Centering Animals in Latin American History writes animals back into the history of colonial and postcolonial Latin America. This collection reveals how interactions between humans and other animals have significantly shaped narratives of Latin American histories and cultures. The contributors work through the methodological implications of centering animals within historical narratives, seeking to include nonhuman animals as social actors in the histories of Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina.
The essays in Centering Animals in Latin American History range from discussions of canine baptisms, weddings, and funerals in Bourbon Mexico to imported monkeys used in medical experimentation in Puerto Rico. Some contributors examine the role of animals in colonization efforts. Others explore the relationship between animals, medicine and health. Finally, essays on the postcolonial period focus on the politics of hunting, the commodification of animals and animal parts, the protection of animals and the environment, and political symbolism.
Foreword / Erica Fudge ix
Introduction. Writing Animal Histories / Zeb Tortorici and Martha Few 1
Part I. Animals, Culture, and Colonialism
1. The Year the People Turned into Cattle: The End of the World in New Spain, 1558 / León García Garagarza 31
2. Killing Locusts in Colonial Guatemala / Martha Few 62
3. "In the Name of the Father and the Mother of All Dogs": Canine Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals in Bourbon Mexico / Zeb Tortorici 93
Part II. Animals and Medicine, Science, and Public Health
4. From Natural History to Popular Remedy: Animals and Their Medicinal Applications among the Kallawaya in Colonial Peru / Adam Warren 123
5. Pest to Vector: Disease, Public Health, and the Challenges of State-Building in Yucatan, Mexico, 1833-1922 / Heather McCrea 149
6. Notes on Medicine, Culture, and the History of Imported Monkeys in Puerto Rico / Neel Ahuja 180
Part III. The Meanings and Politics of Postcolonial Animals
7. Animal Labor and Protection in Cuba: Changes in Relationships with Animals in the Nineteenth Century / Reinaldo Funes Monzete (translated by Alex Hildago and Zeb Tortorici) 209
8. On Edge: Fur Seals and Hunters along the Patagonian Littoral, 1860–1938 / John Soluri 243
9. Birds and Scientists in Brazil: In Search of Protection, 1984–1938 / Regina Horta Duarte (translated by Zeb Tortorici and Roger Arthur Cough) 270
10. Trujillo, the Goat: Of Beasts, Men, and Politics in the Dominican Republic / Lauren Derby 302
Conclusion. Loving, Being, Killing Animals / Neil L. Whitehead 329
Recommended Bibliography 347
Martha Few is Associate Professor of Colonial Latin American History and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is the author of Women Who Live Evil Lives: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Power in Colonial Guatemala. Zeb Tortorici is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at New York University.