CLAS Summer Institute for Teachers

"Empire to Empire: The Americas in the Age of Exploration"

July 14-16, 2008

Gallo Gallina, The Encounter Between Hernando Cortes and Montezuma II, from
"Le Costume Ancien Et Moderne."

Monday, July 14
8:30 -
9:15 am

— Institute Overview

Jean Spencer, CLAS

9:15 -

The Renaissance of Empire and the Rise of Imperial Ambition in the West

Thomas Dandelet, Associate Professor of History, UC Berkeley

This talk will explore how the Renaissance study of, and fascination with, the ancient Roman Empire in Italy and Spain led to the creation of a new myth of empire and ideology of imperial expansion. Fashioning themselves as the new Romans, the Spanish, in particular, constantly compared and contrasted themselves with the ancient Empire as they sought to justify and celebrate their own conquests in the New World.

10:30 -
10:45 pm


10:45 -
12:00 pm

Brazil as Counterpoint: Nomads, Traders and Slaves

Thomas Holloway, Professor of History, UC Davis

Professor Holloway's presentation (5 MB .pdf)

Portuguese maritime merchant/explorers led the way to Africa and the Indian Ocean and in the process bumped into Brazil, where they established coastal trading outposts among indigenous peoples who were semi-nomadic hunters and horticulturists. Later response to European demand for sugar resulted in the emergence of the plantation system based on the mass enslavement of Africans, which then spread to other parts of the Americas.

12:00 -
1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:15 -
2:30 pm

The Andean World and the Entry of the Spanish

Christine Hastorf, Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

This presentation will cover the South American Andean region before and immediately after the initial contact with Europeans. Prof. Hastorf will briefly present the world of the Inka, including their social structure, communication network, aesthetic and beliefs. She will then examine the arrival of the Spanish and the first important meeting, ending with the early impacts of the Spanish on the region and its people.

2:30 -
2:45 pm


2:45 -
4:00 pm

Francis Drake in California, 1579
Edward Von der Porten, naval historian, nautical archaeologist, museum director and educator

It took 59-years and the work of scholars from fields as wide-ranging as ship construction, botany, meteorology and archeology to positively identify Drake’s Cove in the Point Reyes National Seashore as the site of Francis Drake’s Nova Albion. It was in this encampment that Drake made the first English claim to land that would become part of the United States . This talk will examine both Drake’s story and the effort to find Nova Albion.
Tuesday, July 15
9:00 -
11:00 am

Native Peoples, Africans and the Spanish Conquest: Mesoamerica and the Caribbean

Alex Saragoza, Associate Professor of History, Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

Once Spain realized the value of its newly formed empire in the Americas, the Spanish monarchy faced the challenge of developing a labor force to exploit the lucrative commodities generated by its colonial possessions. Native peoples and Africans became crucial sources of labor for imperial Spain, and this presentation compares the origins and the enduring consequences of Spain’s policies regarding native and African workers. Toward that end, this presentation explores the geographic, political, economic and socio-cultural repercussions of Spain’s colonial labor practices.

11:00 -


11:15 -
12:15 pm

Cartography and the European Encounter with the Americas

Jordan Branch, Graduate Student, Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Maps and cartography played a large role in the timing, extent and character of the European encounter with the Americas . Not only were maps used in navigation and exploration, but the “discovery” of the so-called New World also led to the extensive — and novel — use of maps by European states to claim territory, compete with one another and implement political control.

12:15 -
1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 -
2:30 pm

The Mid-16th Century Transition of Power in the Viceroyalties of Peru and New Spain

Susan Hogue, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, UC Davis

By the mid-16th century the colonial system, developed under the direct rule of the conquistadors, was in crisis. This presentation will examine how the Spanish Crown struggled to meet the dire need for more revenue from its American possessions, maneuvered to limit the private power of the conquistadors and addressed the growing outrage in Spain and Europe over the treatment of indigenous peoples in the Americas.

2:30 -
2:45 pm
2:45 -
3:45 pm

Film: Cracking the Maya Code

Wednesday, July 16
9:30 -
10:15 am

From Barrier to Highway
Chris Edwards, National Park Ranger, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

This program will take place on the 1886 full-rigged ship Balclutha. It will deal with sailing ships, those who sailed them and the technology of sail power between the time of the Spanish explorers and the California grain trade. This program will also deal with the goals of the Spanish versus the intentions of those who built the Balclutha and whether the ocean was seen as a highway or barrier.
11:00 -
12:00 pm

Tour of the J. Porter Shaw Maritime Library
Bill Kooiman, Reference Librarian, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

12:00 -
12:15 pm
Workshop evaluation


Other Outreach Events

2007 Summer Institute for Teachers

"From Crude to Cane: Energy Policy in Latin America"

2006 Summer Institute for Teachers

"Remembering Alta California, Remaking the Past "

2004 Summer Institute for Teachers

"The Making of Modern Cuba"

2003 Summer Institute for Teachers

"Ten Years After NAFTA: How Has Globalization Affected Mexico?"

2002 Summer Institute for Teachers

"Mexico in the 20th Century:
Themes of the History Curriculum








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