Power and representation in the Early Modern period: the Hispanic Monarchy as a cultural field (1500-1800)

Published by Webmaster on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Power and representation in the Early Modern period: the Hispanic Monarchy as a cultural field (1500-1800)

Poder i representacions a l’edat moderna: la monarquia hispànica com a camp cultural (1500-1800)

Non-Oriented Fundamental Research Project. Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Government of Spain. Ref. HAR2012-39516-C02-01


The aim of our project is to develop an interpretation of the Hispanic Monarchy of the Early Modern period in a cultural key. During recent years, historians have tended to see it first and foremost as a political construct, that is, as the accidental union of territories, highly diverse among themselves, that never came to be fully integrated into a concrete project. We believe this interpretation has notably impeded the comprehension of the reality of the monarchy as a whole. These difficulties of comprehension have frequently led to an identification with the court, thus neglecting its territorial dimension. Our starting hypothesis is that a territory of planetary scope could not be governed without a minimum cultural consensus. Throughout our investigation we will undertake a revision of the main theoretical approaches that have been proposed to interpret the nature of such cultural encounters as acculturation, hybridisation and miscegenation, transculturation and circulation.

Our proposal is to examine, using certain specific examples of these encounters, the possibilities of the concept of the “cultural field” coined by Leo Frobenius and recently reemployed by Thomas DaCosta Kauffman. We understand this cultural field as the space generated by the circulation of people, ideas and artefacts. With this we hope to demonstrate that the limits of the Hispanic Monarchy’s expansion do not correspond so much to its political frontiers as to its area of cultural influence.


Principal researcher: Joan-Lluís Palos


  • Attilio Antonelli
  • Francesco Benigno
  • Joana Fraga
  • Joan-Lluís Palos
  • Joan-Pau Rubiés
  • Fernando Sánchez Marcos
  • Magdalena S. Sánchez
  • Verónica Salazar
  • Diego Sola
  • Paola Volpini

For more information, click here.


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