Weiditz Trachtenbuch 099-100

Moriscos, Enslaved Children, and Litigating for Liberty in sixteenth-century Spain

Cavanaugh’s work investigates how Moriscos (Spanish Muslims forcibly converted to Catholicism and their descendants) took legal action in response to assimilationist policies and Inquisitorial prosecution in the Castilian city of Valladolid. Her work challenges the traditional narrative of the marginalization of the Moriscos: for all the prosecution and prohibitions they faced as suspected heretics and dissidents, these documents tell a tale of significant economic industry, civic integration, and legal agency.

Stephanie Cavanaugh

Dr. Stephanie Cavanaugh is a historian of the early modern Spanish empire focusing on conversion, religious cultures, and the social and legal histories of sixteenth-century Castile. She earned her PhD in History at the University of Toronto in 2016 and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Early Modern Conversions project at McGill University in Montréal. She has recently been appointed as the Sir John Elliot Junior Research Fellow in Spanish History at Oxford University.

Her article “Litigating for Liberty: enslaved Morisco children in sixteenth-century Valladolid” was published in the Winter 2017 edition of Renaissance Quarterly. Her book project, currently under revision, is The Morisco Problem and the Politics of Conversion in Early Modern Spain. She analyzes the gendered dimensions of Morisco legal agency in her article “In defense of community: Morisca women in sixteenth-century Valladolid,” which will appear in the forthcoming edited collection Women and Community in medieval and early modern Iberia (University of Nebraska Press).

In episode 16 of History Hub’s podcast series – ‘Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra: conversations on the history of Portugal and Spain, 1415-1898‘ - Dr. Cavanaugh is in conversation with series host Dr Edward Collins. In the episode, which is available to podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud, they discuss Moriscos (that is, Spanish Muslims forcibly converted to Christianity), enslaved children, and litigating for liberty in sixteenth-century Spain.

Listen to ‘Moriscos, Enslaved Children, and Litigating for Liberty in sixteenth-century Spain’, with Dr. Stephanie Cavanaugh.

Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra

This History Hub podcast series features interviews with experts in the areas of Portuguese and Spanish history, from the beginning of the Portuguese discoveries in 1415 to the end of Spanish dominion in America in 1898. The interviews, conducted by historian Dr. Edward Collins, cover a range of topics on the domestic and overseas histories of both nations, which include, among others: the Portuguese explorations of Africa and Asia, Spanish navigation and settlement in America, the church in Portugal and Spain, monarchy and intermarriage in the Iberian kingdoms, natural science and mapping in America, the role of nautical science, Irish historical relations with Portugal and Spain, and imperial competition in Europe and overseas. The interviewees comprise a number of established and renowned academics, as well as up-and-coming researchers from universities and institutions worldwide.

This History Hub series is funded by UCD Seed Funding and supported by UCD School of History. Series editor is Mike Liffey (Real Smart Media).

Download series episodes on iTunes or listen via Soundcloud.

Episodes

Image: detail from “Trachtenbuch” by Christoph Weiditz, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Hs. 22474. Bl. 99-100. 99. “House suit of the Moorish women of Granada”; 100. “House costume for women and girls of the Moriscos”. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.