Seminar on January 28-29 explores two perspectives on the early modern history of Cape Verde and their entanglements

January 24, 2019
Cape Verde and the Atlantic: Crossroads of People, Goods and Capital Investments (1460–1610)
January 28, 2019 – January 29, 2019

Organized by Carlo Taviani (Rome) in cooperation with Villa I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, and the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin

The seminar, organized by I Tatti Research Associate Carlo Taviani, will explore two perspectives on the early modern history of Cape Verde and their entanglements: first, the historical links between Cape Verde, Africa, and the Mediterranean; second, the genesis of trade and the movement of goods, merchants, objects, enslaved people, and institutions from Cape Verde towards the Americas. Both perspectives have not been studied in detail, even less so their entanglements. Although the transatlantic routes from Cape Verde are a well-known subject, the history of their emergence in the early Cinquecento has not yet been deeply analyzed. The seminar highlights new findings from often overlooked archives (for instance, those relating to Jewish and Italian merchant communities), focusing on a specific time-period: from the arrival of European merchants in Cape Verde through the first decade of the seventeenth century (roughly 1460–1610). We will take an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating the fields of economic history, the history of art, and archaeology. Invited scholars (including I Tatti Postdoctoral Fellow Ingrid Greenfield) will present papers on merchants, ivories, textiles, maps, enslaved people, routes and communication corridors, economic institutions (contracts and practices), and relics. These participants will take two methodological approaches, with one group employing a wider perspective that brings together a diverse array of subjects such as slavery, creolization, trade routes, and circulation of people and goods between West Africa and the Atlantic. A second group will focus on the archeology, the history of art, and history of Cape Verde, in particular the early creolization of African, Portuguese, and Genoese peoples, and on the connections between Cape Verde, the African continent, and the Americas.
Image: Peroulinho (pillory), early 16th century, Cidade Velha (Pillory Square), Isle of Santiago, Cape Verde. 
© Cayambe, Wikipedia, under CC BY-SA 3.0

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