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Kohler Report: Dr. Peter B. Villella’s visit to Seville, Spain
By Dr. Peter B. Villella, Assistant Professor, Department of History
With the support of a Kohler Award for international travel from the International Programs Center at UNCG, I went to Seville, Spain during the summer of 2012 (May 15 to July 15) to conduct research at the General Archive of the Indies (AGI). The AGI is the principal repository for the mass of official documentation produced by the Spanish Empire between ca.1492 and 1898. As my research centers on colonial Mexico, Seville was a necessary destination for me as I work on my book manuscript in progress, entitled “In Search of a White Legend: Native Lords and the Politics of History in Colonial Mexico.”
My primary research goal was to complete a database that I have been compiling since I was a graduate student. I spent the majority of my time at the AGI examining records from its Justicia collection, most of which consisted of transcripts of land and tax disputes from the first decades of Spanish rule in Mexico, from ca. 1531 to 1560. Specifically, I was interested in the accounts of Mexico’s native leaders who presented themselves before colonial officials and demanded the partial restoration of their patrimonies, which had been lost during the Spanish conquest several decades earlier. The documents I studied form the core of the first chapter of my book manuscript. They confirmed that indigenous elites developed a rhetoric of justice and a tradition of engagement with Spanish authorities almost as soon as the dust had settled from conquest-era violence.
The Kohler Award helped support a very important and fruitful research trip. I am very grateful to all those who made this trip possible, and I am honored by IPC’s confidence in me.
Faculty funding for international activities
A portion of the Kohler Fund, established in 1991 with a bequest from the estate of Phyllis Penn Kohler, class of 1930, is dedicated to supporting faculty internationalization efforts in six areas (research, teaching, internationalizing the curriculum, student programs, special projects and institutional linkages). Faculty are encouraged to submit proposals by the deadline that falls approximately six weeks before the proposed event or travel. To facilitate faculty submissions, the Committee has four deadlines per year for all six areas. The deadlines for the 2013-2014 academic year are as follows: September 20, October 25, January 17, and March 21. Details about the procedure for applying and the forms needed can be found on the IPC website at /fundingopportunities.html. To see others who have received a Kohler award in the 2012-13 fiscal year, please click here. We look forward to receiving and reviewing next year’s proposals.