31 October 2009

Call for Papers: Conversos in Spain Conference

The Fifth International Converso and Morisco Studies Conference has been organized by Saint Louis University (Madrid, Spain), in collaboration with the University of Alcale (Alcale de Henares), and will be held at the University of Alcale from June 16-18, 2010.

The Call for Papers is out now (deadline January 29, 2010) and it will focus on the Converso and Morisco experience in Spain, Portugal, their empires and in the Mediterranean diaspora communities.

The goal, since the first conference in 2004, is to bring together an international and multi-disciplinary group of scholars to examine not only Converso and Morisco topics but also the question of social identity.

Some of the conference papers will be published in the third volume of the series, "The Conversos and Moriscos in Late Medieval Spain and Beyond," which is published by Brill Academic Press. Try to find this in your local libraries as the cost is prohibitive to the ordinary researcher.

To learn more about the Conversos, click here. It is a well-written piece on the origins, the persecutions and how they were forced to concoct elaborate false genealogies to obtain limpieza de sangre certificates for various purposes, identifying them as Old Christians, in order to leave for other countries, or for entry into the church, university, local government and military noble orders. The page answers why the Spanish rulers set up the Inquisition as well as the psychological pressures, impact of constant persecution and anti-Semitism on the Converso communities and, additionally, how the Inquisition contributed to the difficult economy of Spain after the 1492 Expulsion.

View the 2008 conference program here. Some abstracts are in English, most are in Spanish (use Google Translate if Spanish is not one of your languages), but do read through the 36-page document. There are some fascinating topics addressed, including the rarely-referenced situation of the Moriscos (Moslems whom the Inquisition also forced to become Christians).

Take a look at the other previous conference programs, which address many topics, such as the Conversos in Sicily and much more.

Interested in submitting a proposal for the event? Send Kevin Ingram a 250-word abstract in English or Spanish.

For more details, visit the website.

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