Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Camilla Townsend
  • Distinguished Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers Since 2006
  • Specialty: Early Native American and Latin American History; Early America
  • Email:
  • Office: 222 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8368



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



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


  • American History PDR I
  • First Contact/ Borderlands



  • 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.


  • 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)

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