Professor Teofilo Ruiz
UCLA History Professor Teofilo Ruiz will present “The Other 1492” on September 28,
2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the Topping Room, Old Chapel (Room 212) at Randolph-Macon College.
This event is sponsored by the Visiting Scholars Program of
Phi Beta Kappa and the Zeta chapter at R-MC.
This event is free and open to the public.
1492 has long been seen as the “miracle year” of the Spanish realms. This lecture
addresses the importance of 1492 from different perspectives. Instead of examining
the so-called achievements of the Catholic Monarchs (their victory over Granada,
religious and political unity, and the encounter with the New World), Ruiz will
look at what the events of 1492 meant for those who bore, on their flesh, the brunt
of a new centralized monarchy, religious intolerance, and colonial expansion.
Ruiz’ focus is on Jews, Conversos, Muslims, Moriscos, and the natives of the New
World for whom 1492 represented a radical and catastrophic change in their individual
and collective lives. By examining the history of Jews, Muslims, and New World natives
during the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity, we see the growing intolerance
ushered in by military conquest, religious intolerance, and political centralization.
During his distinguished career, Ruiz has taught at Brooklyn College, the CUNY Graduate
Center, the University of Michigan, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales
in Paris, and was the 250th Anniversary Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching
at Princeton before joining the history department at UCLA in 1998. In 2008, he
received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
Ruiz has received fellowships from the NEH, the Mellon Foundation, the Institute
for Advanced Study in Princeton and the ACLS. In 1994, he was selected as one of
only four U.S. Professors of the Year by CASE and by the Carnegie Foundation. A
specialist in the social and popular culture of late medieval and early modern Castile,
Ruiz is the author of several books, including Crisis and Continuity: Land and Town
in Late Medieval Castile, which won the Biennial Award for the best book
on Spanish History from the American Historical Association; Spanish Society, 1400-1600;
From Heaven to Earth: The Reordering of Castilian Society in the Late Middle Ages,
1150-1350 and Reflections on the Terror of History (forthcoming).