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Introducing: Beatriz Santiago Belmonte

Starting August 15th 2014, Beatriz Santiago Belmonte is appointed as a PhD student on Raymond Fagels NWO project ‘Facing the Enemy. The Spanish Army Commanders during the First Decade of the Dutch Revolt (1567-1577)’

Spanish Monarchy

I was born in Madrid but grew up in a little town at the Spanish coast. However, I did my undergraduate degree in History at Complutense University of Madrid. There, I focused on the study of the Early Modern Period, particularly on the History of the Spanish Monarchy between the 16th and 17th centuries. During my degree I spent a year at Humboldt University Berlin as an Erasmus student. Back in Spain I started my Master in the History of the Spanish Monarchy and worked on its relations and links with other states in Europe. As a result of my research I wrote an essay analysing individual and collective attitudes of a group of foreigners within the court of Madrid during the reign of Charles II. An important aspect within this project was the way locals built up an image of ‘others’ in order to show their discontent with the politics of the Monarchy during those years. 

Heroes or monsters

Since August 1 I am working as one of the two PhD candidates in Raymond Fagel’s NWO funded project ‘Facing the Enemy. The Spanish Army Commanders during the First Decade of the Dutch Revolt (1567-1577)’. The project aims to study a group of Spanish commanders present in the Low Countries between 1567-1577 who were seen either as heroes or as monsters depending on which national tradition depicted them. Furthermore these commanders have been studied as a monolithic and anonymous group and their testimonies never received the attention they deserved. Within the project I will particularly focus on their letters in order to ‘provide them with a face’ and to investigate how their testimonies relate to the image given by Spanish and Dutch narrative sources. 

‘Facing the Enemy’ deals with processes of othering, just as my Master thesis, therefore giving me the opportunity to delve further into this fascinating topic. I am looking forward to work at Leiden University and to broaden my horizons. 

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