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Talking to the Desert: Franciscan Explorations and Narratives of 18th-century Arizona

This paper focuses on the writing of Franciscan descriptions of Yuma and Papago territories in the late eighteenth century. It analysis the intellectual frameworks as well as the personal and institutional contexts shaping the narratives constructed by fathers Francisco Garcés and Juan Díaz. Although the paper discusses the reception of such documents among members of the Franciscan college of Queretaro, the main concern is the conditions of production of these diaries, contending that Garcés and Díaz attempted to portray peoples and landscapes fitting the Franciscans’ efforts to move the mission frontier forward.

Jose Refugio de la Torre Curiel, Universidad de Guadalajara