Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is an important and influential scholar whose work has radically reconfigured our understanding of the nature of early modern colonialism, the role of the Hispanic world in the making of the scientific revolution, and the centrality of Latin America within any conceptualisation of Atlantic history.
Although he is firmly situated within the discipline of history his work has been extremely effective in reaching a wide audience of readers within and without the academy; indeed, in 2001 both The Economist and The Independent listed his How To Write The History Of The New World as one of the best books of the year. This authoritative and provocative book has been followed by a string of articles, monographs and edited contributions that have transformed the debate about the place of the ‘new world’ in our understanding of modernity, colonialism and science. The interdisciplinary nature of this application’s nominating team, which includes members from two faculties and four departments, is testament to Cañizares-Esguerra’s ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries and engage in real interdisciplinary dialogue.
While at Warwick Cañizares-Esguerra will deliver a public lecture, engage in a public debate with Steve Fuller (Sociology) on the nature of colonial knowledge, participate in several early careers events, and lead a session in an interdisciplinary undergraduate module co-taught by Warwick and Monash. If we can find a space in the programme we’d also like him to attend an MA module on literatures of the American Southwest, taught in the English Department. He will also meet faculty and students from many different departments and research centres. In addition, Thomas Docherty (English) proposes to structure the Spring 2013 departmental research seminar around issues raised by Cañizares-Esguerra’s work, and to collect the resultant essays into a publication. Finally, Cañizares-Esguerra will participate in a workshop in Venice on race and nature in the Hispanic world, which will be attended by some of the other most important contributors to this field, in addition to Cañizares-Esguerra himself.
A visit from Cañizares-Esguerra could not come at a better moment. The October 2012 re-launch of the Department of Hispanic Studies provides an opportunity to showcase Warwick’s considerable investment in the study of the Hispanic world. It will also build on the visit of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa in June 2012, which itself forms only the latest in a long series productive dialogues between Warwick and some of Latin America’s most important writers and thinkers. The University’s on-going links to Santander Universities further demonstrates its serious commitment to cementing Warwick’s reputation as an institution that intervenes in intellectual debate on a truly global scale.
There is no doubt that Cañizares-Esguerra’s presence at Warwick will generate interest from scholars across the UK. The director of the Warburg Institute (University of London) has already proposed to invite him to speak. The IAS was fortunate to host Walter Mignolo in 2010: Cañizares-Esguerra is an even more influential figure whose contribution to Latin American, global and intellectual history is already outstanding, and whose star is still rising.
Events planned during Professor Cañizares-Esguerra’s visit will be published on the IAS Events Calendar.