Events: Kritika Kultura Lecture Series presents Pedro Cardim

October 17, 2018

Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with the Department of History (AdMU)—will host a lecture by Pedro Cardim. The lecture—titled “The Status of the Indigenous Peoples across Spanish and Portuguese America (16th to 18th Centuries)” is on Oct. 30, 2018, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at Faura AVR, Ateneo de Manila University. The event is open to the public.

About the lecture

This talk is about the thousands of Native Americans who lived under the rule of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial authorities between the 16th and the 18th centuries. It focuses on the status that was imposed to the indigenous peoples by the two Iberian Crowns, together with the Catholic authorities. 

This subject matter will be analysed in three parts. I begin by arguing that, at the early stages of colonization, the indigenous who converted (frequently with violence) to Catholicism were regarded as part of the colonial body politic. They therefore became “vassals” of the king of Spain or Portugal. However, I also argue that they were assigned a very subaltern place in colonial society. The status of tutelage was imposed on them; they were treated as minors, and therefore subjected to the control of a guardian, appointed either by the Crown or by the Church. This status considerably limited their freedom and rights, and opened the way for a series of abuses by the colonists. 

In the second part I focus on the indigenous response to this situation. I demonstrate that, in spite of their condition of tutelage, many men and women of indigenous descent rapidly learned to take advantage of the resources provided by colonial institutions. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries they used such resources to resist against discrimination, abuses, and mistreatment carried out by the colonists, or simply to improve their condition within the colonial society. 

The third and final part is devoted to 18th century developments in the status of the indigenous peoples across Spanish and Portuguese America. It shows that the Enlightenment reforms did not change, in a substantive way, the status of the indigenous living in colonial areas. Although the tutelage of the Church was limited, it was replaced by various forms of royal guardianship that eventually made colonial authorities continue to treat the Indians as minors in juridical and political terms.

About the lecturer

Pedro Cardim is Associate Professor of History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is an expert in the history of the 16th to early 18th century Iberian world, with a particular focus on the political interaction between Portugal and the Spanish Monarchy. In the past decade he also conducted extensive research on the Portuguese colonial rule across the Atlantic. He is the author of various books, book chapters, and journal articles on the previously mentioned fields of expertise. Since 2000 he has been serving as board member of Centro de Humanidades (CHAM), Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

About Kritika Kultura

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Clarivate), Scopus, EBSCO, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP). For inquiries about submission guidelines and future events, visit or email

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