I am an Associate Professor (UHD) of European Literature and Culture. Before joining the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2010, I was Assistant Professor in the Spanish Department at Utrecht University. I studied Modern Philology at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid and Dutch Literature of the Renaissance and the Baroque at Utrecht University (cum laude), where I also received my PhD in 2003 with De Tachtigjarige Oorlog in Spaanse Ogen (English expanded edition The Dutch Revolt through Spanish Eyes, Peter Lang 2008). I have led several research projects as PI and as a member of European consortia (see research projects). Between 2010 and 2015 I was Chair of the AHBx (Asociación de Hispanistas del Benelux: http://ahbx.eu/ahbx/ ). Between 2019-2022 I served as Chair of the European Studies Department. Since 2022 I am a member of the Governing Board of the Huizinga Institute, the Dutch National Research School for Cultural History.
My research concentrates on Spanish-Dutch-Anglo relations and cultural exchanges in the early modern period and beyond (1550-1850), with a focus on the intersection between literature, politics, history and ideology, nation-building processes and cross-cultural dynamics of representation. These lines of research came clearly to the fore in my VIDI-project Mixed feelings. Literary Hispanophilia and Hispanophobia in England and the Netherlands in the Early Modern period and the Nineteenth century, funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO (2015-2021). The project bridged the fields of Imagology, Translation Studies and Cultural transfer.
Ongoing fields of interest are:
BOOKS and EDITED VOLUMES
Courses at BA, MA and ReMA level on Spanish culture and literature and on European culture and literature (with a focus on Dutch and English).
Courses academic year 2022-2023:
- National Thought in Europe (BA)
- Spain, Mediterranean Microcosm of Europe (BA)
- European Literary History
Lectures and Presentations (Selection)
*Partner in POLEMHIS- ‘Comunicación Política, Gestión de la Información y Memoria de los conflictos en la Monarquía Hispánica (1548-1725)’(funded by the AEI [Agencia Estatal de Investigación/State Research Agency, Spain]. PI: Dr Bernardo García García; Departamento de Historia Moderna e Historia Contemporánea, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
(01-09-2021 until 01-09-2025)
* Partner in the Erasmus + Jean Monnet Project 'Transcultural Europe in the Global World' (PI: Dr Silvia Contarini (Université Paris Nanterre). Other partners: Universitá Roma Sapienza, University of Cagliari, University of Reims, CES Coimbra, University Babes-Bolya, University Charles of Prague)
(01-11-2020 until 01-11-2022)
* MIXED FEELINGS. Literary Hispanophilia and Hispanophobia in England and the Netherlands in the Early Modern period and in the nineteenth century (NWO-VIDI Vernieuwingsimpuls 2014 - 276-30-011) (PI)
(1-11-2015 until 01-09-2021)
Current framings of the economic crisis are marked by negative prejudices, depicting the southern European states as corrupt. National characterizations can endure for centuries. In Early Modern Europe, the Spaniards were the most hated nation. Their reputation was tainted by a Black Legend of Spanish cruelty and lust for power. This anti-hispanism is considered central to the process of European proto-national identity formation. It shaped the cultural and political self-definition of both the Netherlands and England, two nations with overlapping histories regarding Spain. However, this hispanophobia did not exclude an undeniable fascination with Golden Age Spanish culture, most visible within the field of literature.
This project problematizes the European paradigm shift around 1800, when after centuries of predominant hispanophobia, a discourse of romantic hispanophilia materialized. The Duke of Alba and the Spanish Armada made way for Carmen and Don Juan. This project will demonstrate how the two narratives of literary hispanophobia and hispanophilia co-existed in the Early Modern period and re-emerged in the nineteenth century, when national identities and literary canons consolidated the Golden Age as the key period in the national-historical consciousness.
The research consists of three interrelated subprojects: PhD’s 1 and 2 will chart this literary ambivalence towards Spain for the Early Modern Period (1550-1700). How this ambivalence was adapted and negotiated in the nineteenth century will be explored in subproject 3 (project leader). This project breaks new ground in four ways: 1) It studies the dynamics of aversion/fascination for a dominant foreign culture across time; 2) it links these dynamics to narratives of nationhood using a comparative perspective; 3) it methodologically bridges the fields of Imagology, Translation Studies and Cultural Transfer; 4) It connects the process of proto-national constructions with the formation of modern nationalism by combining Early Modern research with research into the nineteenth century.
* Rena Bood, PhD
'Between Hispanophobia and Hispanophilia. The Spanish fascination in English and Dutch 17th-century literature' (Thesis defended 01-05-2020) Between Hispanophobia and Hispanophilia (uva.nl)
* Sabine Waasdorp, MA
*The Black Legend and the Spanish Identity in Golden Age Spanish Theater (1580-1665) - NWO- Internationalisering Geesteswetenschappen 2012 GW (236-30-009) (PI)
(1-1-2013 until 29-02-2016)
The Black Legend is the perception/theory that Spaniards are especially tyrannical, cruel, intolerant, lustful, and greedy people. These powerful stereotypes prevent an accurate understanding of Early-Modern, and even contemporary Spain.
This project will study the Black Legend as an Early-Modern cultural dialogue, one in which Spanish intellectuals saw foreign prejudices as challenges that they needed to answer. We shall approach the Black Legend from an interdisciplinary angle by combining literary studies with theory on nation building, propaganda, and identity forming.In particular, we examine how the Black Legend influenced the Spanish self-conception during the Golden Age: how Golden Age Spanish writers received those ideas and how they used theater to respond to them, how commercial and court plays contributed to a nation-building process, and how even a nation already previously constructed, such as Spain, adopted foreign perceptions to reshape its own self-image.
Partners: prof. dr. Antonio Sánchez Jiménez, (Université de Neuchâtel); Dr. Alexander Samson (University College London); prof. dr. Harm Den Boer, (Universität Basel); prof. dr. Ignacio Arellano, (Universidad de Navarra); ; prof. dr. Cristoph Strosetzki, (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) Webpagina: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/black-legend
* Cultural Narratives of Crisis and Renewal (CRIC) Marie Curie RISE (Research and Innovative Staff Exchange) Excellent Science Horizon 2020
(June 2015-january 2019)
Project Coordinators: Dr Jorge Catalá and Dr Patricia Olliart, Newcastle University.
Beneficiary universities: University of Amsterdam, Newcastle University, University of Lleida and University of Valencia [[ Amsterdam Task Team on “Disinherited Literature”: Dr Pablo Valdivia (Coordinator) and Dr Yolanda Rodríguez Pérez (researcher)]]
Partner universities: Universidad Nacional 3 de febrero de Buenos Aires, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Austral de Chile.
For a project description see: Cultural Narratives of Crisis and Renewal | CRIC Project | H2020 | CORDIS | European Commission (europa.eu)
* NWO PhD position (Onderzoeker in Opleiding, OIO) –April 1998 – February 2003 (own project: 'De Tachtigjarige Oorlog in Spaanse ogen. De Nederlanden in Spaanse historische en literaire teksten (circa 1548 – 1673') Universiteit Utrecht, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Dutch.