Winter-Spring 2016

Thursdays, 6-8pm

Senate House, University of London

During this inaugural term of LAGLOBAL we welcome Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and Dr. Lina del Castillo of the University of Texas who join us as the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor and SAS Visiting Research Fellow, respectively, at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.



February 4 (Room G34)

Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas at Austin and Leverhulme Visiting Professor, ILAS)

Inaugural LAGLOBAL/Leverhulme Trust Lecture: Crushing the Lettered City: Theological Worlds of the Illiterate

The “Lettered City” is a trope invented in the late twentieth century by literary critics who imagined that the intellectual history of colonial Latin America was dominated by a tiny learned elite enamored of the power that flowed from a monopoly over literacy. This lecture demonstrates that literacy often flowed in the opposite direction: from the illiterate to the theologian. Circles of theologians often took down in writing the visions of the allegedly ignorant, only to find them utterly versed in Old Testament prophecy. Many of these “illiterate” visions became sacred texts among the learned, in some cases gathering as much political and hermeneutical power as the Gospels themselves.



February 18 (Room G34)

Dr. Lina del Castillo (University of Texas at Austin, Visiting Research Fellow, SAS/ILAS)

Disappearing Naturalists: The Geopolitics of Scientific Patronage and Print Culture in the Invention and Dissolution of Colombian Space

In the 1820s, the fledgling Colombian government hired an expedition of French-trained naturalists in Paris. The officials involved expected this endeavor to transfer prestige and recognition to Colombia. Historians have traced how several other expeditions to South America secured fame through complex cultural mechanisms of memorialization through print culture. This expedition stands as the exact opposite, however. There was little if any memorialization of the expedition as a whole. Exploring the active forgetting of this expedition by its members, its Colombian sponsors and by the French Academy, all of whom originally championed the endeavor, offers a nuanced understanding of the complex diplomatic and geo-political stakes involved in the transatlantic production of ‘Colombia.’ The most significant factor in this erasure was the rise of Bourbon Restoration France and its invasion of Spain to depose the liberal regime and restore Ferdinand VII to the Crown.


March 3 (Room G34)

Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas at Austin and Leverhulme Visiting Professor, ILAS)

Leverhulme Trust Lecture: The Female Warriors of the City of God

Marianismo is a dominant trope of recent invention by which Latin females allegedly behave like pliant Virgins, supinely suffering pain and sorrow engendered by patriarchy and subordination.  This lecture demonstrates the historical presence and power of a very different model of Marian behavior: Mary as the fulfillment of Israelite Old Testament female warriors, namely, Deborah, Judith and Yael.  Mariology was built upon an allegorical, typological reading of Old Testament texts. In these texts, Mary appears as virgo potens: a woman who crushes the enemy through sheer cunning and force. This Mary was the model for beatas and nuns in the global Spanish Monarchy, many of whom saw themselves as the vanguard of the City of God and the epitome of masculinity. In contrast, males were often seen to be the least masculine members of the polity.



May 12 (Room 234)

Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (University of Texas at Austin and Leverhulme Visiting Professor, ILAS)

Leverhulme Trust Lecture: Creole Books in the Schools of Europe

One fact that is sadly overlooked today in academia is that in the sixteenth and seventieth centuries legal and theological scholarship produced in colonial universities in Spanish America was cutting-edge knowledge in Europe. This lecture explores five early seventeenth-century Creole jurists and theologians from seemingly marginal cities in colonial Latin America (Santa Fe, Tunja, Quito, Popayan) whose writings were widely read as textbooks in law and theological schools in France and Spain.