UNCG Research

ACLS Fellowship to Villella – breaking news

Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012 by UNCG Research.

Peter B. Villella, Assistant Professor, History

Breaking News

UNCG Research congratulates Dr. Peter B. Villella, Assistant Professor of History, on his American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship.  ACLS, a private, nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.

Since 1957, more than 9,200 scholars have held ACLS fellowships and grants for excellence in their fields. The peer-reviewed ACLS Fellow selection process helps distinguished scholars reach broad consensus on research excellence. In 2012, ACLS will award over $15 million to more than 320 scholars worldwide. Each funded project represents a major piece of scholarly work.

Dr. Villella receives his fellowship for the project “In Search of a White Legend: Native Lords and the Politics of History in Colonial Mexico.” He will examine Indian leaders in Spanish-ruled Mexico who strategically re-imagined the history of their ancestors’ violent colonization by Europeans as one of peaceful alliance.

While some of colonial Mexico’s native lords resisted implementation of foreign imperialism, others negotiated with the new arrivals for a measure of autonomy under the Spanish crown. Part of this agenda involved intentionally erasing memories of bloodshed and conflict between Indians and Spaniards and replacing them with triumphant tales of cooperation and unity. Villella dissects how native elites articulated these “white legends” to reorient institutions and authorities of European colonialism in their favor.