Purpose: As Camila Townsend will explain in a short reading for this post, the use of Indigenous-language sources is a major innovation of recent scholarship on the Mexica. To better understand the significance of this scholarship, it helps to more critically reflect on the ideas you may already have about this culture. In this discussion post, we’ll consider other depictions of the Mexica that we might be familiar with, and try to understand why Townsend’s approach is different.
Task: Read the Appendix for Fifth Sun. In your first post, consider how Townsend’s approach may be different from the other Aztec-related sources you may be familiar with. These do not necessarily have to be academic; consider media depictions and the like.* Name at least two ways that Townsend’s approach differs from the Aztec-related source you’ve chosen. In your second post, reply to a classmate and discuss how you see these two ways exemplified in Townsend’s text.
*Many media depictions of the Mexica are stereotypical. This is a historical issue—because the stereotypes are incorrect—and an ethical one, because Nahuatl-speakers continue to live in Mexico and the United States. We should take care when discussing people others may claim as ancestors. Consult Greg Younging’s Elements of Indigenous Style for why Indigenous is the preferred term (64), why tribe doesn’t work (60), and the like.
Click the links Appendix for Fifth Sun, the United States and Elements of Indigenous Style to help with this discussion
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