Tag Archives: Moors

New Publication: Carmen Fracchia, ‘”Black but Human” Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700’ (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019)

In ‘Black but Human’ Carmen Fracchia, Reader in Hispanic Art History at Birkbeck, explores the emergence of the slave and freed slave subjects in the visual form of Imperial Spain. The book considers the links between visual regimes and early modern Spanish discourses on slavery and human diversity that are the historic roots of contemporary racism in the Hispanic world.

‘Black but Human’ is the first study to focus on the visual representations of African slaves and ex-slaves in Spain during the Hapsburg dynasty. The Afro-Hispanic proverb ‘Black but Human’ is the main thread of the six chapters and serves as a lens through which to explore how a certain visual representation of slavery both embodies and reproduces hegemonic visions of enslaved and liberated Africans, and at the same time provides material for critical and emancipatory practices by Afro-Hispanics themselves.

The African presence in the Iberian Peninsula between the late fifteenth century and the end of the seventeenth century was as a result of the institutionalization of the local and transatlantic slave trades. In addition to the Moors, Berbers and Turks born as slaves, there were approximately two million enslaved people in the kingdoms of Castile, Aragón and Portugal. The ‘Black but Human’ topos that emerges from the African work songs and poems written by Afro-Hispanics encodes the multi-layered processes through which a black emancipatory subject emerges and a ‘black nation’ forges a collective resistance. It is visually articulated by Afro-Hispanic and Spanish artists in religious paintings and in the genres of self-portraiture and portraiture. This extraordinary imagery coexists with the stereotypical representations of African slaves and ex-slaves by Spanish sculptors, engravers, jewellers, and painters mainly in the religious visual form and by European draftsmen and miniaturists, in their landscape drawings and sketches for costume books.

Click here for more information and to pre-order this book

Advertisements

Conference: Iberian (In)tolerance: Minorities, Cultural Exchanges and Social Exclusion in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era, London, November 8–9, 2018

slid-angelesVenue: Senate House, Bedford Room 37 (8th Nov); Bush House, KCL S2.01 and Instituto Cervantes (9th Nov)

Keynote speakers: Prof Trevor Dadson and Dr Alexander Samson

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, minorities in the Iberian peninsula experienced both peaceful coexistence and, at times, violent intolerance. But despite restrictions, persecutions, and forced conversions, extensive cultural production and exchange among Jews, Christians and Muslims defined the life in towns and cities across the centuries, particularly in Al-Andalus. In this context of religious (in)tolerance, the question of limpieza de sangre (blood purity) played an important role in preventing newly converted Christians from occupying high social positions. Recent approaches have highlighted how the question of limpieza de sangre was not only a matter of anti-Judaism or hostility towards Jews and Moors, but was also driven by personal enmity, ambition, and political interest. Also relevant are a series of political decisions concerning minorities, such as conversos or moriscos, which appeared in the two first decades of the seventeenth century and deeply affected the social climate of the time. This is reflected in literary works from the period, when a number of prominent pieces dealt directly with the issues raised by the political reforms. While some of the decisions are very well studied, such as the expulsion of the moriscos in 1609 and 1610, others such as the issue of the Pardons, in which the both Duke of Lerma and the Count-Duke of Olivares were involved, are less well known. It is clear that these circumstances affected the lives of many authors, their poetic trajectories and determined their voices and their works.

Click here for a full programme and here to book tickets

Organisers: Roser López Cruz (King’s College London) and Virginia Ghelarducci (School of Advanced Study)

Conference website: https://iberianintolerance.com