Trade and cultural hybridism: Craftsmen, Merchants, and Slaves – Islamic Legacies in Spain

Workshop: Craftsmen, Merchants, and Slaves – Islamic Legacies in Spain (Madrid, 2020-2021, 2nd Grant Period, in collaboration with the ERC-project Global Horizons in Pre-Modern Art, Bern)

Beate Fricke

Recent Studies have shed light on the role of Muslim slaves on the Iberian Peninsula already long before the expansion into the New World (e.g. Blumenthal 2009, Campbell/Gwyn 2007, Philipps 2014, Trivellato/Halevi 2014). Their contribution to the economic success of cities like Barcelona, Sevilla, and Valencia, and their role in the production of silk, textiles, astronomical instruments, and other luxury goods though needs further research. The history of material culture with regard to the crafting of commodities has been primarily written from the perspectives of white producers and consumers. 

This workshop would like to raise the following questions: what were the functions, roles, and contributions of Muslim slaves in the production and trade of luxury commodities, textiles, astronomical instruments, maps, and treasured objects? Which impact did they have upon the production and mobility of heritage objects between Islam and Christian Europe, including types of goods transported by immigrants, diplomatic gift exchanges, war booty, repercussions for their host countries, acquisition of other goods and cultural hybridism?

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