Text, Image, and Experience in Techialoyan Manuscripts: Bancroft Roundtable, April 21

Mayan glyphs

Evidencing Boundaries: Text, Image, and Experience in Techialoyan Manuscripts will be the topic of the Bancroft Roundtable on Thursday, April 21st at noon in The Faculty Club.

Jessica Stair, Bancroft Library Summer Award recipient and doctoral candidate in history of art, UC Berkeley, will present.

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 to viceregal authorities of community land holdings. 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. 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.

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

Time: Noon

Place: Lewis-Latimer Room, The Faculty Club

Free and open to the public.

Post contributed by Kathryn M. Neal, Associate University Archivist


Crystal Miles, Public Services Assistant, The Bancroft Library