October 10, 2019
Join us for a special webinar with Elise Bartosik-Vélez, professor of Spanish at Dickinson.
Having published a book and several articles on Christopher Columbus, Elise Bartosik- Vélez is often asked what Columbus was really like. Was he ahead of his time--a Renaissance man, and an intrepid mariner and a visionary who sought to expand Europe’s understanding of the world? Or was he a medieval figure who cruelly mistreated indigenous people? “The answer, I believe, lies somewhere in the middle,” says Bartosik- Vélez, who describes Columbus as “a complex individual who was very religious, an expert navigator who believed in monsters, an expert political strategist and a terrible governor of Hispaniola who also predicted the world would end around the year 1655 and claimed to find terrestrial paradise, the Garden of Eden, near the coast of modern-day Venezuela.” Bartosik- Vélez will begin our webinar by exploring how Columbus portrayed himself in his own writings throughout professional life. These self-representations form a poignant trajectory that corresponds to the course of his career at the Spanish court, where he was at first praised and then increasingly criticized. Then, she will address how the first historians who wrote about Spain’s “discovery of the New World” represented Columbus. These representations, she argues, set the tone for the Columbus most of us learned about in elementary school, and the Columbus after whom the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, was named, despite the fact that Columbus never set foot on the territory that would later become the United States. Finally, she will answer your questions about Christopher Columbus.
Please register by Wednesday, Oct. 9. The link for the webinar will be sent to registrants on Oct. 10.