The Global Spanish Empire

Five Hundred Years of Place Making and Pluralism

Christine Beaule (Editor), John G. Douglass (Editor)
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The Spanish Empire was a complex web of places and peoples. Through an expansive range of essays that look at Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, this volume brings a broad range of regions into conversation. The contributors focus on nuanced, comparative exploration of the processes and practices of creating, maintaining, and transforming cultural place making within pluralistic Spanish colonial communities.

The Global Spanish Empire argues that patterned variability is necessary in reconstructing Indigenous cultural persistence in colonial settings. The volume’s eleven case studies include regions often neglected in the archaeology of Spanish colonialism. The time span under investigation is extensive as well, transcending the entirety of the Spanish Empire, from early impacts in West Africa to Texas during the 1800s. The contributors examine the making of a social place within a social or physical landscape. They discuss the appearance of hybrid material culture, the incorporation of foreign goods into local material traditions, the continuation of local traditions, and archaeological evidence of opportunistic social climbing. In some cases, these changes in material culture are ways to maintain aspects of traditional culture rather than signifiers of new cultural practices.

The Global Spanish Empire tackles broad questions about Indigenous cultural persistence, pluralism, and place making using a global comparative perspective grounded in the shared experience of Spanish colonialism.


Stephen Acabado
Grace Barretto-Tesoro
James M. Bayman
Christine D. Beaule
Christopher R. DeCorse
Boyd M. Dixon
John G. Douglass
William R. Fowler
Martin Gibbs
Corinne L. Hofman
Hannah G. Hoover
Stacie M. King
Kevin Lane
Laura Matthew
Sandra Montón-Subías
Natalia Moragas Segura
Michelle M. Pigott
Christopher B. Rodning
David Roe
Roberto Valcárcel Rojas
Steve A. Tomka
Jorge Ulloa Hung
Juliet Wiersema

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“This volume is unique in taking on a challenge rarely seen—detailed studies of Spanish colonialism on a truly global scale, including the Americas, the Philippines, the South Pacific Islands, and West Africa.”—Jeffrey Hantman, co-editor of Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the Making of America

“The volume maps the haphazard development of the colonial Spanish Empire, focusing on how indigenous and enslaved populations carved and crafted their own spaces through persistence and imaginative place-making strategies.”—Mariah F. Wade, author of Missions, Missionaries, and Native Americans: Long-Term Processes and Daily Practices

“The resulting collection, organized largely chronologically, offers a rich and wide-ranging survey of local experiences with Spanish colonialism, with special focus on diverse Indigenous people’s dynamic strategies of response, resistance, and adaptation. Contributors steer away from homogenizing, static, or essentialist conceptions of identity and social practice, instead stressing the heterogeneity, complexity, and continuous evolution of communities and their intersections with one another.”–Christine Delucia, H-Net:Humanities & Social Sciences Online (H-LatAm)

"The Global Spanish Empire is an ambitious project and one with a very broad geographical scope. Many academic collaborations on the Spanish Empire confine themselves to Latin America and the North American borderlands. Refreshingly, the Beaule and Douglass volume is equally attentive to the Spanish Pacific."—Sean F. McEnroe, Bulletin of Spanish Studies

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