52nd International Congress of Americanists
52° Congreso Internacional de Americanistas
17 – 21 de Julio
Symposium: “Everyday Negotiation between Native Americans, Africans and Iberians and the Construction of Empire”
Analyzing the quotidian negotiations between Native Americans, Africans and Iberians, this symposium explores the development of cultures, society and Empire in sixteenth-century Latin America and Iberia. Participants in the symposium will analyze the movement of ideas, goods, symbols, images, beliefs and people across community boundaries, and will show how these quotidian inter-communal exchanges gave rise to distinctive local cultures, a pluralist society and the social networks and structures that governed the Empire. Inviting papers from the fields of history, archeology, anthropology and art history, the symposium will evaluate recent uses of the notion of “negotiation” to re-conceptualize early modern governance, and will work toward a coherent theory of how colonial culture, society and rule developed as individuals interacted, communicated, negotiated, and transacted goods.
Views on the creation of colonial society and rule have ranged from models that conceptualize Spanish conquest as the imposition of power to models that perceive Spaniards, Africans and Native Americans as living largely separate lives. Moving away from dichotomies, and paradigms of domination and resistance, papers will explore the dualisms and complexities of everyday interactions. Likewise, they will conceptualize communities as distinctive, but porous and transforming. They will investigate colonial society and culture as constantly being formed and transformed through the ongoing interactions of the diverse people and cultures within Iberia and the Americas. In so doing, the papers will seek to understand the emergence of the Empire and the cultural practices of colonial rule in a pluralistic society.
Papers should present case studies that either investigate interactions between persons from distinct communities, or the incorporation of outsiders into a community. They should examine these inter-communal exchanges and movement as important loci for cultural and social change, and for the creation and transformation of colonial power in the Americas. We welcome papers that examine aspects of pragmatic and opportunistic management of symbols, ideology, rhetoric or material goods from other communities, as a window into ideological, political, and practical aspects of life in a pluralistic society. Through the presentation of distinctive case studies, the symposium will examine regional and local variation in cultural, historical, and social patterns, and will identify how Native Americans, Africans and Spaniards co-created, for example, but not limited to, the legal, material, religious, culinary and visual cultures of the emergent South Atlantic World.
Of particular interest are papers that are cross-disciplinary or that discuss the different methodological or epistemological approaches and assumptions of different disciplines and suggest new ways that disciplines can collaborate to better understand the everyday negotiations in colonial societies.
Please submit paper titles, abstracts (one page maximum) and CVs to both coordinators by March 25, 2005.
Assistant Professor of Archeology
University of Texas-Austin
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