Friday, August 26, 2022

Karen B. Graubart's "Republics of Difference"

Karen Graubart is Co-Director of the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas and Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of the award-winning With Our Labor and Sweat: Indigenous Women and the Formation of Colonial Society in Peru, 1550-1700.

Graubart applied the Page 99 Test to her new book, Republics of Difference: Religious and Racial Self-Governance in the Spanish Atlantic World, and reported the following:
Page 99 of Republics of Difference puts the reader in a chapter that deals with the crux of my argument: that Spanish monarchs used the "republic" as a way to manage subordinate peoples (here, Muslims in Spain), and that those peoples deployed the republic to preserve what was important to them. That is, self-governance might not have been autonomy, but it mattered. This page explores the situation of Muslims who, contrary to the usual practice, had Christian judges thrust upon them to deal with their civil conflicts. The result was that in that community, Muslim leaders stepped back from official power, while in other locations they acted as qadis or judges. I note here a recurring problem: that the absence of Jewish or Muslim or Indigenous or Black leadership contributed to the erasure of those communities as active participants in Castilian or Spanish rule, enabling historians to believe that their self-governance did not exist or did not matter.
Visit Karen B. Graubart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue