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Call for Papers
April 8, 2019 to April 10, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, World History / Studies

In the early modern period, the name of ‘Indias’ or ‘Indies’ marked the tropical ‘ends of the world.’ As an imagined transoceanic space of material and cultural exchanges it rapidly become an alluring and enduring object of knowledge and desire.  Yet research and debate on its significance for the history of knowledge at large remains fragmented and underdeveloped. This LAGLOBAL workshop seeks to sort and connect the meanings and materiality of ‘Indies’ and debate its significance for the global history of knowledge and culture. The settings of our three-day workshop embody our concerns: Seville and Cadiz were bases for successive, transoceanic ‘Indias’ projects of empire, exchange and knowledge and this historical fact remains tangible in these cities today.

We invite contributions from scholars of all regions of the world working on the early modern and modern or contemporary periods. We are particularly interested in papers that address in some fashion the following questions:

  • How was the name of ‘Indies’ configured and mobilised in different settings, moments and languages? What other names did it compete with?
  • How were ‘of-the-Indies’ objects and subjects (in Spanish, indiano and indio among other names) marked, configured, traded and governed in different languages, settings and moments?
  • In what ways did the activities and knowledge horizons of ‘Indies’ trading companies or merchant houses (Dutch, British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) differ?
  • When and where were workshops, academies, cabinets, archives, libraries or networks devoted to the study of ‘the Indies’ established? Did their activities differ substantially across empires? What kinds of knowledge did they share or keep secret?
  • What role did ‘the Indies’ and ‘the Indians’ as objects and subjects of knowledge play in the invention of key historical concepts such as the Renaissance or the Enlightenment?
  • What are the key contemporary legacies of the name and space of ‘Indies’ in literature, art, geography, philosophy, ethnology, historiography, folklore and political discourse? To what extent and in what ways are ‘the Indies’ and ‘the Indians’ still with us?

Please send 200-word abstract and 1-page cv by OCTOBER 1, 2018 to LAGLOBAL Network Facilitator, Virginia Ghelarducci, Informal queries may be addressed to Mark Thurner at

Contact Info: 

Mark Thurner

Institute of Latin American Studies

University of London

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