“Power, Race, and Religion in Iberia and Beyond” is a seminar that studies the centuries-old interactions of Christians from the Iberian Peninsula with Jews, Muslims, and Africans. These intercultural contacts shaped and influenced the relationships between the two first modern global powers, Spain and Portugal, and the peoples they conquered and colonized.

Through the examination of both literary and historiographical texts, this course analyzes the ways in which the contact between Christian Iberians and their religious, cultural, and ethnic minorities set the example for the imperial projects of other Christian Europeans and determined attitudes toward difference in the modern world.

Because this is a Tier 3 Capstone course, students work individually and with peers to design, develop, and present research or creative projects that showcase the skills and knowledge they acquired in Tiers 1 and 2. In such capstone projects, students examine either the impact of Spanish or Portuguese colonialism on the rest of the world (particularly in Latin America and the US), or the parallelisms between our context and premodern experiences of multiculturalism, racism, and imperialism.

Historical etching of Iberia ship and army