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Mosaic 0851: Humanities Seminar (Las Casas Assignment): Welcome!

A library research guide created by the Latin American Studies Librarian to assist students working on Dr. Gary Pratt's Las Casas Wiki Assignment

Primary Source Illustration

Caption Title: Cruelty of the Spanish. B. de las Casas (1613)

Source: ARTstor (TULibraries' database)

Barolomé de las Casas, a key figure in the history of human rights and one of the most fascinating characters of the early modern world, wrote his famous Destruction of the Indies in 1552. The historian Patricia Seed noted Las Casas's unflagging commitment, though only after 1514, to "peaceful methods of domination" over the native peoples of the Americas (Exploration and Conquest, In A Companion to Latin American History, p. 86).

Guide Purpose and Contents

Dr. Pratt's Las Casas Wiki assignment is divided into four parts (see the actual assignment prompts below):

  1. Textual analysis
  2. Mapping Las Casas
  3. Image search
  4. Research problem: "Each group will be asked to develop a historically minded research question. To help formulate it, consider what historical differences are apparent from your work in Part I. However, the research question or problem does not have to be directly related to your topic, but should grow out of your collective work as active researchers...." (Assignment Prompt). 

Parts I and II involve a close reading of the text. Parts III and IV, in addition, require research (finding and evaluating information sources), and that is where this guide comes in. Students can use the tools and techniques on these pages to...

  • learn more about Las Casas and his world in scholarly encyclopedias;
  • find an image (like the one on this page) that relates to Las Casas's text;
  • find scholarly criticism and analysis of Destruction of the Indies in books,  journals, and a combination of these and other sources, all discoverable via three TULibraries' databases and Google Scholar (analagous to a library database);
  • find both printed and online editions of Destruction of the Indies, including the Hurley translation/Hackett edition required for this assignment; and
  • properly cite your sources with RefWorks.

Assignment Prompts

Guide Author

Rebecca Lloyd
Paley Library
Room 319