Iris Montero-Sobrevilla Receives 2021 Robert F. Heizer Award

Iris Montero-Sobrevilla, current Member in the School of Historical Studies, has won the 2021 Robert F. Heizer Article Award for “The Disguise of the Hummingbird: On the Natural History of Huitzilopochtli in the Florentine Codex" (Ethnohistory, Volume 67, Number 3). 

The award, granted by the American Society for Ethnohistory, seeks to center Indigenous histories with interdisciplinary approaches. Methodologically, Montero-Sobrevilla combines tools from the history of science and Mesoamerican studies. Her article “draws upon sources in Nahuatl and Spanish, as well as visual texts,” showing how “seasonal cycles and hummingbird behavior… can be interpreted as inspiring the three main feasts of Huitzilopochtli" in pre-Columbian Mexico.

Montero-Sobrevilla’s research focuses on early modern science and medicine, natural history, and “transfers of knowledge between the Americas and Europe,” especially as they relate to Indigenous agency. At the Institute, Montero-Sobrevilla is working on a project exploring the Christian rhetoric of extraction from the fifteenth-century Caribbean to twenty-first century North America.

The American Society for Ethnohistory, along with its sponsored journal Ethnohistory, represents a variety of disciplines, including cultural anthropology, history, and ecology. The society emerged from the research done for the Indian Claims Act of 1946. Currently, it has about five hundred active members and seven hundred institutional subscribers, with a shared commitment to create “a more inclusive picture of the histories of native groups in the Americas.”

The society’s Robert F. Heizer Award recognizes the best article in the field of ethnohistory.

Read more at ASE.