PILAS 2017 Keynote Lectures
Professor of the History and Politics of Latin America at the University of Oxford
Professor of Hispanic Studies at Brown University
Atahualpa y Pizarro en Cajamarca: El Des-encuentro vuelto a considerar
Professor of Latin American History at the University of Leeds
‘The pirates, the judge and the Amistad trial’; or how the Panda slavers may have determined the fate of the Amistad Africans.
On 11 November 1834 Catalonian slave trader and presumed pirate, Pedro Gibert walked into a Boston courtroom, presided by Supreme Justice Joseph Story. With him were 11 of his shipmates, ready to face a trial by jury that would seal their fates. Gibert and the crew of his ship, the Spanish schooner Panda, had been accused of attacking the American merchant vessel Mexican, while on its way from Salem to Rio de Janeiro in 1832, and of abusing the American sailors, stealing all their belongings, and attempting to sink the ship into the depths of the Atlantic ocean, once their piratical looting was over. After only a few days, the trial came to an end and Gibert and five of his shipmates were sentenced to death. Within a few months, all but one had been hanged.
Although at first sight The United States v. Pedro Gibert is just another colourful case among the many involving slave traders and slave owners to be considered at United States courts during the first half of the nineteenth century, its legacy may have been greater than what we have assumed until now. As a matter of fact, this trial may have influenced the outcome of another cause célèbre, that of the 1839 African slave revolt occurred on the Spanish schooner Amistad, brought to trial in nearby New Haven only a few years later, and where Justice Story was to play, again, a central role. Issues of property and identity discussed during the trial of Gibert and his shipmates weighted heavily on the outcome of the trial against the African slaves of the Amistad a few years later.
The strong links between these two cases also highlight the pressing need for scholars of slavery and the slave in Latin America and the Caribbean, to consider the subjects and events they examine within a wider transatlantic framework of research that also includes North America, Europe and Africa. Ultimately, the stories of the Panda and the Amistad constitute timely reminders that during the first decades of the nineteenth century, Latin America and the Caribbean were already part of much larger colonial and capitalist systems that expanded across the Atlantic and beyond.
New Directions in Latin American Studies
Members of the Network for Hispanic and Lusophone Cultural Studies will discuss the future of Latin American Studies and fields for further development.
Discussants include: Dr Thea Pitman (contemporary Latin American cultural production, especially digital culture), Professor Stephanie Dennison (Brazilian film culture and the broader context of World Cinema), Professor Richard Cleminson (Labour movements, medicine and sexuality), Dr Paul Melo e Castro (Lusophone literature, film and visual culture), and Dr Rebecca Jarman (eco-catastrophe and protest in contemporary film and literature).
The Network for Hispanic and Lusophone Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds brings together colleagues focusing on a wide range of different forms of cultural production –from literature and theatre, to popular music, cinema, photography and new media– from across the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. It hosts both academic conferences and symposia as well as events designed to showcase the culture of the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds to the general public.
Masterclass and documentary screening
Journalist. Professional Women in Media Spanish Association Prize Winner.
The Strength of the Little Ones. Screening of the documentary and masterclass.
As journalists we have the enormous responsibility of documenting History at the very moment when the events are taking place. To do so, we must understand that our news reports and documentaries may be a source of documentation for academic research, historians and expert reports in legal proceedings.
Claude Simon, The Grass, 1958
And it is the story of that same old woman that must be reflected in the journalism that I opt for in my reports and documentaries. I want to document the social History, the one that is built by citizens every day, the one that seeds and reproduces life as opposed to the one that destroys life and is presented in the big headlines and goes down in History books. But at the same time, I don’t want to reduce it to a figure of suffering, misery and destruction, but illustrate it with historical, social, economic, cultural and legal contexts that incorporates it into more global phenomena that explain the consequences of specific policies and actions.
Watch the trailer of La Fuerza de los Pequeños [Spanish] (Directed by Patricia Simón).
Historiografía del Porfiriato. Diversas interpretaciones en torno a un polémico asunto (Universidad Anáhuac)
Prof Paul Garner & Dr Carlos de Jesús Becerril (ed.)
Presented by Prof Manuel Barcia.