Imperium: Historical and Artistic Clues to the Origins of the Iberian Empires

HST/HUM 400.2 (3 credits)


The Imperium seminar examines the creation of the Iberian Empires (Spain and Portugal), which would become the most important and largest organizations of power in the 16th and 17th centuries, even larger than the Roman Empire, which served as a model in many respects. The first colonial European empires, these powerful organizations–both admired and fought–influenced the political agenda and the economic and cultural development of Europe from the Middle Ages well into the 17th century. Through visits to sites in the key cities of Valencia, Granada, Seville, and Lisbon (subject to change per travel restrictions), you will experience firsthand the historical, artistic, and cultural underpinnings of the Iberian Empires.

This course is taught both in English and Spanish. No previous study of Spanish language is required, although students with some proficiency will have the opportunity to attend lectures and visits in Spanish. Readings and exams are in English.

NOTE: The seminar schedule, itinerary and procedures are subject to change without notice.


The seminar is led by Elena Postigo Castellanos, Ph.D. Dr. Postigo teaches history and women’s studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Syracuse Madrid.