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Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco Bernal

PhD Scholar


Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco was awarded the Woolf Institute Cambridge Scholarship to commence his PhD studies in 2014-15.

Read Rodrigo's blog post here as he reflects on his final year on the doctoral programme at Cambridge. Read his second year reflections here and his first year here.

Rodrigo's project, which is supervised by Prof. David Abulafia, and co-supervised by Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner, focuses on the treatment of Jews and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, during the period of Christian expansion over the previously Muslim-dominated territories of al-Andalus. Rodrigo is examining a series of franchise charters, legal constitutions and other contemporary legal texts which attempted to articulate the local administrative, social and political structures of the incipient Christian kingdoms. In these sources, the role of ethno-religious groups in local society was widely discussed. While previous works have focused on specific regions, Rodrigo studies the treatment of non-Christians from a comparative standpoint, testing the similarities and differences which appear in the texts ranging from Portugal to Castile or Catalonia. 

Rodrigo studied at international schools in Spain, where he first developed his interest for interfaith questions, before moving to England to study his undergraduate degree in History at Oxford University. Rodrigo's interest in both the Christian and Islamic medieval Mediterranean subsequently led him to do first an MSt in Medieval History at Oxford, before doing an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS, London.

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