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Geografías de conocimiento y poder: la construcción espacial de la Real Audiencia de Quito

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Title: Geografías de conocimiento y poder: la construcción espacial de la Real Audiencia de Quito
Author(s): Valdano, Clara
Director of Research: Meléndez, Mariselle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Meléndez, Mariselle
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Beckman, Ericka; Irigoyen, Javier; Delgado, Elena
Department / Program: Spanish, Italian & Portuguese
Discipline: Spanish
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Quito mercantilism capitalism science patriotism fluctuation space construction Enlightenment map document
Abstract: “Geografías de conocimiento y poder: La construcción espacial de la Real Audiencia de Quito en el período colonial” analyzes the construction of the Real Audiencia de Quito as a political, economic, corporeal, and patriotic space. Quito refers to the city, the village, the reign, the province, the point of reference, and the audience. Quito has fluctuated over time: It was perceived in the 16th and 17th centuries as an ideal space for religious and political colonial expansion, whereas in the 18th century Quito was represented as a productive space for scientific and economic exploration. Most of the studies on colonial Ecuador have paid attention to the social and ethnic historiography of this colonial territory, but this dissertation underscores that the study of space contributes to our understanding of the manner in which the Real Audiencia de Quito was conceived by colonial authorities as well as by its colonial subjects. Through the analysis of textual and visual material, I contend that conflicting political agendas and practices of subjugation transformed the Real Audiencia de Quito into the object of numerous discourses; namely those pertaining to political governance, science, and economics. The first chapter shows that Quito was constructed politically as a strategic point because it symbolized Atahualpa’s governance. The book of Cabildos, and the works of Pedro Mercado, Dionisio de Alcedo y Herrera and Eugenio Espejo (from the 16th to the 18th century) show that Quito was founded, relocated, categorized, and reorganized due to the lack of organization of the Spanish colonial power, and because of the challenges that Spain had to face to control native indigenous and rising mestizo spaces. The second chapter illustrates that Quito was represented as a mythological, religious and organic body. Mercantilist ideals of richness led Europeans to explore Quito and its vicinities such as the Amazon River. In the works of Fray Gaspar de Carvajal and Cristobal de Acuña, the Amazon River was represented as a body that could be controlled religiously and politically due to Catholicism and to the geographical position of the city of Quito. The third chapter explores the construction of the Real Audiencia de Quito as an economic and productive space. The Real Audiencia’s towns, hills and forests were represented in maps and charts as imperial commodities because they were profitable to the colonial order (1780-1799). These legal documents and maps highlight the active participation of Quito in global Enlightenment, and in commercial capitalism of the 18th century. The last chapter studies the construction of Quito as a patriotic space (1745-1795). Pedro Vicente Maldonado and Juan de Velasco produced maps, natural histories, and scientific works that laid the groundwork for emerging discourses of patriotism and nationhood. Their works and maps reproduced the image of Quito as a legitimate and independent space geographically and politically. Finally, it is important to point out that all of these numerous representations were used by patriotic discourse that, paradoxically, has recreated fixed canonic ideas of the Ecuadorian nation.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34342
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Clara Verónica Valdano López
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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