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Feb. 27: History Lecture on 'Rethinking Spanish Colonialism'

Assistant Professor Chad McCutchen will discuss “Rethinking Spanish Colonialism: Ethnic Identity and the Balance of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru.”

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-20-2017

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato Assistant Professor Chad McCutchen will discuss Spanish colonialism in 16th-century Peru in a spring History Forum lecture Monday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. in the University’s Centennial Student Union, Room 201.

McCutchen’s presentation, titled “Rethinking Spanish Colonialism: Ethnic Identity and the Balance of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru,” is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In his presentation, McCutchen will discuss how beginning with the capture of the Inca Emperor Atahualpa by Francisco Pizarro in 1532, Spanish colonialism in Peru has long been perceived as a triumph of superior European technology and ingenuity.

According to McCutchen, this narrative suggests that, with the help of a few brave and daring conquistadors, the Spanish summarily implemented their designs in the Americas by exploiting the conquered indigenous populations. In reality, McCutchen says, establishing control in the colonies proved far more complex.

McCutchen will explain that colonialism was an emerging and ongoing process, and challenges to Spanish authority existed in abundance. The advent of new ethnicities in Spanish America, coupled with the cultural exchange between the Spanish and indigenous populations, further complicated the matter. In response, the Spanish established a culture of conquest that created the impression of Spanish supremacy in the Americas and allowed them to maintain the balance of power in Peru.

This event is sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of History, which is part of the University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Those who want more information about the lecture may contact the Department of History by phone at 507-389-1618 or send an email to

The History Forum Lecture Series provides opportunities for faculty, students, staff and community members to learn about the latest historical research from local and regional scholars. The History Forum Lecture is presented twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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