Research Interests

Professor Camilla Townsend is interested in relations between the indigenous and Europeans throughout the Americas. Her publications have spanned Mexico, the Andean Region and the Chesapeake. She is deeply immersed in the study of Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and her most intense focus is now on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writings left by Native American historians. Though the historical annals they produced, it is possible to catch a glimpse of indigenous conceptualizations of history as they existed at first contact.

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

  • Guggenheim Fellowship (2010)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship (2004)
  • Franklin Grant, American Philosophical Society (2004)
  • American Association of University Women fellowship (1994)
  • Fulbright Commission grant (1993)

Selected Publications


  • Here in This Year: Seventeenth-Century Nahuatl Annals of the Tlaxcala-Puebla Valley (Stanford, 2010)
  • American Indian History: A Documentary Reader (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
  • Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (New Mexico, 2006)
  • Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma (Hill & Wang, 2004)
  • Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America (Texas, 2000)

Selected Articles:

  • “Glimpsing Native American Historiography: The Cellular Principle in Sixteenth-Century Nahuatl Annals.” Ethnohistory (fall 2009): 625-650.
  • “’What in the World Have You Done to Me, My Lover?’ Sex, Servitude and Politics among the Pre-Conquest Nahuas as seen in the Cantares Mexicanos.” The Americas 62, 3 (2006): 348-89.
  • “Burying the White Gods: New Perspectives on the Conquest of Mexico.” American Historical Review 108, 3 (June 2003): 659-87.

Courses Offered


  • 508:280 Early Native American History
  • 508:282 Modern Native American History


  • American History PDR I
  • First Contact/ Borderlands