Isabel Nowak Neither Triumph Nor Defeat

On September 19th, I went to the lecture Neither Triumph Nor Defeat: Disputing the Conquest of Mexico across Five Centuries given by Peter Villella. I had thought that the lecture would mostly be about Mexican history; I didn’t know much about the topic, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to learn more. While the lecture did cover Mexican history, it also described, as Villella called it, the “history of the history of the conquest of Mexico.” Since it was the five-hundredth anniversary of Cortez’s meeting with Moctezuma (which I had been unaware of beforehand), Villella took the audience on a verbal tour of how perceptions of this event had evolved through the centuries. I found the lecture incredibly interesting; Villella discussed how, while the past is constant, history is ever-changing and subjective, which is something I had never thought about before. I also found the discussion of the conflict within the Mexican identity to be very interesting as well, as the birth of the Mexican people began with one aspect of their identity conquering another.

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