Lecture Series: Between Invisibility and Autonomy
Wann: Mo, 16.01.2023, 18:00 Uhr bis 20:00 Uhr
Wo: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
Between Invisibility and Autonomy: Negotiating Gender Roles in Manuscript Cultures
Vanished from the Pages: The Female Scribe in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis and the Transformation of Mexican Manuscript Cultures in the Early Colonial Period
Dr Anna Boroffka (KEK, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin / Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Universität Hamburg)
Pre-conquest sources and material artefacts indicate that women were involved in the production and ritual use of books in Maya and Aztec societies. However, in Mexican manuscripts from the early colonial period (1521 to ca. 1600), women’s involvement in book production is almost invisible and overlaid with colonial narratives and images suggesting a male tradition of the professions of scribes, soothsayers and priests creating and interpreting manuscripts. Based on the few surviving sources, including the tomb of a Maya woman buried with book-making tools at Xultún, female scribes shown on Maya vases from the Classic period (ca. 250–900) and the depiction of a female Aztec scribe in the early colonial Codex Telleriano-Remensis (1560s), the lecture reconstructs how women’s participation in Mexican manuscript production changed under Spanish rule as the role of Mexican women was redefined with the introduction of the Christian faith and the establishment of a new colonial society.