You are here:Home/About/ Fellowship Community/ David Colmenares Gonzalez

David Colmenares Gonzalez

“How the Aztecs Got a Pantheon: The Creation of an Ancient Religion in New Spain”

David Colmenares Gonzalez

Boston University, Pre-Columbian Studies Summer Fellow

Colmenares Golzalez’s work investigates the transformation of Nahua figures of power (teteoh) into “pagan gods” in the sixteenth century. Through a wide range of texts, images, pictorial manuscripts, and artifacts produced in colonial Mexico as well as in Santo Domingo, Spain, and Italy, he argues that the dominant interpretation of the Nahua gods that arose in the sixteenth century was an instance of the “reception of reception”: the result of the creative deployment, by central Mexican native elites, of the interpretative strategies of the conquerors. He eschew traditional approaches by arguing that the figures that came to be known as the Aztec gods were in fact sixteenth- and seventeenth-century constructions that emerged from the convergence of Castilian historical culture, early modern antiquarian and humanist practices, and native interpretations of tradition, influenced by rivalries between contending elites.

David Colmenares Gonzalez, assistant professor of Colonial Latin American Studies at Boston University, is a specialist in early modern Iberian antiquarianism, Mesoamerican studies, and visual and material cultural studies. He is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. He received his MA in philosophy from KU Leuven, Belgium, and BA in human sciences from Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla, Mexico.