Amber Brian, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

Amber Brian is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. She also directs the Latin American Studies Program. Her research and teaching focus on colonial Spanish America. Her publications address the movement of cultural knowledge and historical memory among native individuals and communities as well as between those communities and the dominant political sphere in colonial Mexico. She has published widely on don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl (ca. 1578-1650), a mestizo historian connected with the Indian city of Tetzcoco who is a seminal figure in the development of Mexican history. Her first book, Alva Ixtlilxochitl's Native Archive and the Circulation of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico (Vanderbilt, 2016), was awarded honorable mention for MLA’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize. The Native Conquistador: Alva Ixtlilxochitl's Account of the Conquest of Mexico (Penn State Press, 2015) was co-edited and translated with Bradley Benton and Pablo García Loaeza. She completed a second collaborative translation project with Benton, García Loaeza, and Peter B. Villella, for which they received a Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2014-17). In this project they translated and annotated Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s magnum opus, Historia de la nación chichimeca, a highly influential Spanish-language chronicle of pre-Hispanic central Mexico based on indigenous written and oral sources. The result, History of the Chichimeca Nation: Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Seventeenth-Century Chronicle of Ancient Mexico, is forthcoming from the University of Oklahoma Press. Her second monograph looks at questions of imperial authority, native sovereignty, and trans-oceanic communication in sixteenth-century epistolary correspondence between king and vassals.

Amber Brian photo
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2007)