Sep 21, 2023  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SPN 395-01 - Advanced Special Topic: Designing Empire: Plazas, Power, and Urban Planning in Habsburg Spain and its Colonies.

4 credits (Spring)
Spanish Habsburg Monarchs employed the founding cities as a tool of imperial legitimacy in ways other emerging colonial powers did not, creating an “empire of cities” (Kagan). In Europe, established urban centers underwent political change and spatial redesign, often at the expense of older commitments, while a new court capital, Madrid, was dramatically transformed. In the Americas, Mexico City was reshaped out of the violent demise of Tenochtitlan, while Lima was founded as a new viceregal capital and strategic alternative to the old Inca capital of Cuzco. This course will approach the comparative issue of the city in the Habsburg world, focusing in particular in Spain, the Viceroyalty of Peru and New Spain, and the Spanish colonies in Asia. The common denominator is the political construction and alteration of urban public space—how old communal spaces were remade into Baroque showcases of monarchical power and how, in overseas territories, urbanism was the cornerstone of monarchical legitimacy. Our end point will be the Baroque city of the seventeenth century and its transformed look, from grand public plazas to royal citadels and new fortifications. We will explore the political motives and economic implications of such spatial redesign. Our analysis of colonial cities in America and Asia will address indigenous representations of urban spaces in Mesoamerican códices and how these artistic forms were adopted and adapted in colonial documents. Students will understand how sacred indigenous spaces were repurposed and redesigned to enforce religious and political conversion in the recently conquered communities. The assignments in this class will introduce students to digital humanities software programs that will allow them to analyze text, map, visualize and exhibit the early modern world.

Prerequisite: SPN 311 SPN 312 , SPN 314 SPN 315 , or SPN 317 .
Instructor: Pérez