Myth and Reality in the Writing of Spanish History
Author: Ruth MacKay
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Since the early modern era, historians and observers of Spain, both within the country and beyond it, have identified a peculiarly Spanish disdain for work, especially manual labor, and have seen it as a primary explanation for that nation's alleged failure to develop like the rest of Europe. In "Lazy, Improvident People" the historian Ruth MacKay examines the origins of this deeply ingrained historical prejudice and cultural stereotype. MacKay finds these origins in the ilustrados, the Enlightenment intellectuals and reformers who rose to prominence in the late eighteenth century. To advance their own, patriotic project of rationalization and progress, they disparaged what had gone before. Relying in part on late medieval and early modern political treatises about "vile and mechanical" labor, they claimed that previous generations of Spaniards had been indolent and backward. Through a close reading of the archival record, MacKay shows that such treatises and dramatic literature in no way reflected the actual lives of early modern artisans, who were neither particularly slothful nor untalented. On the contrary, they behaved as citizens, and their work was seen as dignified and essential to the common good. MacKay contends that the ilustrados' profound misreading of their own past created a propagandistic myth that has been internalized by subsequent intellectuals. MacKay's is thus a book about the notion of Spanish exceptionalism, the ways in which this notion developed, and the burden and skewed vision it has imposed on Spaniards and outsiders. "Lazy, Improvident People" will fascinate not only historians of early modern and modern Spain but all readers who are concerned with the process by which historical narratives are formed, reproduced, and given authority.
Between 1778 and 1784 the Spanish Crown transported more than 1,900 peasants, including 875 women and girls, from northern Spain to South America in an ill-fated scheme to colonize Patagonia. The story begins as the colonists trudge across northern Spain to volunteer for the project and follows them across the Atlantic to Montevideo. However, before the last ships reached the Americas, harsh weather, disease, and the prospect of mutiny on the Patagonian coast forced the Crown to abandon the project. Eventually, the peasant colonists were resettled in towns outside of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where they raised families, bought slaves, and gradually integrated into colonial society. Gendered Crossings brings to life the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in the peasants’ gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.
Over the course of some two centuries following the conquests and consolidations of Spanish rule in the Americas during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries—the period designated as the Baroque—new cultural forms sprang from the cross-fertilization of Spanish, Amerindian, and African traditions. This dynamism of motion, relocation, and mutation changed things not only in Spanish America, but also in Spain, creating a transatlantic Hispanic world with new understandings of personhood, place, foodstuffs, music, animals, ownership, money and objects of value, beauty, human nature, divinity and the sacred, cultural proclivities—a whole lexikon of things in motion, variation, and relation to one another. Featuring the most creative thinking by the foremost scholars across a number of disciplines, the Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque is a uniquely wide-ranging and sustained exploration of the profound cultural transfers and transformations that define the transatlantic Spanish world in the Baroque era. Pairs of authors—one treating the peninsular Spanish kingdoms, the other those of the Americas—provocatively investigate over forty key concepts, ranging from material objects to metaphysical notions. Illuminating difference as much as complementarity, departure as much as continuity, the book captures a dynamic universe of meanings in the various midst of its own re-creations. The Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque joins leading work in a number of intersecting fields and will fire new research—it is the indispensible starting point for all serious scholars of the early modern Spanish world.
Politics and Society in a forgotten Era (1700-1759)
Growing out of the first Anglophone academic workshop to focuse exclusively on the early Bourbon Spanish America, this collective volume offers a new perspective on the key changes experienced in Spanish America during the first half of the eighteenth century.
Contesting History is an authoritative guide to the positive and negative applications of the past in the public arena and what this signifies for the meaning of history more widely. Using a global, non-Western model, Jeremy Black examines the employment of history by the state, the media, the national collective memory and others and considers its fundamental significance in how we understand the past. Moving from public life pre-1400 to the struggle of ideologies in the 20th century and contemporary efforts to find meaning in historical narratives, Jeremy Black incorporates a great deal of original material on governmental, social and commercial influences on the public use of history. This includes a host of in-depth case studies from different periods of history around the world, and coverage of public history in a wider range of media, including TV and film. Readers are guided through this material by an expansive introduction, section headings, chapter conclusions and a selected further reading list. Written with eminent clarity and breadth of knowledge, Contesting History is a key text for all students of public history and anyone keen to know more about the nature of history as a discipline and concept.
Sheep Herding, Pastoral Discourse, and Ethnicity in Early Modern Spain
Author: Javier Irigoyen-Garcia
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Literary Criticism
The Spanish Arcadia analyzes the figure of the shepherd in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish imaginary, exploring its centrality to the discourses on racial, cultural, and religious identity. Drawing on a wide range of documents, including theological polemics on blood purity, political treatises, manuals on animal husbandry, historiography, paintings, epic poems, and Spanish ballads, Javier Irigoyen-García argues that the figure of the shepherd takes on extraordinary importance in the reshaping of early modern Spanish identity. The Spanish Arcadia contextualizes pastoral romances within a broader framework and assesses how they inform other cultural manifestations. In doing so, Irigoyen-García provides incisive new ideas about the social and ethnocentric uses of the genre, as well as its interrelation with ideas of race, animal husbandry, and nation building in early modern Spain.