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Kevin Terraciano


Professor & Dr. E. Bradford Burns Chair in Latin American Studies


Contact Information

Email    TERRA@HISTORY.UCLA.EDU
Office  5353 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-825-8410

Kevin Terraciano is Professor of History, Dr. E. Bradford Burns Chair of Latin American Studies, Director of the Latin American Institute, and co-chair of the Latin American Studies Graduate Program at UCLA. 

RESEARCH

Terraciano specializes in Latin American history, especially Mexico and the Indigenous cultures and languages of central and southern Mexico (including Nahuatl, Mixtec, and Zapotec) in the colonial period. He is the author of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Ñudzahui History, 16th through 18th Centuries (Stanford University Press, 2001), translated into Spanish in Mexico as Los mixtecos de la Oaxaca colonial by El Fondo de Cultura Económica (2013), and he translated and edited a rare Nahuatl-Mixtec manuscript from Colonial Mexico (1550-1564) called the Codex Sierra (Oklahoma University Press, 2021)He edited and translated many documents in Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2005, co-edited with Lisa Sousa and Matthew Restall). Recently (2019) he co-edited and contributed chapters to two volumes: The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in 16th-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press, co-edited with Jeanette Peterson); and Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern (Getty Publications, co-edited with Larry Silver). Terraciano has received numerous prizes for his books and research articles.  

(see selected publications)

TEACHING

Undergraduate Instruction

Terraciano teaches various undergraduate lecture courses and seminars on Latin America, beginning with History 8A, Introduction to Colonial Latin America. He also works independently with students on honors theses and research projects. In 2001, he won the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. He has received two Faculty Recognition awards from the UCLA Academic Advancement Program. In 2012 he received the UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize for Academic Excellence, given annually to a faculty member in mid-career who combines outstanding research and undergraduate teaching. Terraciano has received 10 awards for his teaching and graduate mentoring at UCLA.

Nahuatl Language Instruction

Since Fall 2015, the Latin American Institute (LAI) has sponsored the instruction of Nahuatl at UCLA. As  founder of the program and LAI Director, Terraciano is the instructor of record for these courses. The LAI currently offers nine courses of Elementary, Internediate and Advanced Nahuatl. The courses are cross-listed by three contributing departments: Latin American Studies (through International Area Studies); Chicana/o Studies; and Indigenous Languages of the Americas (through Spanish & Portuguese). The distance-learning courses are taught by native-speakers of the language in Mexico who are affiliated with the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ). The UCLA Academic Senate has approved the M5A-C Beginning Nahuatl series to fulfill the one-year undergraduate foreign language requirement. In the curriculum development and instruction of these courses, and the pedagogical training of the native-language instructors, the LAI is partnering and sharing expenses with the Latin American Centers at Stanford University, the University of Utah, and UC Berkeley in an alliance called the Latin American Indigenous Studies Alliance (LAISA).

Graduate Mentoring

Terraciano has chaired or co-chaired the dissertation committees of 20 students in Latin American history who have received PhDs at UCLA in the last 25 years, and is currently advising 6 doctoral students. The dissertations of his advisees have addressed numerous research topics related to Colonial Latin America, from indigenous histories of southern, central and northern Mexico to race, class, and gender in Guatemala City, from slavery in Cuba, Puebla, and Oaxaca to memories of Inca history in colonial Peru. He has also worked with numerous students in the interdisciplinary Latin American Studies and American Indian Studies MA programs. In addition to acting as principal advisor to those 26 students, Terraciano has served on the dissertation committees of 88 doctoral students in the following departments or schools: Archaeology, Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Art History, Comparative Literature, Education, Ethnomusicology, Hispanic Languages and Literatures (Spanish & Portuguese), History, Law, Linguistics, Sociology, World Arts and Cultures.  

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Degrees

Ph.D UCLA 1994

MA   UCLA 1989

BA    UCLA 1985

Awards

RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS AWARDS

2021  As co-editor (with Jeanette Peterson) and contributing author to edited book. Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Prize for best book in the Humanities published in 2019-20, Mexican Section, Honorable Mention. The Florentine CodexAn Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth-Century Mexico. Wrote Introduction to book "An Encyclopedia of Nahua Culture: Context and Content" and chapter "Reading Between the Lines of Book 12."   

2012  Award for Academic Excellence: UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize. 

2012  As contributing author to edited book. Tufts Prize from American Society of Hispanic Art Historical Studies (College Art Association) for best book on Iberian and Latin American Art History published in 2011. Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World. Chapter titled "Competing Memories of the Conquest of Mexico." 

2004  As co-author of research article. Heizer Prize from American Society for Ethnohistory for best research article (co-authored with Lisa Sousa) in field of ethnohistory published in 2003. "The 'Original Conquest' of Oaxaca: Late Colonial Nahuatl and Mixtec Accounts of the Spanish Conquest."

2004  As author of book. Cline Prize from Conference on Latin American History (American Historical Association) for best book on history of Indians in Latin America published in 2001 and 2002. The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca

2003  As author of book. Bolton-Johnson Prize, Honorable Mention, from Conference on Latin American History (American Historical Association) for best book in field of Latin American history published in 2001. The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca

2002  As author of book. Wheeler-Voegelin Award from American Society for Ethnohistory for best book in field of ethnohistory published in 2001. The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca.

2001  As Author of research article. Robertson Prize, Honorable Mention, from Conference on Latin American History for best research article in field of Latin American history published in 2000. "The Colonial Mixtec Community." 

1999  As author of research article. Heizer Prize from American Society for Ethnohistory for best research article in field of ethnohistory published in 1998. "Crime and Culture in Colonial Mexico: The Case of the Mixtec Murder Note." 

1985  As author of Honors/MA Thesis. Herring Award from Pacific Coast Council of Latin American Studies for best honors/MA thesis in Latin American history in 1985. "Religion and Revolution in Nicaragua." 

1985  As author of BA Honors Thesis. Carey McWilliams Award from UCLA Department of History for best Honors Thesis in 1985. "Religion and Revolution in Nicaragua."      

TEACHING AWARDS

2012  Award for Academic Excellence: UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize

2010  Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, UCLA

2009  Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, UCLA

2008  Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, UCLA

2007  Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, UCLA

2007  Academic Advancement Program Faculty Recognition Award, UCLA

2006  Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, UCLA

2002  Academic Advancement Program Faculty Recognition Award, UCLA

2001  Eby Award for the Art of Teaching, UCLA 

2001  Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, UCLA

SERVICE AWARDS

2005  Dr. Robert M. Stevenson Outstanding Faculty-in-Residence Award

2005  Community Partners Award, County of Los Angeles Housing Authority and LA County Community Development Foundation, for work on partnership between UCLA and Ujima Village, a housing community in south Los Angeles

2003  Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, Amnesty International USA at UCLA

Grants

RECENT FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS 

2019-21  Getty Trustees, Digital Florentine Codex Initiative (as co P.I.) 

2017-18  Seaver Grant for Digital Interactive Project on Florentine Codex (as co P.I.) 

2014-15  Getty Research Institute Scholars Grant

2017-19  Tinker Foundation Graduate Field Research Grant (P.I. as Director of LAI)

2016-17  Mellon Grant to Create Curriculum for Nahuatl Courses at UCLA

2014-18  US Dept. of Education, National Resource Center, Title VI (P.I. of LAI)

2014-18  US Dept. of Education, FLAS, Title VI (P.I. of LAI) 

2014-17  Lemann Foundation Grant for Support of Brazilian Students at UCLA (co P.I.) 

2011-12  National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship

Selected Publications

SELECTED  PUBLICATIONS (since 2010) 

Codex Sierra: A Nahuatl-Mixtec Book of Accounts from Colonial Mexico. Oklahoma University Press, 2021.

"Memories of Better Times Before the Christians Came to Mexico and Guatemala." Ethnohistory, vol. 67 (2): April, 2021.

"Los títulos primordiales y la 'conquista original' de Oaxaca." Co-authored with Lisa Sousa. Noticonquista. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, October 12, 2020.Noticonquista.unam.mx

"La matanza de Toxcatl / The Toxcatl Massacre." Co-authored with Lisa Sousa. Noticonquista. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, May 18, 2020Noticonquista.unam.mx

The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth-Century Mexico. Co-edited with Jeanette Peterson. University of Texas Press, 2019. 

"An Encyclopedia of Nahua Culture: Context and Content." Introduction to The Florentine Codex. Jeanette Peterson and Kevin Terraciano, eds. University of Texas Press, 2019. 

"Reading Between the Lines of Book Twelve." In The Florentine Codex. Jeanette Peterson and Kevin Terraciano, eds. University of Texas Press, 2019. 

Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern. Co-edited with Larry Silver. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2019. 

"Canons Seen and Unseen in Colonial Mexico." In Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern. Larry Silver and Kevin Terraciano, eds. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2019. 

"Roundtable: Ethnohistory at Sixty. Comments on Louise M. Burkhart's "The Solar Christ in Nahuatl Doctrinal Texts of Early Colonial Mexico."' Ethnohistory, 66:1 (January 2019).

"The Zapotec Language Testament of Sebastiana de Mendoza, c. 1675." Co-authored with Pamela Munro et al. In TlalocanRevista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXIIIMexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2018. 

"History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica." Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 72. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

"Una confesión de homicidio en la Mixteca Alta, 1684." In TlalocanRevista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXII. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2017.  

"Un testamento zapoteco del Valle de Oaxaca, 1614." Co-authored with Pamela Munro et al. In TlalocanRevista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXIIMexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2017.

"Portrait of a Mixtec Woman Named 6-Crocodile." In Native Wills from the Colonial Americas, ed. by Mark Christensen and Jonathan Truitt. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016.

"Parallel Nahuatl and Pictorial Texts in the Mixtec Codex Sierra Texupan." Ethnohistory, 62: 3 (Fall 2015).

"History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica." Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 70. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.

"Narrativas de Tlatelolco sobre la Conquista de México."Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl, v. 47 (enero-junio), 2014. 

Los mixtecos de la Oaxaca colonial: La historia ñudzahui del siglo xvi al xviii. Translation of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca by Pablo Escalante Gonzalbo. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013. 

“Memorias contrapuestas de la conquista de México.” In Miradas comparadas en los virreinatos de América, ed. by Ilona Katzew. Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; CONACULTA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012.

"Connecting Nahua and Mixtec Histories." In Fanning the Sacred Flames: Mesoamerican Studies in Honor of H. B. Nicholson, ed. by Matthew Boxt and Brian Dillon. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2012.

"Competing Memories of the Conquest of Mexico." In Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World, ed. by Ilona Katzew. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.

"Voices from the Other Side: Native Views from New Spain, Peru, and North America." In The Atlantic World c.1450-c.1850, ed. by Philip Morgan and Nicholas Canny. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

"History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica." Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 66. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

"How a Zapotec Community Used Native-Language Documents to Defend its Lands." In Tradition and Innovation in Mesoamerican Cultural History, ed. by Roberto Cantú and Aaron Sonnenschein. Lincom Studies in Anthropology, 16. Munich: Lincom Europa, 2011.

"A Historiography of New Spain." Co-authored with Lisa Sousa. In The Historiography of Latin America, ed. by Jose Moya. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

"Three Texts in One: Book XII of the Florentine Codex." Ethnohistory, vol. 57 (1) 2010.

"La genealogía de la memoria social indígena: Las construcciones estratégicas del pasado en los títulos primordiales del valle de Oaxaca." Co-authored with Lisa Sousa, in Caras y máscaras del México étnico, ed. by Andrew Roth Seneff. La participación indígena en las formaciones del Estado mexicano, vol. 1. Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2010.

"Three Views of the Conquest of Mexico from the Other Mexica." In The Conquest of Mexico All Over Again, ed. by Susan Schroeder. London: Sussex Academic Press, 2010.

"Sources and Methods for the Study of Mixtec History." In Sources and Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, ed. by James Lockhart, Stephanie Wood, and Lisa Sousa. E-Book version. Eugene, Oregon: Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon, 2010.   http://whp.uoregon.edu/Lockhart/index.html

Research

RESEARCH

Terraciano specializes in Latin American history, especially Mexico and the Indigenous cultures and languages of central and southern Mexico (including Nahuatl, Mixtec, and Zapotec) in the colonial period. He is the author of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Ñudzahui History, 16th through 18th Centuries (Stanford University Press, 2001), translated into Spanish in Mexico as Los mixtecos de la Oaxaca colonial by El Fondo de Cultura Económica (2013), and he translated and edited a rare Nahuatl-Mixtec manuscript from Colonial Mexico called the Codex Sierra (Oklahoma University Press, 2021)He edited and translated many documents in Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2005, co-edited with Lisa Sousa and Matthew Restall). Recently (2019) he co-edited and contributed chapters to two volumes: The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in 16th-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press, co-edited with Jeanette Peterson) and Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern (Getty Publications, co-edited with Larry Silver). Terraciano has received numerous prizes for his books and research articles.  

(see selected publications)

Graduate Students

As Doctoral Advisor

Tania Bride

Beatríz Cruz López

Rachel Kaufman

Rebeca Martínez

Juan Pablo Morales Garza

Lisl Schoepflin

Collaborators

COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS

Getty Research Institute (GRI), Los Angeles (2016-present): "The Digital Florentine Codex"

Terraciano is co-founder of a major initiative funded by the Seaver Foundation and the Getty Trust to digitize, transcribe, translate, and analyze the Florentine Codex, a 2500-page Nahuatl and Spanish-language 16th-century illustrated text owned by the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence. He is one of four Principal Investigators with Dr. Kim Richter of the Getty Center, Dr. Diana Magaloni of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and Dr. Jeanette Peterson of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project team involves many scholars from Mexico, Europe and California, The GRI plans to launch an open-access, interactive website in 2022, and to publish an edited volume (and e-book) on Book 12 of the manuscript, focused on the Conquest of Mexico, with Getty Publications. Terraciano is one of four co-editors of the volume (with Magaloni, Peterson and Richter), which will feature contributions from a team of international scholars.

Zapotec-Language Texts 

Terraciano and Professor Pamela Munro (UCLA Linguistics) founded a working group of linguists and historians to translated and anayze Zapotec-language archival documents from the Valley of Oaxaca. The records were produced within Zapotec communities from the 16th to the 18th centuries. By working with colonial and modern studies of Zapotecan languages, the "Zapotexts" group has completed translations and line-by-line analyses of dozens of texts and is now preparing a manuscript of transcribed, translated, and analyzed texts for publication, with introductory chapters on Zapotec writing and language in the colonial period. The group has been comprised of many students and faculty and native-soeakers; currently, it consists of linguisy Professor Michael Galant (California State University, Dominguez Hills), doctoral candidate Beatríz Cruz López (UCLA), and Professors Munro and Terraciano. 

La Casa de la Cacica

This book project documents the history and renovation of a 16th-century Mixtec palace complex in Teposcolula, Oaxaca. The structure, called the casa de la cacica ("house of the female ruler") by locals, is a royal palace in Mexico from the early colonial period. Sebastián van Doesburg of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and the Fundación Harp Helú de Oaxaca participated in the preservation of the palace complex, which consists of multiple structures and patios. Terraciano located and translated Spanish legal records in the national archive that refer to the Mixtec male and female lords who resided in the complex, including a prominent cacica.