Core Program, 2013–14

Iberian Globalization of the Early Modern World

—organized by Anna More, University of California, Los Angeles/Universidade de Brasília, and Ivonne del Valle, University of California, Berkeley

Iberian imperialism was one of the first attempts to link the globe through supposedly universal values, in this case derived from Christianity. Yet Spanish and Portuguese monarchies strove to achieve this global reach with technological, scientific, and juridical practices that accompanied and at times competed with their evangelical pursuits. These attempts to overhaul vast cultural territories between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries resulted in a variety of consequences and responses, from absolute upheavals, to compromises and new syntheses. The purpose of this core program is to examine the radical changes that Iberian empires brought to areas such as land tenure, technological practices, racial classifications, and cultural expression in light of the deep histories of the indigenous, African, and Asian regions they affected. Through this investigation, we wish to arrive at a more precise concept of globalization in its early modern guise.

Conference 1: Contested Cultures of the Sacred
October 25–26, 2013

The conference addresses the role of religion in the transformation of pre-Hispanic, African and Asian worlds into Westernized milieus. It addresses Christianity not as dogma but as a flexible corpus of ideas and practices engaged by the different local populations in novel ways. Sessions investigate the relationship between religion and the arts (theater, painting, music) as a source of popular culture that remains significant even now. Likewise, since evangelization had the double task of Christianizing and civilizing the native populations, another field covered is the impact of religion, both Christian and native, in a variety of non-religious practices and institutions such as knowledge production, the university, and politics. Through these themes, the conference questions the sharp divide between a religious and a secular base for modern societies.

Session 1: The Force of Transformation
Chair: Maria Elena Martinez, University of Southern California

Pablo Escalante Gonzalbo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
“The Concept of Sacrifice in the Process of Building a Syncretic Liturgy: Art and Religion in the Pueblos de Indios of Sixteenth-Century New Spain”

José Rabasa, Harvard University
“The Uses of Sacred History in Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Historical Writings”

Jody Blanco, University of California, San Diego
“Our Lady of Anarchy: Iconography as Law on the Frontiers of the Spanish Empire”

Session 2: Ways of Proceeding
Chair: Kevin Terraciano, University of California, Los Angeles

Daniela Bleichmar, University of Southern California
“Amerindian Knowledge and Belief in Sixteenth-Century Codices”

Louise M. Burkhart, University at Albany, State University of New York
“Seizing a Global Doctrine: Indigenous Catechetical Images and Practices in New Spain”

Charlene Villaseñor Black, University of California, Los Angeles
“Suffering and Sacred Cults in the Iberian World, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries”

Session 3: Institutional Affirmations
Chair: Andrew Devereux, Loyola Marymount University

Kristin Huffine, University of Northern Illinois
“De scientia sacerdoti necessaria: Religious Knowledge and Indigenous Cultural Reform in the Writings of José de Acosta”

Bruno Feitler, Universidade Federal de São Paulo
“Iberian Inquisitions and Colonial Expansion”

Conference 2: Instrumental Transformations: Technology, Labor, Nature
February 28, 2014

While often supposedly a neutral instrument for gathering knowledge or transforming nature, technology—understood broadly as an instrumental practice toward a material end—had an enormous impact on the creation of a colonial world. Mining, cattle, agriculture, urbanism itself, radically transformed not only the environment of the newly acquired territories, but through this, the relationships of people to their surroundings, their practices and to themselves. Furthermore, the labor required for new endeavors such as mining, pearl diving, and textile production was frequently secured by the forced relocation of local or external populations, and therefore the uprooting of cultural practices, including technological and scientific, that had preceded the colonial ones. Drawing on new work in history of science, labor and cultural studies, panels address the material effects, both designed and unintended, of technological practices in the Iberian empires.

Session 1: Value, Geography and Natural Law
Chair: Carla Gardina Pestana, University of California, Los Angeles

María Elena Díaz, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Did Spaniards Find the Secret of Making Copper?”

Patricia Seed, University of California, Irvine
“Why the Market Theory of Value Originated in Spain”

Orlando Bentancor, Barnard College
“Imperial Reason, Natural Right and Mining in Francisco de Vitoria and José de Acosta”

Session 2: Racial and Civic Economies
Chair: Alex Borucki, University of California, Irvine

Stella Nair, University of California, Los Angeles
“An Unexpected Account of Urbs and Civitas in an Indigenous Town”

Rachel Sarah O’Toole, University of California, Irvine
“The Labor of Freedom: Slaveholding and Manumission in Colonial Peru”

Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, Université Paris-Sorbonne
“Genealogy of the South Atlantic History”

Session 3: Governing Technologies
Chair: Marcelo Aranda, Stanford University

Nicolas Wey-Gomez, California Institute of Technology
“Technologies of Empire: Martin Behaim’s Globe (1492)”

Antonio Barrera-Osorio, Colgate University
“Knowing Nature: Experience and Technology in the Iberian Atlantic World”

Juan Pimentel, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
“A Newtonian Empire: Nautical Instruments and Natural Philosophy in the Political Vision of the Malaspina Expedition (1789–94)”

Conference 3: New Ideas and their Global Locations
May 2–3, 2014

The conference explores the changes brought about to the traditional epistemologies and imaginary structures of both Europeans and non-Europeans when faced with the consequences of Iberian expansion. Reflecting the creative spaces in which ideas took form, it considers not only such emerging genres as the novel but also those more prevalent in Iberian colonies, such as histories, sermons, theater and poetry. Through these it will address the responses of European and colonial authors to the massive challenges posed by the novelty, violence and desire unleashed in global expansion. At the same time panels also consider the impact of non-written cultures on erudite culture, as well as ways that ideas circulated outside of the written word. Panels thus explore how knowledge was produced through processes of exchange that involved all sectors of society, including African and indigenous peoples.

Session 1: Networks of Exchange
Chair: Barbara Fuchs, University of California, Los Angeles

Kevin Terraciano, University of California, Los Angeles
“The First Native American Book about Money in the New World”

Elvira Vilches, North Carolina State University
“Paper Technologies in the Iberian Atlantic: Mercantile Culture, Economic Thought, and Narrative”

Fabien Montcher, Ahmanson-Getty Fellow
“Political Mediation of Knowledge across the Iberian Empire and the Rise of Global State Information Systems (ca. 1580–1648)”

Session 2: Shifting Identities
Chair: Jody Blanco, University of California, San Diego

Kenneth Mills, University of Toronto
“Precise Imagining, Strategic Fantasy: Diego de Ocaña as Reader and Writer in an Early Modern Spanish World”

Kathryn Burns, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Conquistador Unmarriages: Keeping Company in Peru, 1520s–50s”

Amanda J. Snyder, Ahmanson-Getty Fellow
“Criminality and Identity in the Anglo-Spanish Atlantic: Creating New Caribbean Identities”

Session 3: Inventing Culture
Chair: Charlene Villaseñor-Black, University of California, Los Angeles

Lisa Voigt, Ohio State University
“Imperial Locations in Portuguese Festivals, Portuguese Festivals in Imperial Locations”

Miruna Achim, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City
“From Idols to Antiquities: The Invention of American Ruins in the Late Eighteenth Century”

Session 4: Empire and Globalism
Chair: Robin Derby, University of California, Los Angeles

Ricardo Padrón, University of Virginia
“The Spanish Pacific and Iberian Globalism”

Aaron Alejandro Olivas, Ahmanson-Getty Fellow
“Bourbon Global Monarchy: The Succession of Felipe V in Spanish America Viewed from Versailles”

Charles Walker, University of California, Davis
“The Túpac Amaru Rebellion (1780–83): A North Atlantic Revolution?”