Traitor, Temptress, Mother: Interpretations of Dona Marina and the Fall of the Aztec Empire
Ilhuicacihuatl called Yzma
Instructor's Kingdom: Atlantia, Time Zone: EST
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Marina, also known as La Malinche, was an enslaved Nahua woman who served as interpreter and advisor to Hernan Cortes at the time of the Spanish Conquest of Central Mexico. She also gave birth to his son, Martin, one of the first Euro-indigenous mixed race people. Her short life has been the subject of constant and often conflicting reinterpretation, casting her as a traitor to her people, a victim of slavery, a sex-crazed temptress and as the mother to the Mestizos. In this class, we will evaluate what we actually know about the woman herself and her life before and after the arrival of Cortes. We will discuss the role of the Mestizo person in the post-conquest environment of Central Mexico and how modern historians place Dona Marina in the larger context of Mexican history, including nationalistic and feminist interpretations.
This class may not be appropriate for children. Potentially difficult topics discussed will include sexual assault, slavery, death of and violence against indigenous people, and descriptions of human sacrifice in a religious context.
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