Proposals should address the session description:
Archive, Object, Image: Reading Against the Grain in the Dutch and Spanish “Golden Ages”
The artistic flourishing of the so-called Dutch and Spanish “Golden Ages” was built upon the labor and suffering of people across global empires, which extended from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Not just vestiges of the past, these issues are indeed quite urgent, as they underpin contemporary dialogues around race, violence, and representation. As scholars of the early modern period, we have an opportunity and an obligation to center long-suppressed voices, redress historical imbalances, and challenge racist narratives that persist to this day. But how can we present a more balanced version of the past when we are dependent upon archives, texts, objects, and images that are both byproducts of and mechanisms for systemic oppression?
This panel seeks methodologically innovative projects that challenge or disrupt the narratives that attach to early modern Dutch, Hispano-Flemish, and Spanish archives, texts, objects, and images. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following: studies that prioritize voices and identities that are absent–or purposefully excluded–from the textual, archival, or pictorial record; research that recontextualizes and/or localizes the commodities of global trade; data-driven projects that challenge the semantic structures of the early modern archive; studies that decenter imperial narratives or examine productive failures in research, scholarship, and teaching.