SUMMARY: Although the historical archaeology of the Spanish colonial world is currently witnessing an explosion of research in the Americas, the accompanying political economic framework has tended to remain little interrogated. This paper argues that Spanish colonial contexts bring into particular relief the entanglements between ‘core’ capitalist processes like ‘antimarkets’, dispossession and the disciplining of labour with the specific biopolitical ecologies assembled through co-option, coercion and accumulation. This perspective is explored through two archaeological case studies from Peru and Guatemala, where competing concerns about altitude, climate, disease, violence and populations of differentiated labouring bodies (both human and non-human) came to the fore in unexpected ways. The resulting discussion challenges the reliance on abstract analytical totalities like ‘capitalism’ and ‘colonialism’, and shifts attention towards the diverse assemblages of actors that shaped and continue to shape the processes central to political economic analyses.
|Translated title of the contribution||Between the South Sea and the mountainous ridges: biopolitical assemblages in the Spanish colonial Americas|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - Jan 2 2018|
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