"The Spanish-American Jesuit University as Social Hub"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Stefan Rinke (FU Berlin)
The universities of the New World bore witness of a new high degree of mobility that characterized the dawn of a new age. It is in this light that we have to understand and evaluate the rise of the Jesuit order as a response to the turbulences and raptures of modern age and which marked the beginning of European global expansion. Among European countries, the Spanish Empire was not only the first to establish a permanent dominion in the Americas but also to erect universities all over its possessions. In doing so, there existed two possibilities: royal and order-led universities. The Jesuit order was overwhelmingly successful as an actor in the university landscape and controlled roughly half of all approximately 25 Spanish-American universities at the dawn of their expulsion!
For my case study of the Jesuit University of Córdoba de Tucumán, I am conducting for the first time a global historical study of a Spanish-American university by analyzing entanglements. In doing so, I am defining the university as a social space that can be linked with other spaces of the world – thus stressing mutual processes of flows, exchanges and impacts. Ultimately, this leads to dynamic, analytical-perspective spatial constellations challenging traditional patterns of unilateral transfers (always originating from Europe) and models of center-periphery. As a logical consequence, I am analyzing social, economic and ecological aspects which, according to my preliminary results, reveal diverse and deeply intertwined entanglements with the social groups of Spanish-America, the Christian missions, the economic-ecological structure of the transandine viceroyalty of Peru and the imperial security architecture.