Iberian Republics of Letters – CFP: RSA 2013 (San Diego)
Sponsored by Katrina Olds, Renaissance Society of America, Discipline Representative for History
Recent research on the production of knowledge in the Iberian World has illuminated the vitality and variety of learned activity in the early modern period, as well as a cornucopia of sources for the history of scholarly inquiry in Spain, Portugal, and its overseas territories, including, for example, botanical drawings, canonization trials, ecclesiastical histories, hagiographic and liturgical texts, maps and cartographic texts, medical treatises, natural histories, to name a few. This panel (or series of panels) aims to further this conversation by bringing together scholars in early modern Iberian intellectual history, broadly defined, who will further reflect upon the social, cultural, and political contexts of scholarship from ca. 1550-1650. For, if it has now become possible to chart several important moments in the history of scholarship in Spain, Portugal, and the ultramar, we would benefit from further scrutiny of the social, political, and religious contours of Iberian learned circles.
While a few exemplary individuals have received extensive treatment, it still remains to be seen how scholars at all levels – from the royal court all the way down to relatively obscure regional antiquarians – were connected to each other, to courtly, ecclesiastical, or other patrons, and to other like-minded individuals abroad. Several questions might be addressed, including: What is the bigger picture of scholarly activity in Spain, Portugal, and colonial Latin America? What connections united Iberian scholars with each other, institutions and patrons of learning – such as the royal court, Inquisition, religious orders, the royal court, etc. – and with scholars elsewhere in Europe? Can we chart learned epistolary networks within and beyond Spain, Portugal, and its overseas Iberian territories? Aside from the relatively well known university and courtly centers, what were some of the less familiar or peripheral sites of intellectual inquiry and communication? What role did regional universities, episcopal courts, and smaller religious houses, for example, play in the broader realm of scholarly discourse? Did scholars at all levels of the social and intellectual hierarchy communicate according to the norms and expectations of a broader Republic of Letters? Or did intellectual communities, learned societies, and other forms of scholarly-social association take a rather different form in Iberian territories than elsewhere in early modern Europe? Finally, how were scientific, ecclesiastical, antiquarian, and other forms of scholars and scholarship connected to each other?
Since the topic it itself interdisciplinary, a secondary aim of these panels is to bring a variety of disciplines into conversation with one another. Thus, submissions are warmly invited from scholars in a range of disciplines and perspectives, including but not limited to the study of the Atlantic World and colonial Latin America; art history; history of the book and reading; the history of science and technology; literature and society; and theology and religious history.
Please forward (1) a 150-word abstract; (2) a brief c.v. (not to exceed 300 words); and (3) relevant keywords to Katrina Olds (History – University of San Francisco) at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 6, 2012.