Escritura, derecho y esclavitud: Francisco José de Jaca ante el nomos colonial
Merediz, Eyda M.
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This dissertation concentrates on the relationship between law, literature, and slavery in the Hispanic Caribbean of the Early Modern Period. My analysis is based on two letters and a treatise,<italic> Resolución sobre la libertad de los negros y sus originarios, en estado de paganos y después ya cristianos</italic> (1681), that were written by Capuchin friar Francisco José de Jaca, while he was serving as a missionary in the Caribbean region. His writings set the stage for a discussion of how Spanish hegemonic legal thinking is challenged and redefined from an alternative transatlantic narrative. The concept of <italic>nomos colonial</italic> that I introduce in this dissertation denotes the symbolic normative space originated by the legal justifications of the Spanish conquest and colonization. Through the exploration of the <italic>nomos colonial</italic>, my project focuses on how the rhetoric of law served simultaneously as a discursive practice of imperial domination and of cultural resistance. By reclaiming the aesthetic and conceptual originality of Francisco José de Jaca, a neglected author who demonstrated the illegality of Amerindian and African slavery, the dissertation reveals the epistemological shift produced to (re)accommodate the colonial subjects within the <italic>nomos colonial</italic>. By situating Jaca's contributions in a counter-hegemonic legal corpus that dates back to Antón de Montesinos and Bartolomé de Las Casas, the research re-envisions the ideological debates about slavery in the 16th and 17th centuries. Ultimately, my goal is to reconsider some foundational fictions of the Caribbean world--Amerindian legal status, slavery, and Black subjectivity--by underscoring the relevance of an intellectual whose discourse was constructed from the tension between the Spanish legal tradition and the colonial experience.