ABSTRACT

For centuries, historians have narrated the arrival of Europeans using terminology (discovery, invasion, conquest, and colonization) that emphasizes their agency and disempowers that of Native Americans. This book explores firsting, a discourse that privileges European and settler-colonial presence, movements, knowledges, and experiences as a technology of colonization in the early modern Atlantic world, 1492-1900. It exposes how textual culture has ensured that Euro-settlers dominate Native Americans, while detailing misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples as unmodern and proposing how the western world can be un-firsted in scholarship on this time and place.

chapter |22 pages

Introduction

Firsting and the Architecture of Decolonizing Scholarship on the Early-Modern Atlantic World
ByLauren Beck

part Part I|74 pages

The Foundations for Firsting in Historiography and Literature

chapter 2|14 pages

The Last of the First? Madness and the Jungle in the Chronicles of the Indies

Lope de Aguirre and His Writing
ByManuel Lucena Giraldo

chapter 3|15 pages

Dying in Their Own Minds

Firsting and Lasting in the Early Jesuit Work With the Tupi Language in Brazil
ByVivien Kogut Lessa de Sá

chapter 4|18 pages

Literacy and Colonial Beginnings

Inca Garcilaso’s Story of the Letter in Context
ByJulián Díez Torres

part Part II|74 pages

Modernity and Unfamiliarity as Firsting Principles

chapter 5|16 pages

The Grammar of Inanimacy

Frances Brooke and the Production of North American Settler States
ByRachel Bryant

chapter 6|16 pages

Firsting and Lasting in the History of Science

Francisco José de Caldas and the Priority Dispute Over Hypsometry
ByJorge M. Escobar

chapter 7|17 pages

History and Progress

Regional Identity and the Useable Past in Nova Scotia, 1857–1877
ByNicolas Haisell

chapter 8|23 pages

The Afterlife of Settler-Colonial Occupation

Archaeological Excavation as Militarization in the United States-Mexico Borderlands
ByClaire Urbanski

part Part III|86 pages

Un-Firsting the West

chapter 9|20 pages

American Indian Discovery

ByJonathan DeCoster

chapter 10|25 pages

Unsettling Spanish Atlantic History

Experiences of the Colonized Through Visual and Material Culture
ByLauren Beck

chapter 11|23 pages

“This Is an Indigenous City”

Un-Firsting Early Representations of Vancouver
ByAshley Caranto Morford