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New World Postcolonial presents the first full-length study to treat both parts of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's foundational text Royal Commentaries of the Incas as a seminal work of political thought in the formation of the early Americas and the early-modern period. It is also among a handful of studies to explore the Commentaries as a "mestizo rhetoric," written to subtly address both native Andean readers and Hispano-Europeans. As Fuerst demonstrates, by blending both Andean and European discourses to represent Incan history, Garcilaso further proposed restoring indigenous sovereignty by adopting a new mestizo governing body via the political alliance and intermarriage of encomenderos (estate holders) and Incas. This policy extended to education, missionary practices, and others, reflecting Garcilaso's hopes of forming a peaceful coexistence among native Andeans, mestizos, and first generation Spaniards.
About the Author
James W. Fuerst is an assistant professor of writing, chair of writing, and co-chair of literary studies at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School University.