Group of Elites and Agents in the Spanish Monarchy: Forms of Political Articulation, Negociation and Patronage (1506-1725) (HERMESP)

Department of Early Modern History and Modern History
Faculty of Geography and History

Our research group proposes to focus on the comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of the: (1) dynastic conception and design of spaces (urban or country residences, religious foundations…), considering the role of the elites in the territories of the Spanish Empire in Europe or the Indies (from 1560 to 1715); (2) creation of sites for memory, promotion and representation; and (3) management of spaces and performance of power and linage in celebrations, leisure or festivals. From 1997 I have been cooperating with a non-academic institution: the ‘Real Diputación San Andrés de los Flamencos-Fundación Carlos de Amberes’ (FCA, PIC Num: 968359925); it is a non-profit private Cultural Foundation which aim is encouraging historical, cultural and scientific exchanges between Spain and the former 17 Provinces of the Low Countries (BE, LUX, NED, FR) in the context of European History and Culture; and it is also a non-profit private Research Centre recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. This entity has cooperation agreements with the Spanish National Heritage, Prado Museum, UCM and several Belgian or Dutch academic and non-academic institutions. The secondments could provide experience and new professional skills on Heritage Conservation, Cultural Dissemination and Digital Humanities to postdoctoral researchers (from History, Art History, History of Architecture, Literature, Theater Studies…) in order to develop innovative results.

The UCM Library has a vast collection of volumes (more than 2.7 million and 75.000 periodicals); the historic collection at UCM Library reaches 194.000 volumes and there are substantial historic and artistic funds all over the 12 museums and the 11 collections. Campus of International Excellence: UCM is located in the ‘Campus de Moncloa’ at Ciudad Universitaria of Madrid. This location is a large space devoted to Science and Higher Education. With over 10,000 researchers and 10% of the national scientific production of Spain. The Campus of International Excellence (UCM and UPM, Polytechnic University of Madrid) is committed to specialization in five thematic clusters (including Heritage), to create unique configurations marked by their innovative and interdisciplinary character, highly competitive at the European level, and producing significant progress in knowledge transfer.

The fruitful and excellent research experience gained during my participation as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the European Science Foundation-Research Networking Programme (ESF-RPN) ‘PALATIUM. Court Residences as Places of Exchange in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (1400-1700)’ (2010-2015) sponsored by 14 contributing organisations from 11 European countries (22 scientific meetings and 13 publications, www.courtresidences.eu), and as member of the Advisory Board in a research project of KU Leuven (Belgium) about ‘Strategies of self-representation. Noble residences in the Low Countries during the sixteenth century (1477-1635)’ (2015-2019) (http://www.nobleresidences.eu/), supervised by Dr. Krista De Jonge (Faculty of Architecture), enables me to extend my research field towards a new proposal for the UNA4CAREER Programme: The construction of spaces (ephemeral or permanent) with dynastic conceptions; and the sociopolitical use of sites for leisure, memory and representation, considering especially the performance of power, family ties and status of the elites of the Spanish Empire in a European or Global context (1560-1715). This proposal aims to privilege a comparative and interdisciplinary approach using digital skills (mapping, 3D reconstruction, virtual animation…), and studying the processes of emulation and innovation led by the new and traditional elites. This very interdisciplinary, international, and intersectoral research topic could also include other aspects: a gender perspective; the transformation of landscape; the design and use of special rooms (dance halls, scientific cabinets, libraries, great galleries, garden pavilions…); the recuperation of this kind of European heritage.