Professor of History
E. Bradford Burns Chair of Latin American Studies
Director, Latin American Institute
Terraciano specializes in Latin American history, especially Mexico and the Indigenous cultures and languages of central and southern Mexico (including Nahuatl, Mixtec, and Zapotec) in the colonial period. He is the author of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca: Ñudzahui History, 16th through 18th Centuries (Stanford University Press, 2001), translated into Spanish in Mexico as Los mixtecos de la Oaxaca colonial by El Fondo de Cultura Económica (2013), and he translated and edited a rare Nahuatl-Mixtec manuscript from Colonial Mexico (1550-1564) called the Codex Sierra (Oklahoma University Press, 2021). He edited and translated many documents in Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2005, co-edited with Lisa Sousa and Matthew Restall). Recently (2019) he co-edited and contributed chapters to two volumes: The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in 16th-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press, co-edited with Jeanette Peterson); and Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern (Getty Publications, co-edited with Larry Silver). Terraciano has received numerous prizes for his books and research articles.
(see selected publications)
Terraciano teaches various undergraduate lecture courses and seminars on Latin America, beginning with History 8A, Introduction to Colonial Latin America. He also works independently with students on honors theses and research projects. In 2001, he won the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. He has received two Faculty Recognition awards from the UCLA Academic Advancement Program. In 2012 he received the UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize for Academic Excellence, given annually to a faculty member in mid-career who combines outstanding research and undergraduate teaching. Terraciano has received 10 awards for his teaching and graduate mentoring at UCLA.
Nahuatl Language Instruction
Since Fall 2015, the Latin American Institute (LAI) has sponsored the instruction of Nahuatl at UCLA. As founder of the program and LAI Director, Terraciano is the instructor of record for these courses. The LAI currently offers nine courses of Elementary, Internediate and Advanced Nahuatl. The courses are cross-listed by three contributing departments: Latin American Studies (through International Area Studies); Chicana/o Studies; and Indigenous Languages of the Americas (through Spanish & Portuguese). The distance-learning courses are taught by native-speakers of the language in Mexico who are affiliated with the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ). The UCLA Academic Senate has approved the M5A-C Beginning Nahuatl series to fulfill the one-year undergraduate foreign language requirement. In the curriculum development and instruction of these courses, and the pedagogical training of the native-language instructors, the LAI is partnering and sharing expenses with the Latin American Centers at Stanford University, the University of Utah, and UC Berkeley in an alliance called the Latin American Indigenous Studies Alliance (LAISA).
Terraciano has chaired or co-chaired the dissertation committees of 20 students in Latin American history who have received PhDs at UCLA in the last 25 years, and is currently advising 6 doctoral students. The dissertations of his advisees have addressed numerous research topics related to Colonial Latin America, from indigenous histories of southern, central and northern Mexico to race, class, and gender in Guatemala City, from slavery in Cuba, Puebla, and Oaxaca to memories of Inca history in colonial Peru. He has also worked with numerous students in the interdisciplinary Latin American Studies and American Indian Studies MA programs. In addition to acting as principal advisor to those 26 students, Terraciano has served on the dissertation committees of 88 doctoral students in the following departments or schools: Archaeology, Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, Art History, Comparative Literature, Education, Ethnomusicology, Hispanic Languages and Literatures (Spanish & Portuguese), History, Law, Linguistics, Sociology, World Arts and Cultures.
Ph.D UCLA 1994
MA UCLA 1989
BA UCLA 1985
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (since 2010)
Codex Sierra: A Nahuatl-Mixtec Book of Accounts from Colonial Mexico. Oklahoma University Press, 2021.
“Memories of Better Times Before the Christians Came to Mexico and Guatemala.” Ethnohistory, vol. 67 (2): April, 2021.
“Los títulos primordiales y la ‘conquista original’ de Oaxaca.” Co-authored with Lisa Sousa.Noticonquista. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, October 12, 2020.Noticonquista.unam.mx
“La matanza de Toxcatl / The Toxcatl Massacre.”Co-authored with Lisa Sousa.Noticonquista. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, May 18, 2020. Noticonquista.unam.mx
The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth-Century Mexico. Co-edited with Jeanette Peterson. University of Texas Press, 2019.
“An Encyclopedia of Nahua Culture: Context and Content.” Introduction to The Florentine Codex. Jeanette Peterson and Kevin Terraciano, eds. University of Texas Press, 2019.
“Reading Between the Lines of Book Twelve.” In The Florentine Codex. Jeanette Peterson and Kevin Terraciano, eds. University of Texas Press, 2019.
Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern. Co-edited with Larry Silver. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2019.
“Canons Seen and Unseen in Colonial Mexico.” In Canons and Values: Ancient to Modern. Larry Silver and Kevin Terraciano, eds. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2019.
“Roundtable: Ethnohistory at Sixty. Comments on Louise M. Burkhart’s “The Solar Christ in Nahuatl Doctrinal Texts of Early Colonial Mexico.”‘ Ethnohistory, 66:1 (January 2019).
“The Zapotec Language Testament of Sebastiana de Mendoza, c. 1675.” Co-authored with Pamela Munro et al. In Tlalocan: Revista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXIII. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2018.
“History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica.” Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 72. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.
“Una confesión de homicidio en la Mixteca Alta, 1684.” In Tlalocan: Revista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXII. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2017.
“Un testamento zapoteco del Valle de Oaxaca, 1614.” Co-authored with Pamela Munro et al. In Tlalocan: Revista de fuentes para el conocimiento de las culturas indígenas de México, vol. XXII. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2017.
“Portrait of a Mixtec Woman Named 6-Crocodile.” In Native Wills from the Colonial Americas, ed. by Mark Christensen and Jonathan Truitt. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016.
“Parallel Nahuatl and Pictorial Texts in the Mixtec Codex Sierra Texupan.” Ethnohistory, 62: 3 (Fall 2015).
“History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica.” Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 70. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.
“Narrativas de Tlatelolco sobre la Conquista de México.”Estudios de Cultura Nahuatl, v. 47 (enero-junio), 2014.
Los mixtecos de la Oaxaca colonial: La historia ñudzahui del siglo xvi al xviii. Translation of The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca by Pablo Escalante Gonzalbo. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013.
“Memorias contrapuestas de la conquista de México.” In Miradas comparadas en los virreinatos de América, ed. by Ilona Katzew. Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; CONACULTA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012.
“Connecting Nahua and Mixtec Histories.” In Fanning the Sacred Flames: Mesoamerican Studies in Honor of H. B. Nicholson, ed. by Matthew Boxt and Brian Dillon. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2012.
“Competing Memories of the Conquest of Mexico.” In Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World, ed. by Ilona Katzew. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
“Voices from the Other Side: Native Views from New Spain, Peru, and North America.” In The Atlantic World c.1450-c.1850, ed. by Philip Morgan and Nicholas Canny. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“History: Ethnohistory: Mesoamerica.” Co-edited with Lisa Sousa. Handbook of Latin American Studies, vol. 66. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.
“How a Zapotec Community Used Native-Language Documents to Defend its Lands.” In Tradition and Innovation in Mesoamerican Cultural History, ed. by Roberto Cantú and Aaron Sonnenschein. Lincom Studies in Anthropology, 16. Munich: Lincom Europa, 2011.
“A Historiography of New Spain.” Co-authored with Lisa Sousa. In The Historiography of Latin America, ed. by Jose Moya. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
“Three Texts in One: Book XII of the Florentine Codex.” Ethnohistory, vol. 57 (1) 2010.
“La genealogía de la memoria social indígena: Las construcciones estratégicas del pasado en los títulos primordiales del valle de Oaxaca.” Co-authored with Lisa Sousa, in Caras y máscaras del México étnico, ed. by Andrew Roth Seneff. La participación indígena en las formaciones del Estado mexicano, vol. 1. Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2010.
“Three Views of the Conquest of Mexico from the Other Mexica.” In The Conquest of Mexico All Over Again, ed. by Susan Schroeder. London: Sussex Academic Press, 2010.
“Sources and Methods for the Study of Mixtec History.” In Sources and Methods for the Study of Postconquest Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, ed. by James Lockhart, Stephanie Wood, and Lisa Sousa. E-Book version. Eugene, Oregon: Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon, 2010. http://whp.uoregon.edu/Lockhart/index.html