Interdisciplinarity and theoretical reflection on current mutations in disciplines are at the heart of the proposed lines of research, conceived to generate concrete transversal approaches across all areas of human and social sciences and to offer a laboratory for scientific experimentation with the level of scientific excellence characterising Casa de Velázquez. The aim is by no means to individually approach the disciplines of the human and social sciences and expound on a particular area of study but rather to mix approaches and cross-reference the data provided by each of them with the aim of creating a fertile dialogue and a rejuvenated scientific discourse.
This sharing also applies to methodological tools and concepts, thereby authorising the exploration of new epistemological avenues. We will make extensive use of ICTs (ranging from simple databases to Geographical Information Systems to factorial or spatial analyses and digital humanities) to collect, examine and format, i.e. map, the data obtained from the different studies. This quantitative approach should significantly raise the quality of better informed scientific discourse.
In line with the previous five-year plan which stressed cooperation between the two research departments (ancient and medieval / modern and contemporary) we propose a focus on long-term diachrony. Long-term scientific analysis provides a number of advantages: first, the understanding of the rhythm of a historical phenomenon marked by changes, interruptions and periods of stability, allowing one to grasp it in its entirety and compare it to different socio-political, economic or cultural contexts; second, the long-term approach helps overcome divisions, too Eurocentric, imposed by our historical periodisation.
Seeing things from the perspective of Others changes ones bearings and redefines markers. Third, crossing historical periods allows work on memory, on the impact of historical events and the developments following in their wake. Beyond its heuristic interest, a long-term perspective at the heart of the Braudelian approach is particularly relevant when responding to calls for projects, especially in Europe: while such perspective is indisputably rooted in a past historical reality, it usually leads to the consideration of its importance in shaping the present.
The fact that the EHEHI is specifically focused on Hispanic studies opens it to a high-level international field of studies and scientific cooperation, especially with regard to the Maghreb and Latin America. The three areas of expertise of the Casa de Velázquez, i.e. the Iberian Peninsula, the Maghreb and Latin America, have shared a common history throughout different historical periods. African and Atlantic geographies are covered, not in their own right, but rather as a result of the links they have forged with the Iberian Peninsula; in other words, they have been taken much more into consideration since their connection with the Iberian Peninsula.
Indeed, these territories and the maritime spaces between them have developed a permanent dialogue over the centuries that is so dense that it has actually territorialised some of these "liquid plains" (Ibero-Moroccan Gulf in the Atlantic), assisted by port facilities positioned on both sides. This dialogue is expressed through movement (of goods and people) and trade (tangible and intangible), sometimes forming international networks. This networking encourages approaches developed by connected and global history. A multi-scale approach with continuous back-and-forth between regional case studies with the ambition of world-history1, will assure that historical contexts are not lost.
1 Patrick BOUCHERON, Nicolas DELALANDE, Pour une histoire-monde, Paris, PUF, 2013.