THE COLUMBIAN QUINCENTENARY HAS GENERATED AN abundance of public and academic scholarship, most of it of high quality. Perhaps quixotically, I have attempted to keep up with the flow for the sake of my teaching, my writing, and the American Historical Association's Columbus Quincentenary Committee, which I chaired for its last two years. I also made the attempt out of sheer interest in the rare phenomenon of an international (rather than mere national) observance, and because this book needed a concluding chapter that looked beyond 1992.
The following essay seeks to survey the recent productions of individual scholars, museums, and film and television companies that promise to have a durable and salutary impact on future thinking, teaching, and scholarship about the "Columbian Encounter." It concludes by suggesting several ways we can incorporate these advances into our textbooks, classrooms, and public media. If we have been able to see more clearly the complex, controversial, and often tragic post-Columbian world than did previous generations, it is due largely, I think, to the serious, ethnically sensitive, commemorative (rather than celebratory) spirit with which we approached the five hundredth anniversary. My only regret is that I will probably not be around to experience the Sexcentenary.
The essay has benefitted from the editorial offices of Michael