The Unsettlement of America: The Story of Don Luis de Velasco


ACLS Fellowship Program




This study investigates a sixteenth-century indigenous translator who experienced nearly a decade of Western civilization before acting decisively against European settlement. Recovering the literary afterlife of Don Luis de Velasco across four centuries, it proposes the conceptual significance of unsettlement as a term evoking the richer American cultural history that emerges once we set aside the assumed inevitability of Anglo-American settlement. Finally, it explores the crucial role of failed translation in the shaping of hemispheric encounter, proposing mis-translation as the default condition of all translation in the colonial American world.