Iberian and Exchange, 475-1755 Book Series

Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475-1755

The Iberian Peninsula has historically been an area of the world that fostered encounters and exchanges among peoples from different societies. For centuries, Iberia acted as a nexus for the circulation of ideas, people, objects, and technology around the pre-modern western Mediterranean, Atlantic, and eventually the Pacific. Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475-1755 combines a broad thematic scope with the territorial limits of the Iberian Peninsula and its global contacts. In doing so, works in this series will juxtapose previously disparate areas of study and challenge scholars to rethink the role of encounter and exchange in the formation of the modern world. We encourage proposals for books that address all aspects of this theme in the medieval and early modern Iberian context.

Series Editors
Erin Kathleen Rowe, The Johns Hopkins University
Michael A. Ryan, University of New Mexico

Advisory Board
Paul H. Freedman, Yale University
Richard Kagan, The Johns Hopkins University
Marie Kelleher, California State University, Long Beach
Ricardo Padrón, University of Virginia
Teofilo F. Ruiz, UCLA
Marta V. Vicente, University of Kansas

For more information contact the Penn State University Press:
Eleanor H. Goodman
Executive Editor, egoodman@psu.edu

or the series editors:

Erin Kathleen Rowe, erowe1@jhu.edu
Michael A. Ryan, ryan6@unm.edu



Mediterranean Studies Book Series

The Mediterranean Seminar and Palgrave Macmillan are proud to announce a new series of monographs and volumes of collected essays:

Mediterranean Studies
The series for the latest and most exciting scholarship in the new inter-disciplinary field of Mediterranean Studies.

In the past decade, Mediterranean Studies has emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic fields in the Humanities. As a region whose history of connectivity can be documented over at least two and a half millennia, the Mediterranean has in recent years become the focus of innovative scholarship in a number of disciplines. In shifting focus away from histories of the origins and development of phenomena predefined by national or religious borders, Mediterranean Studies opens vistas onto histories of contact, circulation, and exchange in all their complexity while encouraging the reconceptualization of inter- and intra-disciplinary scholarship.

The Mediterranean as Region
We interpret the Mediterranean in the widest sense: the sea and the lands around it as well as the European, Asian and African hinterlands connected to it by networks of culture, trade, politics and religion. While the series emphasizes a timespan extending from Late Antiquity through Early Modernity, we welcome proposals ranging from late prehistory to the contemporary.

Projects engaging methodologies from history (political, economic, institutional, social), literary studies, history of science and technology, religious studies, art history, philosophy, ethnic studies, anthropology and sociology are welcome. Themes emphasized include ethnic and religious identity and interaction, cultural and technological development, conflict and collaboration, acculturation and transmission, trade and commerce, colonization and immigration.

Works that engage with and challenge established historical paradigms, meta-narratives, chronologies, and disciplinary boundaries are especially welcome. We are particularly interested in projects which have a focus “of” the Mediterranean, rather than “in” the Mediterranean, and which incorporate comparative, revisionist and inter-disciplinary perspectives.

What the Series will publish:
– original manuscripts or monographs with a Mediterranean Studies perspective or orientation
– volumes of collected essays
– scholarly editions and translations of primary documents
– translations of innovative scholarship previously published in non-English languages will be considered
– interdisciplinary, comparative, and revisionist work is particularly welcome.

The strengths of the series:
– first series dedicated to Mediterranean Studies as a field
– an editorial board and reviewers drawn from leading scholars in a range of fields and specializations
– all submissions will be subject to a rigorous and constructive blind peer review process
– integration of publications and authors into the projects and programs of the Mediterranean Seminar

Why publish with the Mediterranean Seminar?
– quick turn-around time from manuscript acceptance/submission to book-in-hand
– Palgrave Macmillan is a leading publisher of academic books with a worldwide distribution and marketing infrastructure and a strong commitment to sales
– promotion through the Mediterranean Seminar, a forum of over 500 specialists and consortium of projects and institutions, across the world and in a range of institutions
– except in rare cases (exceptional length or number of images), author subventions are not required
– your work will reach a broad audience
– volumes are competitively priced
– affordable paperback publication in many cases

Series Editors:
Brian A. Catlos, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder/Associate Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Sharon Kinoshita, Professor of Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz
Catlos and Kinoshita are co-directors of the Mediterranean Seminar, an international forum promoting research and pedagogy in Mediterranean Studies that has been organizing research projects, colloquia, conferences, and workshops dedicated to the development of this exciting new field since 2004. Every effort will be made to integrate series authors and their work into the programs of The Mediterranean Seminar.

Editorial Board
Our Editorial Board consists of scholars engaged in cutting-edge and revisionary work on the various aspects of Mediterranean history and culture utilizing a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodologies.
Fred Astren, Professor of Jewish Studies/Middle East & Islamic Studies, San Francisco State University.
Julia Clancy-Smith, Professor of History, University of Arizona.
Steven A. Epstein, Ahmanson-Murphy Distinguished Professor of Medieval History, University of Kansas
Maribel Fierro, Research Professor, Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East at the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Spain)
Mercedes García Arenal, Research Professor, Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo (CSIC) (Spain)
Harvey (Chaim) Hames, Professor of History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
Eva R. Hoffman, Associate Professor of Art & Art History, Tufts University
Carolina López-Ruiz, Associate Professor of Greek & Latin, Ohio State University
Karla Mallette, Associate Professor of Romance and Near Eastern Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan
Christophe Picard, Professor of History, Université de Paris I-Sorbonne (France)
Dwight Reynolds, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Cynthia Robinson, Associate Professor of Art History and Middle Eastern Studies, Cornell University
Daniel L. Selden, Professor of Classics, World Literature, and Jewish Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
Baki Tezcan, Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies, University of California, Davis
John Tolan, Professor of History, Université de Nantes (France).
Dominique Valérian, Professor of History, Université de Lyon (France)
David Wacks, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Oregon

Proposing a volume:
Proposals and manuscripts should be prepared according to Palgrave Macmillan’s guidelines and submitted directly to the publisher.
Prospective authors and editors are encouraged to first submit a query letter to the Series Editors outlining in clear terms the focus, scope, and methodology of the project.

Palgrave Macmillan is a global academic publisher serving learning and scholarship in higher education, with headquarters in New York and London. Via the Macmillan Group’s international sales and distribution infrastructure, Palgrave books are sold throughout the world, including North America, Europe, Africa, the Mideast, and Asia. All Palgrave titles are rigorously peer-reviewed and published in print, as individual e-books, and on the Palgrave Connect online research platform (www.palgraveconnect.com) for scholars, students, and general readers.

Executive Director’s Update 4

Dear SNAP Members,

Once a semester I update the membership on SNAP news.  Members are also always welcomed to share announcements of publications, conferences, talks, etc. via the SNAP Google Group listserv as well.

Welcome: It is a pleasure to welcome the new members who have joined since Fall 2012.  We are excited that you are bringing your interests and expertise to our community.

SNAP-Medieval Encounters special issue: SNAP’s first collaborative publication has just come out in Medieval Encountersvol. 19, no. 1-2 (2013).  Spanning the Strait: Studies in Unity in the Western Mediterranean features articles by David Coleman, Hussein Fancy, Adam Gaiser, Marya Green-Mercado, Linda Jones, and Sarah Pearce (all members).  The special issue was guest-edited by the SNAP Executive Board and it also contains an introduction we co-wrote.  We would like to thank Cynthia Robinson, Editor ofMedieval Encountersand a founding member of SNAP, for her support.  For the issue, see:http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674

SNAP symposium in Los Angeles: We are in the planning stages of SNAP’s second symposium to take place on Friday, May 2, 2014 with the location to be determined, subject to approval and funding.  If all goes ahead, please be on the lookout for a call for papers in October 2013.  Andrew Devereux (Executive Committee) will be lead organizer of the symposium, and all current members, prospective members, and the general public are welcome to attend.  The SNAP symposium will be organized in conjunction with, and followed by, the spring meeting of the Mediterranean Seminar/University of California MRP, run by Brian Catlos and Sharon Kinoshita (also SNAP members). The UC-MRP workshop will take place on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

SNAP-Journal of North African Studies special issue: Guest editors Adam Gaiser and Miriam Ali-de-Unzaga (members) continue to make progress toward SNAP’s second collaborative publication.  We look forward to this as a contribution to SNAP scholarship.

SNAP website resources: A new page on our public website features institutes, associations, journals, etc. whose mission may be of interest to members.  Please visit “Resources” atwww.aucegypt.edu/huss/snap/. We seek to keep this list updated.  Please send Camilo Gómez-Rivas (Executive Committee) additional links you may think relevant.

SNAP-Ashgate Publishing Company: We have established a partnership with Ashgate that provides a discount off purchases made directly with Ashgate.  Please visithttp://www.ashgate.com/snap.  When making purchases, please use the discount code included in the SNAP Welcome message you received when you became a member.

The Aghlabids & their Neighbors: Art & Material Culture in Ninth-Century North Africa workshop: Mariam Rosser-Owen and Glaire Anderson (members) are organizing an interdisciplinary workshop to take place at UNC-Chapel Hill on May 23-24, 2014.  Information including a call for proposals is posted on the SNAP website projects page:http://bit.ly/10W6opT.  This workshop is organized in cooperation with SNAP.

We’d also like to draw your attention to two new book series of particular interest to SNAP members:

Mediterranean Studies book series: Brian Catlos and Sharon Kinoshita (members) co-edit a new book series with Palgrave Macmillan focused on the Mediterranean, from pre-history to the present.  They seek to publish “works that engage with and challenge established historical paradigms, meta-narratives, chronologies, and disciplinary boundaries,” and which “incorporate comparative, revisionist and inter-disciplinary perspectives.”  More information is available here: http://bit.ly/16CdeIu

Iberian Encounter and Exchange, 475-1755 book series: Erin Rowe (member) and Michael Ryan have launched a new book series with Pennsylvania State University Press.  The series will focus on Iberia “as a nexus for the circulation of ideas, people, objects and technology around the pre-modern western Mediterranean, Atlantic, and eventually the Pacific.”  Further information will be available on the SNAP website’s “News” page.

Congratulations to all members on their exciting work!  SNAP is a collaborative network of scholars.  I encourage members to make use of our Google Group listserv and the public website’s Roster page to seek each other out to form panels at conferences, organize their own meetings, publish joint works, co-teach courses, etc.  And I encourage all members to share their interests and activities via the listserv.

Best wishes,


Director’s Update 2

Dear SNAP Members,

Once a semester, I send out a news update. SNAP has experienced a flurry of activity in the last few months, and we are excited to continue working on projects in the future.

Membership continues to expand and I’d like to welcome everyone who has recently joined our community. I hope you will be active participants, contributors, and collaborators with other members. Founded in July 2010, SNAP has now grown to include some 100 members across the world. We work in multiple disciplines in the humanities and social sciences; our periods of study range from late antiquity to contemporary times; and we use multilingual and multimedia sources.

In the last year-and-a-half, SNAP has completed a busy run of panels and conferences, including a series of three panels at the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies annual meeting, our own SNAP symposium at Catholic University of America, and a roundtable at the Middle East Studies Association annual meeting. These activities have enabled us to present our work, share it with a range of members and non-members, meet each other in collaborative workshop settings, and generate enthusiasm as well as ideas for new projects.

Having completed this run, the executive board is now focusing on editing the essays that form the Medieval Encounters special issue and we look forward to moving it closer to production. Two members, Miriam Ali de Unzaga and Adam Gaiser, are also moving forward with a SNAP special issue of the Journal of North African Studies. Though Miriam and Adam will update the membership shortly with their own message, I am very pleased to report that they have now compiled a collection of fascinating abstracts. These abstracts were chosen from a large number of submissions responding to their call for papers, a testament to how innovatively and expertly they crafted the document. The ideas at the heart of the cfp themselves came from a membership-wide discussion we conducted over the listserv in spring 2011. I am so excited to see how collaboration from the ground up helped develop the project, and how two members have taken on leadership of the collaboration.

The development of the SNAP-JNAS special issue, in fact, serves as a model (and there are others) of how we can build collaborative projects. As the executive board deliberates the next steps we would like to take (a two-year plan of sorts), this is a great opportunity for you to propose your own collaborative projects that engage with other colleagues. SNAP has now reached a critical mass and members themselves will be able to find collaborators for panels, conferences, publications, joint teaching, etc. Recent activity on the listserv has indicated member interest in, for example, a panel at the 2012 MESA annual meeting. The executive committee and I strongly encourage you to go ahead and contact each other individually or via the listserv to explore/propose/formulate ideas, form panels, organize conferences, co-author publications, co-edit issues, co-design courses, etc. Though our membership is excitingly varied (which is one of our strengths), I see clusters among medieval and early modern historians, premodern and modern literary scholars, art history/architecture/archaeology scholars, religious and legal scholars, and social scientists (anthropologists and political scientists). There are certainly other clusters as well.

Within our multi- and interdisciplinary demographic profile, I would imagine that a future collaboration with a literary studies core would be much welcomed. A project that considers Iberia and North Africa spanning the divides of early modernity and modernity or the nineteenth-twentieth centuries and the present day would also be relevant. These are just a couple of ideas; I’m sure there are many more out there.

Having presented ourselves at ASPHS, MESA, and AHA, it would be timely to share our work at MLA, AAR, CAA, Kalamazoo, Medieval Academy, RSA, Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference, or other scholarly venues. Additional activities outside the American academy, in Europe, North Africa, and beyond, are of course strongly encouraged. The executive board would be delighted to help individual members or groups of members to brainstorm and develop ideas into collaborative projects.

Our ideas are manifold and our members are active scholars exploring the Iberian-North African world. In recognition of members’ accomplishments that relate to our organization’s mission, I am delighted to attach below a list of recent publications, conference papers, and other professional work. This list gives us a sense of the work that members are doing individually and collaboratively. Before the next update, I will again call for any announcements and include them in the message. Congratulations to all of you.


SNAP Members’ Publications

Fierro, Maribel. “A Muslim land without Jews or Christians: Almohad policies regarding the ‘protected people’.” In Matthias Tischler und Alexander Fidora (Hrsg.), Christlicher Norden – Muslimischer Süden. Ansprüche und Wirklichkeiten von Christen, Juden und Muslimen auf der Iberischen Halbinsel im Hoch- und Spätmittelalter. Aschendorff Verlag, 2011, 231-47.

Fierro, Maribel. “al-Turtushi”, Christian-Muslim Relations: A bibliographical history (1050-1200 CE), vol. III. In David Thomas and Alex Mallet (eds.), with Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Mark N. Swanson, and Herman Teule. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2011, 387-396.

Fierro, Maribel. “Colors and the quest for political legitimacy in the Islamic West.” In Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair (eds.), And Diverse Are Their Hues: Color in Islamic Art and Culture (The Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011, 78-97.

Fierro, Maribel. “Local and global in hadith literature: the case of al-Andalus.” In Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort, Kees Versteegh, Joas Wagemakers (ed.), Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam: Essays in Honour of Harald Motzki. Leiden: Brill, 2011, 63-89.

Fierro, Maribel. “El tratado sobre el Profeta del cadí ,Iyad y el contexto almohade.” Legendaria Medievalia en honor de Concepción Castillo Castillo. Córdoba, 2011, 19-34.

Fierro, Maribel. “Ulemas en las ciudades andalusíes: religión, política y prácticas sociales.” Escenarios urbanos de al-Andalus. Vélez Málaga, 2011, 137-67.

Fierro, Maribel. “Gauthier Juynboll. Memories from a Spanish colleague and friend,” 2011. http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/lucis/actueel/in-memoriam-juynboll.html

Fierro, Maribel. Abdarramán III y el califato omeya de Córdoba. Nerea, 2011.

Gimenez-Eguibar, Patricia and Daniel I. Wasserman-Soler. “La mala algarabía: Church, Monarchy, and the Arabic Language in 16th-Century Spain.” Medieval History Journal 14:2 (2011): 229-58.

Jones, Linda G. “’He Cried and Made Others Cry’: Crying as a Sign of Pietistic Authencity or Deception in Medieval Islamic Preaching.” In Elina Gertsman (ed.), Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History. New York: Routledge, 2012, 102-135.

Jones, Linda G. “Compassion and Cruelty: The Politics of Emotion in the Ibn ‘Asim al-Gharnati’s Junnat al-Rida.” In Delfina Serrano Ruano (ed.), Violence, Cruelty and Compassion in Arabo-Islamic Literature. (Madrid: CSIC, 2011).

Liang, Yuen-Gen. Family and Empire: The Fernández de Córdoba and the Spanish Realm. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Ohanna, Natalio. Cautiverio y convivencia en la Edad de Cervantes [Captivity and Coexistence in de Age of Cervantes]. Alcalá de Henares: Centro de Estudios Cervantinos, 2011.

Ohanna, Natalio. “Heterodoxos en cautiverio. De Cipriano de Valera a los protestantes del norte de África.” Hispanic Review 80.1 (2012): 21-40.

Ohanna, Natalio. “Lecciones de allende la frontera: el Viaje de Turquía y su propuesta de apertura social.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 88.4 (2011): 423-36.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “Arquitectura y urbanismo andalusíes en Benaocaz y sus despoblados de Archite y Aznalmara” en Papeles de Historia, 6 (2010), 123-143.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “Arquitectura y urbanismo islámicos en la Sierra de Cádiz”. Arqueología, Historia y Viajes sobre el Mundo Medieval 41 (october 2011), 50-59.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “Infraestructuras hidráulicas andalusíes en la Sierra de Cádiz: el qanat de Villaluenga del Rosario.” Papeles de Historia 6 (2010), 145-164.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “El papel de la mujer en la familia en época nazarí (siglos XIII-XV): hacia una síntesis analítica de las fuentes documentales y arqueológicas”. http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/42132/1/Perez_Ordonez_mujernazari.pdf Cabra Espinosa, M.; López Cordero, J. A. (eds.): III Congreso Virtual sobre Historia de las Mujeres (15 al 31 de octubre de 2011). Jaén, 2011. Available in the web http://www.revistacodice.es/publi_virtuales/iii_congreso_mujeres/

Ray, Jonathan (Ed.). The Jew in Medieval Iberia, 1000-1500. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2012.

SNAP Members’ Conference Presentations

Jones, Linda G. “No Preaching to the Converted? A Juridical Dilemma concerning the Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Mediterranean.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco (November 2011).

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “La casa andalusí y su contexto urbano. Pautas para su interpretación.” XII Ciclo de Conferencias Al-Mossassa Batalyaws. Badajoz, 22-23 de septiembre de 2010.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro. “Vida cotidiana en la cultura árabe-islámica: Introducción a la vivienda andalusí.” Departamento de Árabe de la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Granada. Granada, 9 de febrero de 2011.

Vicens, Belen. “Swearing by God: Muslim oath-taking in late medieval Christian Iberia.” Medieval Studies Interdisciplinary Working, University of Notre Dame (November 2011).

SNAP Members’ Professional Service

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejando (Member, Organizing Committee). I International Congress of Middle Ages for Predoctoral Researchers, Novice Medievalists: Innovation, Scope, Action. Almería, June 18-22, 2012. Visit http://i-ciip-em.blogspot.com/ for more information.

Pérez Ordóñez, Alejandro (Coord.). “Jueves Mínimos en la Cuesta del Chapiz.” 3er seminario: “Palacios Medievales II.” Laboratorio de Arqueología y Arquitectura de la Ciudad (LAAC-EEA-CSIC). 5 de mayo de 2011-30 de junio de 2011.

Director’s Update 3

Dear SNAP members,

I’d like to begin this update by wishing everyone well and by welcoming the new members who have joined since my last update in the spring. We look forward to learning more about your interests and work.

PROJECTS: SNAP celebrated its second anniversary in July 2012, and in a little more than two years our members have collaborated on panels at conferences, a symposium, and two special issues of journals. I’m pleased to report that the Medieval Encounters special issue is currently undergoing external review and the Journal of North African Studies special issue is in the editing stage.

LEADERSHIP RENEWAL: While the Executive Board has been organizing and coordinating projects, we have also been thinking hard about SNAP’s future as an organization over the past few months. We would like to share with you our plan for leadership renewal. The original Executive Board, which was constituted in 2010 through a vote by the founding members of SNAP, will serve another three years until 2015. These three years represent the staggered establishment of what will be regular three-year terms. At the end of these three years in 2015, the Director (me) and one member of the Board will step down and both will be replaced at that time by two newly-elected officers, each serving regular three-year terms. In 2016, another original member of the Executive Board will step down, replaced by a newly-elected officer serving a regular three-year term. And in 2017, the last original member of the Executive Board will step down, replaced by a newly-elected officer serving a regular three-year term. In 2018, the cycle will begin anew, with elections for a new Director and a new Board member. Staggered elections for the Board will ensure that the SNAP leadership maintains continuity of experience. Members who have participated at a SNAP event (2010 NEH Summer Institute, panels, symposia, publications, etc.) will be eligible to stand for election to serve as Executive Director. All members of SNAP are eligible to stand for election to serve as a Board member. In the near-term future, the Executive Board will compose bylaws that will spell out this and other structural processes of SNAP. SNAP’s sustainability relies on your participation, so we encourage you to get involved!

WEBSITE: Continuing to enhance the functionality of the SNAP website, we will soon be adding a “Links” page that lists a number of academic and cultural organizations/institutions around the world that may interest members. This list is not exhaustive, and members are encouraged to send us information on others that might be of relevance (especially in North Africa and Europe). In addition, please invite interested colleagues to join SNAP by directing them to the membership form that will now be embedded in the “Contacts” page.

2013 SYMPOSIUM: Though we have only begun preliminary planning, the Executive Board, with the collaboration of other members, seeks to organize a symposium in 2013. Modeled after the one that Lourdes Alvarez hosted at Catholic University of America in November 2011, the 2013 symposium will bring together SNAP members to present, workshop, and discuss their work. Please stay tuned for more information. We welcome ideas (for themes, panels, other activities) as well as offers of assistance.

TALIM: Gerald Loftus, Director of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies, graciously extends his invitation to SNAP scholars to visit TALIM, make use of its library and archive, connect with other scholars, and give talks on their research. For more information on TALIM, visit http://aimsnorthafrica.org/ORC/talm.cfm?menu=4 and http://www.talimblog.org/ For information on other AIMS research centers in Oran and Tunis, visit http://aimsnorthafrica.org

I am so pleased that members are using the Google group listserv to share information; announce publications, calls for papers, conferences, and publications; and circulate job ads. I am adding information on additional publications below.


Barbara Fuchs and Yuen-Gen Liang, eds., “The Forgotten Empire: The Spanish-North African Borderlands,” a special issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 12, no. 3 (2011). Though not technically a SNAP project (it was conceived before the foundation of SNAP), contributors to the special issue are founders or became members of SNAP.

Andrew Devereux, “North Africa in Early Modern Spanish Political Thought,” JSCS 12, no. 3 (2011): 275-291.

Miguel Martínez, “‘The Spell of National Identity’: War and Soldiering on the North African Frontier (1550-1560),” JSCS 12, no. 3 (2011): 293-307.

Jocelyn Hendrickson, “Muslim Legal Responses to Portuguese Occupation in Late-Fifteenth Century North Africa,” JSCS 12, no. 3 (2011): 309-325.

María Cruz de Carlos Varona, “‘Imágenes Restacadas’ en la Europa Moderna: El Caso de Jesús de Medinaceli,” JSCS 12, no. 3 (2011): 327-354.

Javier Irigoyen-García, “‘Poco Os Falta Para Moros, Pues Tanto lo Parecéis’: Impersonating the Moor in the Spanish Mediterranean,” JSCS 12, no. 3 (2011): 355-369.

Symposium Report

Dear Colleagues:

On Wednesday November 30, 2011, the Spain-North Africa Project held a Symposium at Catholic University of America. This was a milestone for SNAP, as it was the first fully independent event the young organization has convened and the largest gathering of SNAP scholars yet, drawing nearly 40 participants.

The Symposium featured three academic functions over the course of the day: a workshop, a panel, and a roundtable, all followed by a reception to cap things off. Together, the academic and social activities created a forum for dialogue and exchange, and they advanced SNAP’s goal of developing knowledge of the connections between the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib and of fostering academic community.

The workshop featured precirculated papers by Adam Gaiser, Cynthia Robinson, and María Marcos Cobaleda. Gaiser’s paper, “Singing Girls and All that Sparkles: Politics and Trade in Early Umayyad Iberia and Khārijite North Africa,” looked at the political and economic relations between the Rustimids and the Umayyads of Cordoba during the early Islamic period, focusing on the role the slave trade played in stimulating political relations, even between professed ideological foes. Robinson’s piece, “Tents of Silk and Trees of Light in the Lands of Najd: The Verbal and the Visual at a Mawlid Celebration in the Alhambra,” examined a narrative account of the festival marking the birth of the Prophet, as celebrated in 1362 at Granada’s Alhambra. Robinson analyzed how poetic descriptions of sylvan motifs and the role of light brought about a state of ecstasy. Reconstruction of these aural and visual motifs help elucidate aspects of religious devotion in Nasrid Granada, a field that remains relatively unexplored. Marcos Cobaleda’s paper took a trans-Straits approach to the subject of artisanal work completed under Almoravid patronage. She argued for a corrective to the traditional view that artistic and artisanal dissemination was unidirectional, spreading from al-Andalus to the Maghrib. Together, these three works engaged with one another, and drew in the audience, in a manner that stimulated lively a discussion about networks, cultural diffusion, and the relationship between religious ideology and political authority.

The panel consisted of talks by Mar Martínez-Góngora, David Coleman, Claire Gilbert, and Mayte Green Mercado. These four pieces, tightly centered on the sixteenth century, tackled the subject of the Peninsula and the Maghrib through an examination of figures who moved back and forth between the two landmasses, as well as depictions of the inhabitants of one or the other. Martínez-Góngora’s talk, “Similar Land, Inferior Populations: Imaging the Spanish Exploitation of the Maghreb,” analyzed the works of two prominent sixteenth-century Spanish authors, Luis del Mármol Carvajal and Antonio de Sosa, whose writings depicted the Maghrib as a land of abundance, but whose economic potential remained unrealized due to what they considered the moral shortcomings of North Africa’s Muslim inhabitants. David Coleman, in “Of Corsairs, Converts and Renegades: Forms and Functions of Coastal Raiding on Both Sides of the Alboran Sea, 1487-1550,” looked at the phenomenon of corsair raiding, tracing similarities in the social function and impact that such raiding held in Christian and Islamic societies on either side of the Sea of Alborán. Claire Gilbert’s paper, “That Faithful Word: Early Modern Mediterranean Intermediaries and the case of Abdarrahman Catani,” tackled the subject of intermediaries and translators, employing the case of the renegade Catani to develop a sense of the fluidity and malleability that characterized diplomatic relations across the sixteenth-century western Mediterranean. Mayte Green Mercado’s talk, “Reformation in the Western Mediterranean: Agustín de Ribera, Prophet and Messenger of Muhammad,” examined the case of a young man whose family (and eventually the broader morisco community) cast him as a prophet who conveyed a divine call for religious reform in a particularly Castilian Islamic guise. As a collection, the four talks comprising the panel demonstrated the rhetorical strategies employed by sixteenth-century peoples who attempted to accentuate religious difference and, simultaneously, the inability of such strategies to quell the extraordinary complexity that characterized and shaped human interaction in the early modern western Mediterranean.

The Symposium concluded with a roundtable. Lourdes Álvarez, Glaire Anderson, Jocelyn Hendrickson, and Jonathan Ray each gave brief remarks on taking a pan-Straits approach to a variety of topics in both research and teaching. Following these introductory statements, the floor was opened up to a general discussion that engaged the members of the roundtable and the audience. Of particular interest during this discussion was the tendency in traditional scholarship to treat the Maghrib and the Iberian Peninsula as peripheral or exceptional. The conversation focused on the ways in which such depictions have determined scholarship on the western Mediterranean, as well as the role that SNAP might play in opening up new approaches to the study of the western Mediterranean in the medieval and early modern eras.

At the end of formal sessions, attendees unwound and interacted with one another in a casual and convivial reception. Together with the day’s academic functions, the reception offered a forum in which scholars who might not normally attend the same conferences could connect and build a sense of academic community. The Symposium drew a sizeable number of attendees, and served as an auspicious first step as the Spain-North Africa Project begins to organize its own events and to establish the framework for a variety of future projects.

Lourdes Álvarez and the Catholic University of America were extremely generous in hosting the SNAP Symposium. The Johns Hopkins University provided financial support for the event. Without the assistance of these two institutions, and the tremendous hospitality and organization given by Professor Álvarez and the staff at Catholic University, the Symposium would not have been possible. SNAP is grateful for their contributions toward such a successful symposium.

Andrew Devereux (on behalf of the Executive Committee)

More photos of the symposium here

AHA Panel

The program committee of the 2012 American Historical Association annual meeting has accepted Yuen-Gen Liang’s panel proposal “The Transformation of Christian and Muslim Communities from Spiritual to Territorial after the Wars of Twelfth-Century Iberia.”  The panel will take place at the meeting in Chicago, January 5-8, 2012.  The speakers are:

Camilo Gómez-Rivas (American University in Cairo)

Yuen-Gen Liang (Wheaton College, MA)

Isabel O’Connor (Indiana University-South Bend)

Brian Catlos (University of Colorado-Boulder) as chair and commentator.


The Transformation of Christian and Muslim Communities from Spiritual to Territorial after the Wars of Twelfth-Century Iberia

This panel studies how large-scale territorial conquests during the “long twelfth century” transformed concepts of Muslim and Christian community in medieval Iberia.  Prior to this era, the Umayyad Caliphate and its successor states that dominated the peninsula had permitted Christian and Jewish communities to cohabit among Muslims.  Since different religious communities could live side-by-side, the boundaries that separated them could be said to have existed more in the realm of the mind (spirituality and ideology), and less so in physical space (territory and body).  From the late-1000s to the early-1200s, however, vast swaths of Iberian territory changed hands successively between Christians and Muslims.  First, Christians took advantage of Islamic political fragmentation to sweep south, taking land as far as Toledo (1085) in the Tagus river valley and Zaragoza (1118) in the Ebro river valley.  The North African Almoravid and Almohad empires then crossed into Iberia and claimed much of the lost territory.  The Almohads, however, were decisively defeated at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, opening up even more land for the Christians.  Castile-Leon conquered much of Andalusia and the Crown of Aragon seized Valencia and the Baleares.

These conquests led to the first widespread expulsion of Muslims from Andalusia and the Baleares, the subjugation of populous Muslim communities in Valencia under Christian rule, and the exile of Christians from Granada.  The frequency that land was exchanged en masse between Muslims and Christians, through a series of momentous military and political events that saw the successive fall of several Islamic empires and states and the ultimate rise of Christian kingdoms in their place, vested more critical meaning in land than ever before.  By the time the dust settled at the end of the long twelfth century, Muslim and Christian communities were no longer defined as much by the realm of the mind and spirit, but more so by territory and body.  The “tangible,” then, came to possess critical political, martial, social, cultural, and symbolic meanings.

This panel explores the impact these large-scale conquests had for the concept of religious community in medieval Iberia.  When once the realm of the mind was notoriously difficult to police, it was now comparatively easier to measure geographic frontiers and monitor bodies.  As such, religious community came to be defined by territorial occupation and bodily segregation.  And yet the physical constraints of territorially-based notions of community may have spurred the formation of other types of communities.  New mechanisms such as social networks – contact between and circulation of bodies – transcended communities rooted to space and created new types of communal bonds.  The transformation from spiritual to territorial/bodily notions of community after the long twelfth century changed dynamics among Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Iberia and set the stage for even more intense exclusionary measures such as the expulsion of the Jews and the Muslims/Moriscos in the early modern period.

Journal of North African Studies (Special Issue)

As part of its ongoing interest in relations across the straits of Gibraltar, the Spain-North Africa project (SNAP) announces a call for article abstracts for a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies(JNAS) with the theme of Facets of Exchange between North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The issue will be guest-edited by Miriam Ali de Unzaga and Adam Gaiser.

Authors are encouraged to explore innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to the study of exchanges between the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. By ‘exchange’ the editors envision a broad discussion that may contain interactions and movements of people, ideas, and objects, including circulation between allies or among rivals. Hence, topics of interest may include:

•economic and technological interactions (goods and commodities, modalities and mechanisms of exchange, trade networks and outposts, new technologies),

•political exchanges (gifts, ambassadors, soldiers, refugees, spies),

•artistic and aesthetic circulation (sites, pieces, artists and artisans, patrons, fashions, motifs, materials, techniques),

•socio-cultural exchange (family ties, institutions),

•religious and intellectual movements (scholars, traditions, beliefs, practices, concepts, words, texts and translations),

•other instances of appropriation, adaption or simulation

The authors especially encourage papers:

•exploring and illustrating the mechanics, processes and results of exchange in specific and detailed case studies;

•providing theoretical frameworks;

•examining clichés and assumptions;

•presenting critical reviews of previous scholarship;

•addressing the reasons for the paucity of studies on exchange between North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula and/or producing a historiographical contextualization.

The SNAP-JNAS issue will focus on medieval and early modern exchanges, but explorations of earlier or later periods will also be considered. Similarly, papers investigating the significance of exchange between North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula and its impact on other geographical areas will also be considered.

Abstracts should be 300 words in length (including provisional title, name and institutional affiliation), and should relate to original, unpublished work. Please submit your abstracts to Adam Gaiser (agaiser@fsu.edu) and Miriam Ali de Unzaga (miriam.alideunzaga@sant.oxon.org) by Dec. 31, 2011. Once selected, drafts of the articles should be no longer than 10000 words, and are expected by June 15, 2012. The Journal of North African Studies is a peer-reviewed journal and articles considered for publication are read by specialist readers, as well as by the guest editors.

Members are invited to circulate the call for abstracts and for papers to non-members, though it is expected that authors who are selected to contribute to the special issue would become members of SNAP. For further information, please visit the site:


MESA Rountable

The program committee of the 2011 Middle East Studies Association annual meeting has accepted Abigail Balbale’s round-table proposal “Is Iberia a Middle East Topic?”  The round-table will take place at the meeting in Washington D.C., December 1-3, 2011. The speakers are:

Brian Catlos (University of Colorado-Boulder)

Camilo Gómez-Rivas (American University in Cairo)

Antoine Borrut (University of Maryland-College Park)

Abigail Balbale (Harvard University)

Yuen-Gen Liang (Wheaton College, MA) as moderator.


Islamic Iberia only figures marginally in standard elaborations of Middle Eastern history. Studied in isolation or as a distant satellite of truly Middle Eastern powers, it is rarely treated as a Middle Eastern topic in its own right. This roundtable asks whether Iberia can be seen as a source of Middle Eastern history rather than simply a region “under the influence” of Middle Eastern powers. How does the study of Iberia change if we consider it to be Middle Eastern rather than European? How does Middle Eastern history shift if we imagine Iberia as central rather than peripheral or European? And how is European history affected if Iberia is Middle Eastern instead of European? In honor of the thirteen-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Islam on the Iberian Peninsula, we explore the ramifications of examining Spain’s and Europe’s history alongside that of the Middle East.

The history of Islamic Iberia has frequently focused on its uniqueness, both geographical and cultural. As a long-lasting and important locus of Christian-Muslim interaction, and with its location in Western Europe, al-Andalus traditionally has been seen by both historians of Europe and of the Middle East as an exceptional place. The result is that Iberia often falls into a netherworld of liminality – incomparable to its neighbors on either side, by virtue of its Islamic past and its eventual fall to the Christians. Scholarship on Iberia tends to focus on spatially and temporally limited political and cultural forms that emerged at the crossroads between Europe and Africa, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

Yet, from 711 through to the Early Modern period, parts of Iberia were more closely connected to Islamic powers across the Mediterranean than to Christian powers across the Pyrenees, and people and material moved freely throughout Islamdom. Some Middle Eastern historians have noted the parallels between political and cultural processes occurring in Islamic Spain and in the Islamic heartlands, in the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, and during the time of the dissolution of the caliphate. In the narrative of Medieval Middle Eastern history, however, Spain rarely warrants more than a footnote. Our roundtable will address the questions and problems arising from these divergent understandings of the Middle East. Individual discussants focus on diverse periods and places, and approach the question of Iberia’s relationship to the broader Islamic world in various ways.