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Islam and Judaism in the cultural memory of Spain and Portugal

Islam and Judaism in the cultural memory of Spain and Portugal, c. 1492-1680: New lines of research.
Islam y Judaísmo en la memoria cultural de España y Portugal, c. 1492-1680: nuevas líneas de investigación.
This one-day colloquium examines how Imperial Spain and Portugal engaged with the legacies of their multifaith medieval past. Although a variety of historical evidence will be considered, from Iberia and beyond, the principal focus is on the role of book censorship and literary production. How are national identities based on religious unity constructed and challenged in the age of Absolutism? What are the ideological uses of anti-Judaism and anti-Islam in defining the limits of tolerance in Counter Reformation Europe?                                           
Between 1492 and 1502 the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies expelled or forcibly converted Iberian Muslims and Jews. However, it was not possible to dispel the memory of Iberia’s Jewish and Islamic past: it lived on in the historical record, literature, and material culture of the new Imperial age. Jews and Muslims, who, at least in theory, had been eradicated from Spanish and Portuguese territories, were ideologically necessary as the ‘Others’ of Christian absolutist monarchies. The workshop features recent work and projects currently in progress that engage with a set of interrelated questions about the ways in which the memory and the present reality of Islam and Judaism were controlled and exploited in the early modern period. Methodologically, we focus principally on language as the medium for constructing and challenging an imagined Christian community. As we examine the role of book censorship, publication history, and literary representation in a variety of genres, we reflect upon the often contradictory uses to which Islam and Judaism were put in the early modern Iberian monarchies.
This workshop is the first in a series of events organized in collaboration between the Seminario de poética europea del renacimiento and Language Acts and Worldmaking project.
The participants include Imogen Choi (Cambridge), Piet Van Boxel (Oxford), Catarina Fouto (KCL), Jimena Gamba Corradine (UAB), Roser López Cruz (KCL), Víctor Lillo (UAB), Rachel Scott (KCL), María José Vega (UAB), Lara Vilà (Gerona), Julian Weiss (KCL).

The papers and roundtable panels will examine early modern representations of Judaism as a transnational polity, censorship of books relating to Judaism, the place of religious minorities in Utopian thought, the representation of Muslims and Jews in epic and drama, and the cultural legacy of Oriental fable collections.