The Casta Paintings, Theories of Human Diversity, and the Inferiority of Life in America
November 3, 2007
A Workshop of the International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World
This one-day Workshop will concentrate on the widespread theoretical discussions and bitter disputes in early modern Europe and America over the environment’s influence on the human body, the hierarchical view of human nature, and the social controls implicit in human classification. The vivid Spanish American casta paintings will be studied as documents in the theory of human “temperament,” a central concept of Hippocratic-Galenic medicine, and as a common form of racial arithmetic. Discussion will include the ways this widely accepted ordering of types was ultimately inverted. Scholars with an expert knowledge of the field will discuss aspects of the topic; each of their presentations will be followed by general discussion. Lunch will be provided, and a reception will follow the final session.
Carlos López Beltrán, Universidad Nacional
Autonoma de México
Magali Carrera, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University
Ilona Katzew, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Attendance at the Workshop and participation in the discussion are open to the academic community. Historians at the beginning of their careers are especially encouraged to attend. Travel and accommodation expenses will be the responsibility of attendees, though the Workshop can provide local lodging in-formation. Pre-registration is required. For a registration form and additional information, please see our Web site, www.fas.harvard.edu/~atlantic/casta.html or contact the Seminar office via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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