Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center
6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library
We will be welcoming Alex Ponsen for a talk entitled: “Visions of Global Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World.” Alex writes:
In this presentation, I will explore the diversity of texts developed to glorify, amplify, and legitimize the expansionary impulses of Portugal and Spain from the mid-fifteenth century through the early seventeenth. Analyzing a range of treatises, chronicles, epic poetry, cartography, and iconography, I will highlight the complementarity of written text and visual image in projecting a sense of the global dimensions of Iberian imperium. After tracing the distinct, parallel trajectories of Spanish and Portuguese discourses of imperial celebration, I will argue that these traditions coalesced to form a common, uniquely Iberian vision of empire, which crystallized around the turn of the seventeenth century, during the early phase of dynastic union between Portugal and the Spanish Monarchy.
Alex Ponsen is currently the Brizdle-Schoenberg Fellow in the History of Material Texts and Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in the history of the early modern Iberian world and is in the final stages of completing a dissertation on theories and practices of imperial sovereignty in remote regions of the Spanish and Portuguese empires during the period of Iberian union.