Faculty Bio

David Tavárez

Professor of Anthropology

David Tavárez received a combined Ph.D. in Anthropology and History from the University of Chicago in 2000. He is an ethnohistorian and a linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on Mesoamerican calendars and ritual practices, Nahua and Zapotec religion and society, indigenous intellectuals, indigenous responses to colonial evangelization, and indigenous historical consciousness and agency.

He is the author of The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, 2011; paperback, 2013; Spanish-language edition, 2012). He also co-edited (with Susan Schroeder, Anne Cruz, and Cristián Roa) Chimalpahin’s Conquest: A Nahua Historian’s Rewriting of Francisco López de Gómara’s La conquista de México (Stanford, 2010; Spanish-language edition, 2012), and co-authored (with Louise Burkhart and Elizabeth Boone) Painted Words: Nahua Catholicism, Politics, and Memory in the Atzaqualco Pictorial Catechism (Dumbarton Oaks, 2016). Please see his personal web site for a list of, and links to, many of his 40+ articles and book chapters, along with some book reviews.

He has served as Councilor for the American Society for Ethnohistory, as chair of the Mexican Studies Committee at the Conference for Latin American History, and as editorial board member of Ethnohistory and Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from NEH, NSF, FAMSI, RISM, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Mellon and Hewlett Foundations. His course offerings include a popular introduction to linguistics and anthropology, language and culture, Mesoamerican and Andean topics, ethnohistory, and Indigenous religions and literatures.