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David Klassen

Lecturer in History

David Klassen is a scholar of indigenous political movements in the late colonial Andes of Peru. He explores how indigenous political ideas and mobilizations that emerged out of regional conflicts affected a Spanish system that, in the estimation of one colonial official, “rests upon the work of the hands and feet of the Indians.” Klassen explores how indigenous resistances and their enunciations of alternative forms of sovereignty were not just local matters but ones that deepened crises of revenue, hierarchy, and labor in the whole of the Spanish Empire and the Atlantic world that it had long dominated.

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Klassen completed his PhD in Latin American history from New York University. In his upcoming work, The Hungry Who Feed Us: Tribute Resistance and the Breakdown of the Spanish Empire, he argues that, given tribute’s centrality to the colonial order, Andean indigenous mobilizations against the institution destabilized the whole imperial system.