Before Highway Maps: Creating a Digital Research Infrastructure Based on Sixteenth-Century Iberian Places and Roads

It is frequently difficult to write a geographically-integrated history of Portugal and Spain prior to the late nineteenth century because researchers often lack a means by which to identify the locations of historical places on the basis of the geographic coordinates of their modern counterparts. This article presents a free, downloadable digital gazetteer, which the authors have founded on a 1546 traveler’s guide to 139 major routes in “Spain” (as the Iberian Peninsula was then known), in which the author, Juan Pedro Villuga, listed each stopping place along each route and indicated the approximate distance between each of them. The authors explain the technical problems of gazetteer and database design and of associating historic placenames with their modern equivalents and geographic coordinates of longitude and latitude, and of visualizing them in geographic information systems (GIS). In the gazetteer, the authors link the sixteenth-century Iberian place names with more modern ones, which were largely solidified in the modern country of Spain by the territorial organization in 1834. More importantly, the authors offer suggestions about how this type of research infrastructure can be used to address various historical problems in Portuguese and Spanish history, which are related to geographic space, topography, and distance.

Forum: For Whom Do We Write? A Discussion about Format, Purpose, and Audience

Obituary for Carolyn P. Boyd (1944-2015)

Obituary for Christopher Schmidt-Nowara (1966-2015)

Forum: Spanish Online Resources for Spanish and Latin American History

Nuevas reflexiones sobre “Elena, alias Eleno de Céspedes”, transgénero, redes sociales y libertad en la España del siglo XVI

Hasta ahora el personaje de Elena de Céspedes, una esclava que llegó a ser cirujano y a casarse con una mujer, ha sido reconocido por su dualidad sexual, de género o de ocupación. Sin embargo, todos esos factores se interrelacionan en la construcción de su realidad transgenéro. El cross-dressing o travestismo, el género fluido, la androginia y la transexualidad fueron elementos esenciales en la construcción de diferentes tipos de redes sociales que le posibilitaron ascender personal, social y profesionalmente, obteniendo así un amplio margen de libertad en la España de finales del siglo XVI.

Precisamente, el gran valor de Elena de Céspedes reside en haber aprovechado las circunstancias más duras de su vida, como los tres encarcelamientos que vivió, para viajar de un género a otro cuando las circunstancias externas lo exigían. Además desde la fluidez de su género y la forma de verse a sí misma, sirve de ejemplo a todos aquellos que en la actualidad buscan en las experiencias históricas, modelos o parámetros culturales a seguir para las comunidades transgénero. No solo desde una perspectiva de la sexualidad, sino a través de experiencias y circunstancias personales, sociales y culturales que no encajan dentro de la hetero-normatividad impuesta, ni ayer, ni hoy.

Franco’s Technocracy and Spain’s European Integration: Historiographic Paradoxes and New Conclusions

The historiography doesn’t include the European aspirations of the technocratic elites in the researches about the relations between Franco’s Spain and the European Economic Community (EEC). The researches have been scarcely complex. These analysis, although retrospective, have been originated from the absolutism of nowadays in a non-historical way (a democratic and integrated Spain). It is necessary to study the technocratic attitudes before Western Europe in the whole frame of its neotradiotionalism.

Essay: Lost in Digitization

Not Just “Franco’s Spain” – The Spanish Political Landscape During Re-Emergence Through the Pact of Madrid

In 1953, Franco’s dictatorial regime signed a series of three executive agreements, collectively known as the Pact of Madrid, with the United States. The Pact traded military and economic aid for leave for the US to station military bases in Spanish territory. The newfound relationship with the US brought European and global recognition, ending Spain’s decade long political quarantine, and marked Spain’s re-emergence onto the international stage. Scholarship has neglected the motivations for these agreements by the various factions within the governing political right, instead portraying the Franco dictatorship as simply “Franco’s Spain.” In this way, scholarship to-date mistakenly homogenizes the distinct conservative groups instrumental in the Franco regime’s persistence.

Newspapers were the public face of many of the ideologically distinct groups during this period. Therefore, I examine how three prominent groups (Alfonsist monarchist, businessmen, and Franco’s own party) framed this critical moment in their press. By examining these groups’ respective newspapers, this project presents the dissimilar framings of the Pact of Madrid to reveal the differing ideologies of various factions in Spanish society and combats the image of Franco’s Spain as homogenous and monolithically fascist.