HISB37H3_Short Paper 1: Conflicting Interpretations Submit Assignment

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Write a paper of at least 1,000 words (including notes and bibliography) based on the essays by Rebecca Earle and Enrique Rodríguez Alegría, which are available on the library course reserve page. Your paper should answer the following question: Which author, Earle or Rodríguez Alegría, offers a more convincing account of cross-cultural dining in early New Spain?

To answer this question, you first need to set out the basic historical problem, did Spaniards and Indians generally eat together in colonial New Spain? What were the social meanings attached to the foods, cooking utensils, and dinnerware of each group, and did people from different social groups regularly share a common table? The next step is to summarize the rival interpretations of each author. What logical arguments do they make and what primary source evidence do they use to support their conclusions? Once you understand both positions, you should explain which author provides a more convincing historical argument.

As with all argumentative papers, you must include a thesis statement, summarizing in one sentence (preferably the last sentence of your introductory paragraph) the entire argument of your paper. Please italicize or underline the thesis as an aid to both the grader and yourself. Although you only need to use the two papers, be sure to include a bibliography of all the sources you use, as well as footnotes to all quotes and significant references. This paper will be worth 10 percent of your final grade.

Paper Format

Please double-space your papers. Bibliographies and footnotes or endnotes should follow the latest version of Chicago Manual of Style. Note the use of short citations for all notes. The Chicago Manual includes multiple versions, some of which ask you to spell out the complete citation, including publication information, the first time a source is referenced in the notes, but for this class, just use the last name, short title, and page numbers if any. Here are some common examples:


Buffington, Robert, and Jesus Osciel Salazar. “José Guadalupe Posada and Visual Culture in Porfirian Mexico.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Latin American History, edited by William H. Beezley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.587.

“Muralismo Mexicano.” http://museopalaciodebellasartes.gob.mx/muralismo-mexicano/ (Links to an external site.). Accessed April 30, 2020.

Nemser, Daniel. “‘To Avoid This Mixture’: Rethinking Pulque in Colonial Mexico City.” Food and Foodways 19 (2011): 98-121.

Pineda, Encarnación. Encarnación’s Kitchen: Mexican Recipes from Nineteenth-Century California. Translated by Dan Strehl. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.


1Pineda, Encarnación’s Kitchen, 45-52.

2Buffington and Osciel Salazar, “José Guadalupe Posada.”

3“Muralismo Mexicano.”

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