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Join us for a round-table discussion with Professor Karen B. Graubart (University of Notre Dame) to celebrate the publication of Republics of Difference: Racial and Religious Self-Governance in the Iberian Atlantic, 1400–1650Oxford University Press, 2022.

Author: Karen B. Graubart (University of Notre Dame)
Respondents: Dr Karoline (Kaja) Cook (Royal Holloway), and Professor Gabriela Ramos (University of Cambridge)


Spanish monarchs recognized the jurisdictions of many self-governing corporate groups, including Jews and Muslims on the peninsula, indigenous peoples in their American colonies, and enslaved and free people of African descent across the empire. Republics of Difference examines fifteenth-century Seville and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Lima to show how religiously- and racially-based self-governance functioned in a society with many kinds of law, what effects it had on communities, and why it mattered. By comparing these minoritized communities on both sides of the Spanish Atlantic world, this study offers a new understanding of the distinct standings of those communities in their urban settings. Drawing on legal and commercial records from late medieval Spain and colonial Latin America, Karen B. Graubart paints insightful portraits of residents' everyday lives to underscore the discriminatory barriers as well as the occupational structures, social hierarchies, and networks in which they flourished. In doing so, she demonstrates the limits, benefits, and dangers of living under one's own law in the Spanish empire, including the ways self-governance enabled some communities to protect their practices and cultures over time.

Co-hosted by the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London and part of the seminar series IHR European History 1500-1800, in conjunction with Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London.

& Room G.04, The University of Notre Dame London Campus, 1-4 Suffolk Street in Westminster. Map: 
Directions: The campus is a block from the National Gallery, right off Pall Mall. The easiest tube stops are Piccadilly and Charing Cross, but also a short walk from Leicester Square. 

Please note that registration for this seminar will close 24 hours in advance.

Due to ongoing industrial action planned for this date, the seminar will likely be held at another nearby location. Details about how to join the seminar (online and in-person) will be circulated via email to registered attendees on the Monday morning. 

All welcome: This event is free, but booking is required.