Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires

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Overview

The phrase "The Black Legend" was coined in 1912 by a Spanish journalist in protest of the characterization of Spain by other Europeans as a backward country defined by ignorance, superstition, and religious fanaticism, whose history could never recover from the black mark of its violent conquest of the Americas. Challenging this stereotype, Rereading the Black Legend contextualizes Spain's uniquely negative reputation by exposing the colonial efforts of other nations whose interests were served by propagating the Black Legend.
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Editorial Reviews

International History Review
The book is particularly strong on its superbly documented study of the appropriation of racial and religious categories in the New World. As such, this courageous and most worthy scholarly volume makes signal contributions to our understanding of the links between race, religion, and imperial projects within the painful transition into the early modern world.

— Teofilo F. Ruiz

Renaissance Quarterly
A welcome addition to the growing range of texts that critically explore the enduring legacies, desired and undesired, of a past that continues to shape our present.

— Shankar Ramen

Clio
[The editors] have put their talents to work in assembling a volume that will have a significant impact on early modern studies. This reader was humbled by the display of analytical prowess and the sheer volume of information on the interstices of race and religion in different settings throughout the early modern world. . . . An exceptional book that can and should be read by scholars and students of east and west, north and south, minority and dominant cultures.—Lisa Vollendorf, Clio

— Lisa Vollendorf

Dav�d Carrasco

“This book will be a major contribution to rereading not only the Black Legend but in navigating the very busy intersection of empire and racial and religious difference.  The authors deepen our understanding of how modern Western European practices of racialized discrimination developed in nuanced, nearly unimagined ways. Rereading the Black Legend, with its diverse essays, is about the formation of the world we live in today.”

William J. Kennedy

Rereading the Black Legend is a superbly organized collection that boldly traverses early modern imperialisms of Spain in the Americas, of the Ottomans in Eastern Europe, and of the Portuguese in East India and China. As a guide and critical reference work, it will be useful to undergraduate students and advanced scholars alike. I know of no comparable work currently available in academic publication, and I think it truly innovative in plan, scope, and approach.”

International History Review - Teofilo F. Ruiz

"The book is particularly strong on its superbly documented study of the appropriation of racial and religious categories in the New World. As such, this courageous and most worthy scholarly volume makes signal contributions to our understanding of the links between race, religion, and imperial projects within the painful transition into the early modern world."
Renaissance Quarterly - Shankar Ramen

"A welcome addition to the growing range of texts that critically explore the enduring legacies, desired and undesired, of a past that continues to shape our present."
Clio - Lisa Vollendorf

"[The editors] have put their talents to work in assembling a volume that will have a significant impact on early modern studies. This reader was humbled by the display of analytical prowess and the sheer volume of information on the interstices of race and religion in different settings throughout the early modern world. . . . An exceptional book that can and should be read by scholars and students of east and west, north and south, minority and dominant cultures."—Lisa Vollendorf, Clio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226307213
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2007
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret R. Greer is professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University.

Walter D. Mignolo is the William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies and director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University.

Maureen Quilligan is the Florence R. Brinkley Professor of English at Duke University.
 
 
 
 
 

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction   Margaret R. Greer   Walter D. Mignolo   Maureen Quilligan     1
Two Empires of the East
An Imperial Caste: Inverted Racialization in the Architecture of Ottoman Sovereignty   Leslie Peirce     27
Hierarchies of Age and Gender in the Mughal Construction of Domesticity and Empire   Ruby Lal     48
Spain: Conquista and Reconquista
Race and the Middle Ages: The Case of Spain and Its Jews   David Nirenberg     71
The Spanish Race   Barbara Fuchs     88
The Black Legend and Global Conspiracies: Spain, the Inquisition, and the Emerging Modern World   Irene Silverblatt     99
Of Books, Popes, and Huacas; or, The Dilemmas of Being Christian   Gonzalo Lamana     117
The View of the Empire from the Altepetl: Nahua Historical and Global Imagination   Silver Moon   Michael Ennis     150
"Race" and "Class" in the Spanish Colonies of America: A Dynamic Social Perception   Yolanda Fabiola Orquera     167
Unfixing Race   Kathryn Burns     188
Dutch Designs
Discipline and Love: Linschoten and the Estado da India   Carmen Nocentelli     205
Rereading Theodore de Bry's Black Legend   Patricia Gravatt     225
Belated England
West of Eden: American Gold, Spanish Greed, and the Discourses of English Imperialism   Edmund Valentine Campos     247
Blackening "the Turk" in Roger Ascham's A Report of Germany (1553)   Linda Bradley Salamon     270
Nations into Persons   Jeffrey Knapp     293
Afterword: What Does the Black Legend Have to Do with Race?   Walter D. Mignolo     312
Notes     325
Bibliography     399
List of Contributors     447
Index     451
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