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The UCLA Center for Seventeenth- & Eighteenth-Century Studies
Empire and Exceptionalism: The Requerimiento at Five-Hundred
Organized by Andrew Devereux (Loyola Marymount University) and Anthony Pagden (University of California, Los Angeles)
Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7, 2015
10:00 a.m.
The conference addresses the justifications for conquest and empire in the early modern Spanish world by examining them against the broader panorama of European colonial ventures in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and beyond. Using the Spanish Requerimiento as a point of departure, “Empire and Exceptionalism” explores a comparative approach to the foundation of empires in the Old World and the New. To justify and rationalize their expansion, medieval and early modern powers often drew on shared legal and historical traditions. Their claims, while obviously oppositional, were in constant dialogue with one another. For instance, recent work has suggested that the Requerimiento was based on traditions of medieval Islamic jurisprudence that addressed the treatment of conquered peoples. How would such traditions have intersected with canon law, humanist traditions, and other justifications for empire? How disparate, ultimately, were the different imperial projects, and how significant were the distinctions? “Empire and Exceptionalism” thus engages some of the most pressing historical questions concerning the origins of European colonialism by examining Mediterranean and Atlantic processes in conjunction with one another and by addressing the degree to which the practices engaged in by the early modern Spanish Empire were exceptional.
“Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Clark Library Exhibition”
Exhibition Opening – Wednesday, February 25, 2015
4:00–7:00 p.m.  
The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is pleased to invite you to an exhibition opening with remarks by Oscar Wilde scholar and UCLA professor Joseph Bristow on Wednesday, February 25th. The exhibition focuses on the significance of Wilde’s eighty-page “Chatterton” notebook, acquired by the Clark in 1952. This important document reveals the extraordinary research Wilde undertook when discovering details about the brief but prolific life of teenage eighteenth-century forger, Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770), the son of a humble sexton. As the “Chatterton” notebook shows, Wilde was fascinated by the biography of the gifted young poet who forged the works of an imaginary fifteenth-century poet, Thomas Rowley. The brilliant forgeries, which Chatterton wrote in a faux-medieval style, revealed not only a precocious poetic talent; they also demonstrated Chattetron’s intimate knowledge of the English poetic tradition that connected Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, and Matthew Prior. The exhibition coincides with the publication of Joseph Bristow and Rebecca N. Mitchell’s Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery (Yale University Press, 2015), which will be available for purchase.  
The library will be open for viewing the exhibition at 4:00 p.m. No registration is required.  
Exhibitions are open during public programs and by appointment. 
For appointments call 323-731-8529, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  
The exhibition will be on view from February 25 – March 31, 2015.
Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies
310 Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-1404
Phone: 310-206-8552 | Fax: 310-206-8577
E-mail: | Website:

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