Event: Bancroft Roundtable: Evidencing Boundaries: Text, Image, and Experience in Techialoyan Manuscripts

Please join us for the third Bancroft Library Roundtable of the spring semester.

It will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, April 21. Jessica Stair, Bancroft Library Summer Award recipient and doctoral candidate in History of Art at UC Berkeley, will present “Evidencing Boundaries: Text, Image, and Experience in Techialoyan Manuscripts.”

The textual-pictorial land titles known as the Techialoyans were created by indigenous authors during the later colonial period in Central Mexico in order to provide documentation of community land holdings to viceregal authorities. Written in Nahuatl and painted with depictions of figures and places, the Techialoyans are a subgenre of primordial titles that relies on images at a time when most manuscripts depended on alphabetic text. Surpassing mere illustrations, images play a crucial role in establishing authority in autochthonous claims to land. Ms. Stair examines multivalent roles of text and image, including their toponymic purposes, deictic functions, and references to lived experiences. She argues that the Techialoyans combine alphabetical text, images, and vestiges of indigenous oral traditions in order to embody the physical place of the land, as though one were walking through it. Linguistic features work with images to create a textual-pictorial-experiential nexus for establishing proof and shaping history.

We hope to see you there. The talks are free and open to the public.

Kathi Neal
Bancroft Library Staff