Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco Bernal

PhD Alumnus


Rodrigo is a historian of medieval Spain, with an expertise in the treatment of religious minorities during the conquests of al-Andalus between 1000 and 1300.

He completed his PhD in History at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof David Abulafia, being the first awardee of the Woolf Institute Cambridge Scholarship. For his doctoral dissertation Rodrigo conducted a comparative study of the references to Jews and Muslims found in the corpus of Iberian legal franchises known as fueros and cartas de población. Additionally, Rodrigo has studied a series of twelfth-century bilingual contracts of property sales drafted by Jewish and Muslim communities of Tudela in the aftermath of the Christian conquests. His research on these contracts, published in al-Masaq: the Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean suggests the creation soon after the conquests of multi-lingual systems of legal pluralism to cater for the different faith groups living in Christian lands.

Rodrigo is also interested in historiography, particularly the contemporary use of Reconquista narratives in political discourse, and the development of theories of 'convivencia' and tolerance. He is preparing an article on Américo Castro and his pre-Civil War intellectual context, in lieu of the lecture series that he is organising in collaboration with the DAAD-Cambridge Hub, Spanish Intellectuals from Krause to post-war Britain.

Rodrigo is currently the Sava Ranisavljevic Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University.

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