SUMMARY AND MAIN THEMATIC LINES:
The “Discovery” of America in 1492 provoked a drastic change in both the European conception of the world and that of the New Continent, such that historiography has considered it the starting point of modernity and the origin of the first globalization. After the first contact, many voyages across the Atlantic Ocean produced an intense ecological, economic, and cultural exchange that in a large part produced ecocide, genocide, and epistemicide. Nevertheless, the mixture of people, ideas and goods at a global level generated an abundance of scientific, espistemologic and cultural material.
Throughout the last decade, a new and vigorous historiographical approach, called “Atlantic History”, has centered its attention on the networks and connections established within the three continents bathed by the Atlantics waters. Such an approach has defined the ocean as a proper sphere of study, whose dynamic boundaries were in constant transformation.
In 2002, the British Atlanticist, David Armitage, proposed in his famous article “Three Concepts of Atlantic History” (British Atlantic World, 2002) three manners of investigating the rising discipline. Together, Circum-Atlantic, Trans-Atlantic, and Cis-Atlantic, formed the immediate future of studies within the field. The subsequently published works prove that multiple perspectives must be simultaneously incorporated to generate a complete understanding of this complex world.
Spain, embedded in the “exceptionalism” of its Imperialistic triumphs, still struggles to join the rising approach of a “comparative” Atlantic History, which is mainly dominated by Anglo-Saxon tendencies. Specialists in Latin American History and/or Colonial American History still claim a fracture between the historiography of their studies and those of the northern Atlantic. For this reason, we believe that it is of utmost importance to begin the process of integrating Iberia-American contributions to the field of Atlantic History. Our aim is to close the gap between these two fields of research through a mutual dialogue that centers on role of exchange.
Furthermore, it is impossible to understand the complexities of this world and era without a trans-discipline, international encounter. This conference aspires to question the traditional local, national, and imperial paradigms through the presentations by young investigators on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, transcending existing linguistic and academic barriers. In this conference, we strive to comprehend the profoundness of the space of the Atlantic by focusing on the analysis of exchange and the level of penetration that the ecology, people, ideas, and goods produced.
Atlantic History, certainly, permits the use of less-traditional chronologies; however, due to the necessity to organize a three-day conference into a coherent entity, we have chosen to employ a “conservative” chronology (1492-1830).
Utilizing this period as a base, we will cover the two aforementioned points of exchange: the first centers on that which took place within the various Atlantic Empires (intra-imperial); whereas the second focuses on that which affected the diverse Empires (inter-imperial).
Finally, as a result of the international origin of our guest speakers, (respectively from Spain, Portugal and the United States) we will take advantage of the opportunity for conversations about the validity of past, present and emerging lines of research. Such topics will include, not only the historiography of the Atlantic History, but incorporated with references to Pan-American studies.