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CFP: From the Ozama to the Orinoco: Visual and Material Economy of the Caribbean in the Hispanic 18th Century (CAA Annual Conference, New York, 10-13 Feb 2021)

The Ozama and Orinoco rivers span an area in the Caribbean with highly diffuse narratives on art produced and consumed during Spanish colonial rule. This is especially the case for the post-Contact centuries, when the empire’s gaze turns to New Spain and Peru. The Ozama River, bisecting the city of Santo Domingo, staged the first European incursions into the Americas; the Orinoco River, spreading across northern South America, channeled arrivals into the mainland.
The Spanish Caribbean basin is a distinct, yet integral part of Latin America; encompassing the Atlantic coasts of Mexico and Central America, and the northern rim of South America. Studies have focused on regional clearinghouses such as the Viceroyalty of New Granada, or punctual sites such as El Cobre in Cuba. However, there is a need to cast a steady and comparative glance that articulates regional particularities and dynamic exchange.

This session examines issues that have informed scholarly debate on the arts of Spanish colonies, i.e., the Amerindian legacy; artistic training; the Bourbon reforms; Afro-creole cosmographies. Our goal is to map the visual and material economy of the region in the 18th century, under the framework of imperial Spain, as an area with a historically overlooked population of free and enslaved people of color, with rurality and dispersion as common denominators.

Abstracts may address:
- Free pueblos
- Botanical and map-making expeditions
- Manuscripts and print culture
- Religious art and praxis
- The Enlightenment and knowledge regimes
- The Seven Year’s War, Haiti, and The Age of Revolution
- Art collecting and patronage

Session Chair:
Jennifer A Baez, Florida State University (

In order to submit your proposal, please send the following via email to the session chair before Wednesday, September 16, 2020:
- Completed proposal form
- A shortened CV (close to 2 pages)
- (Optional) Documentation of work when appropriate, limit to five images as a single PDF, especially for sessions in which artists might discuss their own practice.

Please note that a paper that has been published previously or presented at another scholarly conference may not be delivered at the CAA Annual Conference. Additional FAQs can be found here:

Please visit the 'External Link' below for more information.

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