Ringvorlesung, Javier Fernández Sebastián: Translating political vocabularies in the Iberian Atlantic. Historical semantics & conceptual transfers

Ringvorlesung

  • Date: Jan 20, 2015
  • Time: 18:00
  • Speaker: Prof. Javier Fernández Sebastián
  • Universidad del País Vasco (Bilbao, Spain)
  • Location: Campus Westend der Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main
  • Room: Hörsaalzentrum HZ 11
  • Host: The Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” in cooperation with the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History

The Iberian Atlantic constitutes an interesting laboratory for studies of historical semantics, and in particular for the observation of the transfers of political and legal concepts in modern times. With one foot in Europe and the other in America, the Ibero- American world is part of so-called “western civilisation”. Understood as an ensemble that includes Iberia and Latin America, many question however the latter‘s belonging to the “West”. As well as the imprint of Christianity and classical culture, in addition to the presence of Spanish and Portuguese as main languages, one should bear in mind the considerable cultural diversity and the presistence of indigenous American languages in extensive rural areas. In any case, the fact that certain circumstances were experienced in the region far earlier than in other parts of the world – conquest, independence, republican and constitutional regimes – renders historical analysis of the circulation of political vocabulary exceptionally interesting. The aim of my lecture is to offer some general reflections (which I will attempt to illustrate with specific examples) upon this theme from the perspective of conceptual history.

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