Dr Cecilia Tarruell

​Research interests:

  • Spanish Empire, sixteenth-seventeenth centuries
  • Early Modern Mediterranean
  • Christian-Islamic interactions

My research centres on the Spanish Empire and the analysis of Christian-Islamic interactions in the Mediterranean area during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am particularly interested in the processes of (re)integration and assimilation in early modern Europe – and beyond – of individuals and social groups with extensive experiences both in Christian and Islamic lands. I do this through a focus on different kinds of human circulation across the Mediterranean.

During my PhD, my research focused on forms of coerced mobility. To this end, I analysed long-term Christian captivity and enslavement in Morocco and the Ottoman Empire by looking at individuals who, upon their return to Christian lands, served the Hispanic monarch during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

My current research project develops a wider study of forms of voluntary circulation across the Mediterranean. In particular, I am examining the voluntary arrival and settlement in the territories of the Spanish Empire of Muslim, Jewish and Christian populations coming from the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Empire and Morocco, most of whom converted to Catholicism as part of the process of migration. By challenging common ideas about the very existence of such phenomena, and conventional representations of the Spanish Empire in historiography as a land of expulsion of religious minorities, this project explores the more complex reality of multiple forms of migration flows connecting Islamic and Christian lands during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.



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