlando Hernández Ying, Angela Herren Rajagopalan, Keith Jordan, Lorena Tezanos Toral, Marcus B. Burke, and Lawrence Waldron.
Editor: Pierino Gallo
Le statut polygraphique et la structure hétérogène de l’Histoire des deux Indes invitent à réexaminer les méthodes et les stratégies employées par les rédacteurs, et amènent à lire le texte dans une double perspective : celle dictée par la tradition historiographique et celle suggérée, en parallèle, par les intrusions du discours philosophique. C’est ce dernier aspect que tâchent d’interroger les études ici réunies, en mettant l’accent sur le recyclage des sources et le croisement des voix textuelles (ce qui finit par « mettre en scène » une pluralité de visions sur les thématiques traitées), sur les phénomènes rhétoriques utilisés par les auteurs (apostrophes, commentaires, dialogues fictifs et apartés), et/ou sur les figures qui marquent la narration d’une polyphonie subjective.

The polygraphic status and the heterogeneous structure of the Histoire des deux Indes invite us to re-examine the methods and strategies employed by the editors, and lead us to read the text from a double perspective: that dictated by the historiographical tradition and that suggested, in parallel, by the intrusions of philosophical discourse. It is this latter aspect that the articles gathered here attempt to examine, focusing on the recycling of sources and the crossing of textual voices (which ends up "staging" a plurality of visions on the themes treated), on the rhetorical phenomena used by the authors (apostrophes, commentaries, fictitious dialogues and asides), and/or on the figures that mark the narrative with a subjective polyphony.
From the late sixteenth century until their expulsion in 1767, members of the Society of Jesus played an important role in the urban life of Spanish America and as administrators of frontier missions. This study examines the organization of the Society of Jesus in Spanish America in large provinces, as well as the different urban institutions such as colegios and frontier missions. It outlines the spiritual and educational activities in cities. The Jesuits supported the royal initiative to evangelize indigenous populations on the frontiers, but the outcomes that did not always conform to expectations. One reason for this was the effect of diseases such as smallpox on the indigenous populations. Finally, it examines the 1767 expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish territories. Some died before leaving the Americas or at sea. The majority reached Spain and were later shipped to exile in the Papal States.
In Giles Firmin and the Transatlantic Puritan Tradition, Jonathan Warren Pagán offers an intellectual biography of Giles Firmin (1613/14–1697), who lived in both Old and New England and lived through many of the transitions of international puritanism in the seventeenth century. By contextualizing Firmin in his intellectual milieu, Warren Pagán also offers a unique vantage on the transition of puritanism to Dissent in late Stuart England, surveying changing approaches to ecclesiology, pastoral theology, and the ordo salutis among the godly during the Restoration through Firmin’s writings.
Governance and Promotion in John Winthrop’s New England (1620–1650)
Author: Agnès Delahaye
Settling the Good Land: Governance and Promotion in John Winthrop’s New England (1620-1650) is the first institutional history of the Massachusetts Bay Company, cornerstone of early modern English colonisation in North America. Agnès Delahaye analyses settlement as a form of colonial innovation, to reveal the political significance of early New England sources, above and beyond religion. John Winthrop was not just a Puritan, but a settler governor who wrote the history of the expansion of his company as a record of successful and enduring policy. Delahaye argues that settlement, as the action and the experience of appropriating the land, is key to understanding the role played by Winthrop’s writings in American historiography, before independence and in our times.