UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Dr. Peter Villella

Dr. Peter Villella (History) received new funding from the National Humanities Center for the project “Of Ruin and Rebirth: The Construction of Aztec History, 1531-1625.”  

This project charts the genesis and evolution of the idea of a shared “Aztec past” among indigenous intellectuals in early colonial Mexico. New diseases devastated the Nahua (Aztec) population in the 16th century, severing the survivors culturally and spiritually from their ancestral heritage. However, a distinct antiquarianism arose among some Nahua leaders who sought to recover and study old artifacts to regain an understanding of their pre-Columbian legacy. Their sources were fragmented and contradictory, yet by reinterpreting and reassembling them to make them cohere, the Nahua historians “constructed” the Aztec epic, a proud new way of understanding Mexican antiquity.