Dr. Nancy Fitch, professor of history, California State University, Fullerton, created this project to use in her lower-division World Civilizations since 1500 survey course.
I am not a specialist in Mexican or Latin American history; my area of emphasis is French history, especially France in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. My research focuses on peasant and working class politics in Central France during these centuries. I have published several articles on these topics in various journals.
I have been interested in using hypermedia as a vehicle for creating virtual learning environments that challenge the way we traditionally think, write, and potentially learn since 1996. I am putting similar projects together on other topics for my classes partially funded by my university. Feel free to check out my World Civilizations since 1500 Home Page, which can be found by typing: http://faculty.fullerton.edu/nfitch, then clicking on History 110B-World Civilizations since 1500.
This project was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that was organized by the American Historical Association. I have presented papers on my part of it at several professional meetings and have benefited greatly from comments and suggestions at these meetings and through our local cluster meetings.
One might ask why a French historian would put together a project on the conquest of Mexico. The answer is simple. I grew up in San Diego, on the Mexican border. I have spoken Spanish since I was a child and have always been fascinated with Mexico and Mexican history. I bought my first book in Spanish on the conquest in Tijuana when I was ten. I have since traveled extensively in Mexico and Central America and have been especially interested in the relationship between archeology and history. I also began assigning primary sources on the conquest of Mexico in “Historical Thinking” classes as well as in my survey course since reacquainting myself with Mexican history by reading Tzvetan Todorov’s book The Conquest of America in the early 1980s. I was especially fascinated by his discussion of Malinche, Cortés’s translator, as she had not appeared in the volumes I read as a student many years ago. The idea that a Mexican woman could survive in the male-dominated world of the Mexicas and Spaniards interested me a great deal. Moreover, I have yet to find a better set of primary sources to push students into a deeper understanding of how to think historically than those related to the conquest of Mexico. It is also a good story that students can easily get into. Finally, world civilization textbooks are notoriously poor in covering both women and topics in Latin American history. Thus, my first hypermedia products have examined topics in Latin American history that simultaneously raise questions about race, gender, ethnicity, and social class. My other hypermedia project that is currently on-line explores issues of historical memory and historical amnesia in Brazilian history.
I have spent weeks verifying the accuracy of my materials, my interpretations, and my spellings. If anyone finds errors, I would like to know about them. If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions, I would be interested in them too. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.