When the natives spoke Latin

Culture - 23 April 2024

May 22 a meeting with Professor Serge Gruzinski, Director of Studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales

On May 22, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., in Room 131 (IULM 1), IULM University, through the Culture and Science of Sustainability Research Center and the Euresis Center of the Department of Humanities, as part of the "Time Lines" project and as a continuation of the conference "Europe and its Elsewhere," invite you to the seminar "When Indigenous People Spoke Latin. Alphabetic Colonization Anticipated Numeric Colonization," given by Professor Serge Gruzinski.

Paper, alphabetic writing and books arrived in America in the wake of the conquistadors. All weapons in the hands of the Spanish to subdue and Christianize the conquered. European writing swept over the New World like a wave, disrupting Native American societies whose languages were mostly unwritten. In all its forms, the writing of the victors aided colonization: metropolis orders were written, local wealth was recorded, and books transmitted knowledge from Europe. The children of indigenous elites, trained in the values of humanism, would soon know Latin and the Bible better than the beliefs of their ancestors. They will, however, manage to resist literate colonization because of their extraordinary creativity. Serge Gruzinski, in his latest volume, has been working on the trail of Indians and Europeans living on the other side of the Atlantic when the Westernization of the world began. From this fascinating dive into sixteenth-century Mexico comes a new look at Renaissance and Amerindian cultures that invites us to observe how ideas mix when two societies collide. A journey to rediscover the multiple roles of writing in the age of the digital revolution.

Serge Gruzinski, former student at the École nationale des chartes and Director of Studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, teaches History of Globalization and curated the exhibition "Planète Métisse" at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. Among his many books are La guerre des images: De Christophe Colomb à "Blade Runner" 1492-2019 (Fayard 1990), Les Quatre Parties Du Monde: Histoire d'une mondialisation (Points 2006), The Eagle and the Dragon: Globalization and European Dreams of Conquest in China and America in the Sixteenth Century (Polity 2014), in Italian Abbiamo ancora bisogno della storia? Il senso del passato nel mondo globalizzato (Cortina 2016) and La macchina del tempo. When Europe began to write world history (Cortina, 2018).

Greetings Giovanna Rocca (Pro-Rector for Research, IULM University)
Introduces Massimo De Giuseppe (Professor of Contemporary History, IULM University)
Report by Professor Serge Gruzinski (Ehess, Paris)
Discussant Maria Matilde Benzoni (University of Milan)