On January 11th and 12th, 2024, the IberLAND project, five guest scholars, two associated researchers and other guests gathered to hold the workshop “Todo lo que está por romperse: Jornadas para el estudio de las tierras incultas, baldíos, montes, vacantes y otras formas de uso y apropiación del espacio.”
This was the first of of the IberLAND Workshop Series, each one to be developed by a member of the IberLAND team, and dedicated to the in-depth discussion of a specific topic related to land tenure. This First Workshop, organized by Alina Rodríguez, focused on the reflection and discussion of the uses and normativities of uncultivated and vacant land, which opened a path to deepen our understanding of early modern societies relations to commons, resources, and landscape management, as well as to consider whether these categories are adequate to address the early modern relations to the material world.
The Workshop, held at the Leibnizhaus (Hannover), consisted of several presentations by the guest scholars, a text discussion, a museum visit to the Landesmuseum, and a concluding roundtable. The first day started with a presentation by Sergio Carrera Quezada (Colegio de México, Mexico) on the program of composiciones de tierras in Spanish and Portuguese America. He was followed by Claudia Damasceno Fonseca (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, France), who presented her work on the conflicts over the use of manglares and the notion of ‘common goods’ in Salvador de Bahia. The last presentation of the day was given by José Miguel Lana Berasain (Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain), who discussed resource sharing and commons’ management from the case of the mancomunidades in Spain. Afterwards, we discussed a chapter from Alina Rodríguez’ dissertation, on the concepts, uses, and normativities of the monte in the Mixtec area during the sixteenth century. The day ended with a visit to the exhibition ‘Tempo. Tempo! Tempo?’ which aimed to reflect on how scholarship that intends to use new perspectives on the division of nature and culture can enter public discourse.
The second day opened with the presentation by Alessandro Buono (Università di Pisa, Italy) on abandoned persons and things in the constitutional lexicon and practices of justice. The presentation highlighted the importance of the duty of care in ancien régime societies. The last presentation was by Carolina Jurado (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), who introduced us to the case of the ichu, a type of pasture in the viceroyalty of Peru, wich had many uses for indigenous communities and Spanish miners and was consequently regulated by officials of the Crown. Finally, we held a final round table, where we addressed methodological problems.
We thank all the participants for the discussion, the lively lunches and dinners, and we hope to continue this exercise of academic exchange with the next workshop, scheduled to be held in June 2024.