Call for Papers: From Iberian Kingdoms to Atlantic Empires: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, 1250-1700

Location: University of Notre Dame

Conference Information and Registration
Download the Call for Papers PDF Revised 4/9/2010

The Nanovic Institute for European Studies announces an interdisciplinary, international conference on the history and literature of the Iberian empires from the High Middle Ages through the conquest of the New World. Although many scholars have acknowledged similarities between late-medieval Iberia and its colonies in the New World, few have offered precise answers to the questions that arise from these similarities. What is the relationship, for example, between “inquisition” in a medieval context and in the New World? Is it meaningful to compare minority Muslim communities in fifteenth-century Spain to indigenous peoples in the New World? How were the legal and political instruments of late medieval kings foundational for early modern Europe and Latin America? This conference encourages new ways of approaching the topic, based on the conviction that medievalists, early modernists, and Latin Americanists can make meaningful contributions to each other’s fields.

Panels will likely include the following topics:

  • Medieval and early modern Inquisition
  • Global exploration and conquest
  • Law, politics, and administration
  • Language, literature, and translation
  • Race, minority populations, and identity
  • Evangelization, “Christianization,” and conversion

The conference will take place at McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18, 2010. Papers from history and literature departments are welcome. Contributions from graduate students are also welcomed and a prize of $200 will be awarded to the best graduate student paper as determined by a faculty panel. The authors of all accepted papers will be fully compensated for one night’s lodging and will be provided with a travel subvention of up to $100. There are also two travel subventions of up to $500 for accepted international presenters. All contributions should be sent to John Moscatiello, Chair of the Conference Committee, at by May 1, 2010 and include an abstract of 250 words (for a twenty-minute presentation), a cover letter, and a curriculum vitae.

Authors of selected papers from the conference will be invited to submit an adapted version of their paper to a special issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies. The editors of JMIS welcome the submission, at any stage, of high-quality scholarship in all fields of medieval Iberian studies, including work that addresses Iberia in a transatlantic or Latin American frame. For details, please see, or contact

Featured Presenters

On Friday, September 17, the Medieval Institute will host a dinner and reception in honor of Jocelyn Hillgarth, Professor Emeritus of History, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of Toronto in celebration of the acquisition of his personal collection by the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame.

For online registration and more information, please visit