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Placing Mobile Identities: Freedom to Wander and the Right to Travel in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America

Salamanca, Beatriz E.; (2019) Placing Mobile Identities: Freedom to Wander and the Right to Travel in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Urban growth and the unprecedented expansion of imperial Spain sparked a sense of constant fluctuation and anonymity that challenged early modern categories of belonging and space demarcation. The Spanish crown claimed a monopoly which sought to exclude tentatively defined foreigners, and in the peninsula, urban growth encouraged measures to identify and restrict the presence of the ‘undeserving’ poor. Nascent frameworks of legal identity exacerbated a public discourse of suspicion against constant motion and the ‘undocumented’, and this interaction between mobility and emerging techniques of identification has an intellectual history that has not received sufficient attention. The Dominican theologian Francisco de Vitoria controversially oscillated between the ethical defence of hospitable behaviour and a notion of ‘openess’ permeated by the language of the rights of ‘nations’. His disciple Domingo de Soto more openly challenged current measures by insisting on the limits of any attempt to create fixed definitions of poverty and legitimate movement. This research explores how movement was both monitored and discussed in a highly mobile world of fragile categories of identity and fragmentary and porous boundaries. It inquires how different narratives of identity and belonging were articulated in regulations and legal cases, and examines their influence on intellectual debates about hospitality and kindness to strangers in both transatlantic and local frameworks. In this context, I intend to offer new insights on the means through which nebulous identities and mechanisms of identification were incorporated to an emerging bureaucracy of movement, and contribute to a better understanding of how these practices helped shape the terms in which freedom of movement was advocated or objected. This research claims that the discursive ambivalence of notions like the right to travel or the itinerant-undeserving poor, exposed a climate of resistance to an emerging bureaucracy of identification and increasing mobility regulations.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Placing Mobile Identities: Freedom to Wander and the Right to Travel in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085979
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