Friday, March 12, 2010

From Iberian Kingdoms to Atlantic Empires: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, 1250-1700

Call for Papers: The Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame announces an interdisciplinary, international conference on the history and literature of the Iberian empires from the High Middle Ages through the conquest of the New World. Although many scholars have acknowledged similarities between late-medieval Iberia and its colonies in the New World, few have offered precise answers to the questions that arise from these similarities. What is the relationship, for example, between “inquisition” in a medieval context and in the New World? Is it meaningful to compare minority Muslim communities in fifteenth-century Spain to indigenous peoples in the New World? How were the legal and political instruments of late medieval kings foundational for early modern Europe and Latin America? This conference encourages new ways of approaching the topic, based on the conviction that medievalists, early modernists, and Latin Americanists can make meaningful contributions to each other’s fields.

Panels will likely include the following topics:

  • Medieval and early modern Inquisition
  • Global exploration and conquest
  • Law, politics, and administration
  • Language, literature, and translation
  • Race, minority populations, and identity
  • Evangelization, “Christianization,” and conversion

The conference will take place at McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18, 2010. Papers from history and literature departments are welcome. Contributions from graduate students are especially welcomed and a prize of $200 will be awarded to the best graduate student paper as determined by a faculty panel. The authors of all accepted papers will be fully compensated for one night’s lodging and will be provided with a travel subvention of up to $100. All contributions should be sent to John Moscatiello, Chair of the Conference Committee, at by May 1, 2010 and include an abstract of 250 words (for a twenty-minute presentation), a cover letter, and a curriculum vitae.

Featured speakers:

  • Felipe Fernández-Armesto, University of Notre Dame
  • Paul Freedman, Yale University
  • Michael Gerli, University of Virginia
  • Kenneth Mills, University of Toronto
  • João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, New University of Lisbon

On Friday, September 17, the Medieval Institute will host a dinner and reception in honor of Jocelyn Hillgarth, Professor Emeritus of History, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of Toronto in celebration of the acquisition of his personal collection by the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

To register for this event, visit