Conference at UCLA: Iberian Globalization, Feb 28, 2014

Iberian Globalization of the Early Modern World
Session 2, Instrumental Transformations: Technology, Labor, Nature
A core program conference at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
—organized by Anna More (UCLA/Universidade de Brasília) and Ivonne del Valle (UC Berkeley)
Friday, February 28, 2014 Core Program

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.

Session 2—Instrumental Transformations: Technology, Labor, Nature

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 will address the material effects, both designed and unintended, of technological practices in the Iberian empires.

–Online Registration Form
Registration Deadline: February 25, 2014

Please click here for our online registration form.

Registration fees:
All students (with ID), Center & Clark Affiliated Faculty, UC faculty and staff: no charge
General public and other faculty: $20.

*Students should be prepared to provide their current University ID at the conference.

Complimentary lunch and other refreshments are provided to all registrants.

Please be aware that space at the Clark is limited and that registration closes when capacity is reached. Confirmation will be sent via email.

February 28
9:00 a.m. Morning Coffee and Registration
9:30 a.m. Barbara Fuchs, Clark Library, University of California, Los Angeles

Anna More, Universidade de Brasília/University of California, Los Angeles and Ivonne del Valle, University of California, Berkeley
Opening Remarks

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

11:45 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. 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

3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
3:30 p.m. 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 (1789–1794)

5:30 p.m. Reception

About emspanishhistorynotes

Scott Taylor is an associate professor in the history department at the University of Kentucky.


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