Tamara Bartl
ifk Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

Human Dignity in Las Indias. Casuistry in Spanish American Literature of the Early Colonial Period


During the colonization of the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries, the question of human dignity and legal personhood drew the attention of casuists and representatives of the School of Salamanca, whose works decisively shaped the modern conception of human rights. This dissertation project deals with the interplay between casuistical writings and chronicles of the New World, and examines the question of how philosophical discussions on human dignity were addressed in these texts. Tamara Bartl argues that cultural encounters and changing power relations during colonization resulted in casuists and chroniclers renegotiating the value of human beings and their dignity and rights in their writings. In this context, translation processes regarding the value systems of different peoples were set in motion, allowing for cultural differences to be transformed, which led to a more elaborate view of the concept of human dignity.


Tamara Bartl studied Translation Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Romance Studies. Her dissertation explores the negotiation of human dignity in the writings of Spanish casuists and the chronicles of early colonial Latin America. From 2021 to 2023, she collaborated on the FWF project »Casuistry and Early Modern Spanish Literature« (P 32297), directed by Marlen Bidwell-Steiner, which allowed her to participate in numerous international conferences and prepare several papers for publication. She has researched and studied in Madrid, Barcelona, and Bogotá, and has held internships at Language Connect in London and the Goethe-Institut in New York City. In addition to her doctoral studies, she also works as a translator. She has translated children’s and young adult literature, and edited a children’s book on football.


»Des Teufels viele Gesichter. Kasuistische Verhandlungen kolonialer Diskurse in Juan Rodríguez Freyles El Carnero«, in: mit Linda Bäumler, Elisabeth Heiszenberger, Tatjana Wais, Verena Weiland (Hg.), Romania Diversa. Beiträge zum 37. Forum Junge Romanistik in Wien (11.–13. April 2022), München 2023/2024 (in Vorbereitung).

27 November 2023
  • Lecture
ifk & ifk@Zoom
Tamara Bartl

Von der Würde des Menschen. Kasuistische Verhandlungen in den Crónicas de Indias

Die Kolonisierung Lateinamerikas läutet für Spanien ein Zeitalter des Wohlstands und den Aufstieg zu einer politischen und wirtschaftlichen Weltmacht ein. Für die indigene Bevölkerung bringt dies jedoch massive kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen, eingeschleppte Krankheiten und Ausbeutung mit sich. Ins Blickfeld rückt dabei der Mensch.