A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada

Overview

Conquered in 1492 and colonized by invading Castilians, the city and kingdom of Granada faced radical changes imposed by its occupiers throughout the first half of the sixteenth century—including the forced conversion of its native Muslim population. Written by Francisco Núñez Muley, one of many coerced Christian converts, this extraordinary letter lodges a clear-sighted, impassioned protest against the unreasonable and strongly assimilationist laws that required all converted Muslims in Granada to dress, speak, ...

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A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada

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Overview

Conquered in 1492 and colonized by invading Castilians, the city and kingdom of Granada faced radical changes imposed by its occupiers throughout the first half of the sixteenth century—including the forced conversion of its native Muslim population. Written by Francisco Núñez Muley, one of many coerced Christian converts, this extraordinary letter lodges a clear-sighted, impassioned protest against the unreasonable and strongly assimilationist laws that required all converted Muslims in Granada to dress, speak, eat, marry, celebrate festivals, and be buried exactly as the Castilian settler population did.

Now available in its first English translation, Núñez Muley’s account is an invaluable example of how Spain’s former Muslims made active use of the written word to challenge and openly resist the progressively intolerant policies of the Spanish Crown. Timely and resonant—given current debates concerning Islam, minorities, and cultural and linguistic assimilation—this edition provides scholars in a range of fields with a vivid and early example of resistance in the face of oppression.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Religious History - A. Katie Harris

“Since its discovery in Madrid’s Biblioteca Nacional and publication in 1899, Francisco Núñez Muley’s Memorandum has become a key source for understanding the culture of early modern Spain’s Moriscos (Christian converts from Islam), and the increasingly tense relations between this minority group and the Castilian majority in the decades that led up to the Moriscos’ expulsion in 1609. . . . Vincent Barletta’s excellent translation and edition now makes this important text available for an English-speaking public. . . . Together, the translated text and annotations make Núñez Muley’s Memorandum accessible to specialists and to general readers alike.”
Sixteenth-Century Journal - R.L. Martinez

"Barletta's work is a welcome addition for undergraduate teaching, where it might expose students to a stimulating primary source and generate a lively classroom discussion."
Michelle Hamilton

“Vincent Barletta’s English edition of Nuñez Muley’s Memorandum provides a valuable contribution to recent scholarship on Early Modern morisco life, such as Elizabeth Perry’s Handless Maiden, and expands our rather scant knowledge of what daily life and cultural practices for this persecuted minority were like at the end of the sixteenth century. Nuñez Muley paints a picture of increased intolerance for morisco social customs, including the use of public baths, wearing typical morisco clothing, the ownership of sub-Saharan African slaves and the use of Arabic for mercantile and everyday life.”

Leyla Rouhi

“This is a highly useful English-language edition of a fascinating work that offers a detailed look into the anxieties and concerns of the Morisco minority in Spain, and the perspective of one such Morisco of Christian rule. Professor Barletta’s translation will be of immense help to anyone interested in co-existence in early Modern Spain, the history of relations between Christianity and Islam in Europe, European colonialism, and the formation of national identity in a context of different faiths and languages.”

Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean

“Vincent Barletta’s translation, complete with extensive footnotes that help to clarify many linguistic historical and religio-cultural aspects of the text, is executed with care and skill and succeeds in capturing Núñez Muley's nuanced prose.”
Consuelo López-Morillas
“Vincent Barletta has been at the forefront of placing Morisco writings, both literary and non-literary, in the wider context of cultural studies of the Spanish Golden Age, and this approach deserves encouragement. The Memorandum is one of the most important witnesses to the century-long cultural and religious struggle that resulted in Spain's expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609.  This accurate and fluent translation emphasizes how much this text has to tell the modern reader about the interpenetration of supposedly irreconcilable 'Eastern' and 'Western' elements in the Spain of the period.”
María Antonia Garcés
“This is an original and audacious work that heightens the political import of Núñez Muley’s Memorandum even as it highlights its relevance for modern readers interested in the current relations between Islam and the West. Scholars in the humanities will find these intercultural dialogues with Islam to be an extraordinary resource.
Consuelo L�pez-Morillas

“Vincent Barletta has been at the forefront of placing Morisco writings, both literary and non-literary, in the wider context of cultural studies of the Spanish Golden Age, and this approach deserves encouragement. The Memorandum is one of the most important witnesses to the century-long cultural and religious struggle that resulted in Spain's expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609.  This accurate and fluent translation emphasizes how much this text has to tell the modern reader about the interpenetration of supposedly irreconcilable 'Eastern' and 'Western' elements in the Spain of the period.”
Mar�a Antonia Garc�s

“This is an original and audacious work that heightens the political import of Núñez Muley’s Memorandum even as it highlights its relevance for modern readers interested in the current relations between Islam and the West. Scholars in the humanities will find these intercultural dialogues with Islam to be an extraordinary resource.”

Sixteenth-Century Journal
"Barletta''s work is a welcome addition for undergraduate teaching, where it might expose students to a stimulating primary source and generate a lively classroom discussion."

— R.L. Martinez

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226103037
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,053,044
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent Barletta is associate professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford University. He is the author of Covert Gestures: Crypto-Islamic Literature as Cultural Practice in Early Modern Spain, winner of the 2007 La corónica International Book Award and Death in Babylon: Alexander the Great and Iberian Empire in the Muslim Orient.
 
 

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City  and Kingdom of Granada (1567)
Appendix
Excerpts from Mármol Carvajal’s History of the Rebellion and Punishment of the Moriscos of the Kingdom of Granada (Historia del [sic] rebelión y castigo de los moriscos del Reino de Granada)
Selected Bibliography

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