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Chemistry Laboratories

f the king but in the

image of Cortes. The fissure between name
and i mage, a mark of dissonance between the monarch and his conq
uistador-subject i

n these late days of Spanish conquest, is precisely the fissure Onate's behavior works to suture. By 1598 reenacting Cortes seems the only way Onate might imagine (or discover) himself a "rightful" conquistador in the terms of the now bankrupt economy of honor throu

gh warfare. Conquering History If we turn to Villagra's Historia of these events, the first thing we note is that he ignores (or forgets) this provenance of prior conquests. Villagra's opening pages establish the operative fiction of his task. Neither historian nor poet by profession, the soldier becomes both "more in response to the sense of duty I feel than in confidence of my ability" (35). VillagrS figures his monarch as the cause and the effect of both the conquest and its historical retelling: "Most Christian Philip," he begi

ns, "You are the Phoenix of New Mexico, newly produced and come forth fr

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ooking. They wash and bake, in short provide everything for their needs, from the wood they burn to the salt with which they season their food. They are expert in the art of tilling the soil. Every hour of the day you might find them clothed in shining steel as though they were encased in solid bronze. (178) The kind of ethnographic detail normally reserved for the record and study of "other" cultures is here used in the service of his own. But a

The primary focus of the Chemistry Laboratory is the thermal decomposition mechanisms of explosives and propellants. The reaction products and kinetics of decomposition are analyzed to provide necessary safety information on these materials.

pparently, Villagra has no confidence that the monarch recogn