Monday, March 12, 2018 at 12:15pm to 1:10pm
Uris Hall, 153 109 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853
This talk explores relations between legal authorities, both secular and ecclesiastical, and native peoples, especially the Coroado and Coropó, in the Atlantic forest north of Rio de Janeiro during the second half of the eighteenth century. Despite more than two centuries of colonial occupation along the coast, these mobile Indians continued to dominate the mountainous zone separating the captaincies of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais in Brazil’s southeastern interior. Crown ministers, military officers, churchmen, and other agents of Portugal’s transatlantic judicial system increasingly targeted them as informants, believing they could provide crucial intelligence about illegal mining operations. Official investigations ranged from trailside interrogations to proceedings of the Inquisition in Lisbon. Together, they reveal the centrality of indigenous information networks to the crown’s multifaceted effort to consolidate control over remote territory.
Hal Langfur, associate professor of history at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Forbidden Lands: Colonial Identity, Frontier Violence, and the Persistence of Brazil’s Eastern Indians, 1750 – 1830 (Stanford University Press, 2006) and the editor of Native Brazil: Beyond the Convert and the Cannibal, 1500 – 1900 (University of New Mexico Press, 2014). His current research focuses on wilderness expeditions and the projection of Portuguese power in the Brazilian interior during the late colonial period.