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Review in the TLS: Fernando Cervantes reviews Parker & Thomas

Fernando Cervantes reviews Geoffrey Parker, Imprudent King: A New Life of Philip II and Hugh Thomas, World Without End: The Global Empire of Philip II in the Times Literary Supplement, Jan 30., 2015.


New Book: Princeton Companion to Atlantic History

The Princeton Companion to Atlantic History, Joseph C. Miller, ed. Vincent Brown, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Laurent Dubois, & Karen Ordahl Kupperman, associated editors (Princeton, 2014).

CFP: IULCE Conference “Decadence or Reconfiguration? The Monarchies of Spain and Portugal between Two Centuries (1640-1724),” Madrid, Dec 2-4 2015

Call for Papers: Decadence or Reconfiguration? The Monarchies of Spain and Portugal between Two Centuries (1640-1724)

The historical narration of the seventeenth century as a period of crisis belongs to an obsolete paradigm. The social and economic history on which the interpretation of this century was based, which started with the debates in Past & Present in the decade of the 1950’s, is no longer appropriate and has become outdated. In the 1980’s the limits of this interpretation were already pointed out (starting with the debate on the character of the English Revolution) and afterwards flagrant contradictions emerged which showed the whole early modern period as a large succession of consecutive crises: the religious crisis of the sixteenth century, the crisis of the 1590’s, the one of 1640 and finally the crisis of European consciousness between 1670 and 1715. Apart from reflecting on the meaning of crisis (and the use historians make of it), we consider it more logical to establish a new historical narration. In our studies on the sixteenth century we used the concept “configuration of the Hispanic Monarchy”, and regarding 1640 we conceive, on the basis of the research we are carrying out, a “reconfiguration” of both monarchies which implies transformation and not necessarily crisis.

From our point of view, the so called decadence of the Iberian Empires was much more complex and not only the consequence of economic causes, which is above all clear when we take into account that several territories of these monarchies went through a period of economic growth in this epoch. It was a general collapse which not only affected the social and political configuration on which these empires were founded during the sixteenth century, but also the ideological justification (political and theological) which had given raison d’être to their political practices. The Catholic Monarchy’s loss of interest in the European continent after the Peace of Westphalia, the evolution of the Portuguese monarchy and the attention for the Atlantic world are good indications for that.

Taking these considerations as a starting point we propose to analyse both monarchies from the perspective of the “reconfiguration” of their structures, which took place before the reforms of the eighteenth century.



  1. The concept of decadence

In this section the concept of decadence is studied, that is, the causes which have been adduced in historiography, particularly how it was used in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century in order to justify the backwardness of the Iberian nations compared to the rest of Europe.


  1. The collapse of the court. The reconfiguration of the royal household, the councils and the validos. The function of the Royal Sites

The seventeenth century was the epoch of the classic “court” (the court of the Baroque). In this period the definite etiquettes and ordinances were established, and the courtier behaviour which remained in the social mentality, was formalised. This social and political construction, which was accompanied by an unprecedented artistic display in painting, architecture and literature, started to be criticised in this period. Without a doubt, in this respect, the intensification of the relations between the court and the different royal sites played a fundamental role.


  1. Decadence of the viceroyalties? The institutional transformation of the European and American viceroyalties

The aim is to analyse the evolution of the viceroyalties. The cycle of revolts which started in 1640 led to a social restructuration, to a reconfiguration of the relations with the court of Madrid, and to a new function of Lisbon. The evolution of the social, political and institutional organization of both monarchies will be studied.


  1. The diplomatic relations of the Iberian monarchies. The end of the expansion

In this section the diplomatic relations are studied: the change of the political orientation they went through after the Peace of Westphalia and the new political and theological principles on which these monarchies based their existence. In this sense it is essential to study their relations with Rome, the new justification of their political practice and, at the same time, to explain the spirituality which emerged in this situation.




Instituto Universitario La Corte en Europa of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Instituto da Cooperaçao e da Língua Camoes



2-4 December 2015



Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos



Keynotes and open panels



Spanish, Portuguese, English



The proposals for panels should include three papers of 20 minutes each, the name of the chair, the participants with their affiliation, the title of the papers and a summary in 200 words. Proposals for individual papers are also accepted, and have the same requirements. The proposals should be sent by 31 March 2015 to

Further information in

The presented papers will be published after peer review.

Inscription for the conference: 50 euros (lunch and coffees included).



IBAN: ES3400496704582910002485

Concept: “inscripción congreso decadencia”

Schmidt-Nowara, “Continental Origins of Insular Proslavery” in Almanack, Nov 2014

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, “Continental Origins of Insular Proslavery: George Dawson Flinter in Curaçao, Venezuela, Britain, and Puerto Rico, 1810s-1830s,” Almanack 8 (November 2014): 55-67.

New Book: Mujica, “New Anthology of Early Modern Spanish Theater”

Bárbara Mujica, A New Anthology of Early Modern Spanish Theater: Play and Playtext (Yale, 2015).

New Book: “The Young Velázquez”

The Young Velázquez: “The Education of the Virgin” Restored, with essays by John Marciari, Carmen Albendea, Ian McClure, Anikó Bezur, Jens Stenger, and Benito Navarrete Prieto (Yale, 2014).

Manning, “Pintar con Letras” in Letras Femininas

Patricia Manning,“Pintar con letras. La estética de la naturaleza muerta y el retrato en Navidades de Madrid,” Letras femeninas 40.1 (Summer 2014): 55-72.

CFP: SCSC, Vancouver BC, Oct 22-25, 2015

The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC) is now accepting proposals for individual presentation proposals and complete panels for its 2014 annual conference, to be held 22-25 October 2015 at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2015.  Within four weeks after the deadline, the Program Committee will notify all those who submitted proposals. The conference will once again host poster sessions. Poster presenters must request a poster session code prior to submission from:

In addition to standard panels, the organizing committee will be accepting proposals for four types of alternate panels: Workshop Option A: Discussion of pre-circulated papers in a workshop format (limit of 4 participants).

Workshop Option B: Analysis of thorny translation/paleography questions; pre-circulation not required (limit of 3 participants).

Workshop Option C: Examination of a big issue or question with brief comments from presenters and lively audience participation (similar to roundtables with more audience participation; limit of 4 participants).

Questions about formats should be directed to:

The SCSC, founded to promote scholarship on the early modern era (ca. 1450 – ca. 1660), actively encourages the participation of international scholars as well as the integration of younger colleagues into the academic community. We also welcome proposals for roundtables sponsored by scholarly societies that are affiliated with the SCSC.

Abstracts (up to 250 words in length) for individual presentations and complete panels may be submitted online at:

The SCSC, a not-for-profit scholarly organization, receives no governmental or institutional funding. In order to participate in this conference, delegates or their sponsoring institution/organization will need to fund their own travel and lodging expenses in addition to a $170 per delegate registration fee ($100 student fee). The registration fee is used to pay for conference facilities and general events. By paying the fee, delegates become members in the SCSC and receive the Sixteenth Century Journal.

For more information, please contact:

Anne J. Cruz

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures University of Miami P.O. Box 248093 Coral Gables, FL 33124-2074


Warsh in W&MQ, Oct 2014: Political Ecology of the Pearl Coast

Warsh, Molly A.“A Political Ecology in the Early Spanish Caribbean” The William and Mary Quarterly  71, No. 4 (October 2014): 517-548.

CFP: MESA, Muslims, Moriscos, Renegades, and Christians in Habsburg Empire, Denver CO Nov 21-24, 2015

Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting

November 21-24, 2015 Denver, CO


Muslims, Moriscos, Renegades, and Christians: Conflictual Encounters, Conversions, and Exchange in the Early-Modern Habsburg Empire


The Mediterranean Sea and its coasts during the XVI and XVII centuries are the arena of religious and political conflicts and negotiations. This panel will explore sixteenth century representations of conversions and encounters between Christians and Muslims. Papers may consider themes such as piracy, captivity, conversion, Moriscos, Renegades, Mediterranean lingua franca, and polemical religious treatises. If you are interested in this panel, please submit a 250-word abstract and CV.


Organizer: Diana Galarreta, University of Virginia (
Deadline: February 3rd, 2015