Mònica Colominas Aparicio

NISIS PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam. Research project: Mudejars and the Politics of Identity: Authority, Loyalty and Religious Polemics in Late-Medieval Iberia. Keywords: Mudejars - Jews - Identity politics - Religious polemics - Late medieval Iberian Peninsula.

Mudejars and the Politics of Identity: Authority, Loyalty and Religious Polemics in Late-Medieval Iberia

This research investigates the politics of identity of the Muslims of Spain subjected to Christian rule (Mudejars). It focuses on late medieval Mudejar polemics included in hitherto unknown Arabic and aljamiado (Spanish in Arabic characters) manuscripts. The study of Mudejar sources is indispensable to counterbalance the often-biased outsider views of the Christian contemporary sources that disregard the Mudejars’ agency in constructing their self-image.

By exploring Mudejar polemics against Christianity and Judaism within the processes of exclusion and inclusion of religious minorities in Iberia, this dissertation sheds light on the function of polemical writing as a discursive means for the construction of Mudejar identities and social realities. Furthermore, the research stresses the share of the Mudejars in the shaping of interreligious Iberian narratives and contributes to the often politicized and polarized debate on convivencia in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society of the Iberian Peninsula.


Born in Barcelona, Mònica Colominas Aparicio studied Arabic Language and Culture at the University of Amsterdam and obtained a BA degree in 2009 (cum laude). In 2010 she completed the MA Arabic Language and Culture (cum laude) with a thesis on al-Shayzarī's twelfth century treatise on love entitled Rawḍat al-qulūb wa-nuzhat al-muḥibb wa-l-maḥbūb ('The green garden of the hearts and the pleasure of the lover and the beloved'), under the supervision of Dr. A. Schippers. She also studied Classical Guitar at the Conservatory Liceu in Barcelona and the Conservatory of Amsterdam (from 2002), where she received a BA degree in 2006. 

In 2008 she spent several months at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC), and in 2010 she collaborated as editorial intern at the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam. From 2003 until 2012 she has been guitar teacher at Music School Fluxus, and from 2011 until 2012 she taught Spanish at the University for Applied Sciences (TIO).

Currently she is a PhD student at the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Amsterdam under the supervision of Prof. Gerard Wiegers, Dr. Richard van Leeuwen (University of Amsterdam) and Prof. Mercedes-García Arenal (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC, Madrid). The project has been funded by the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS) and a preliminary research has been supported by a grant from the Catharine van Tussenbroekfonds. 

She is interested in the relationships between Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Iberian Peninsula, the attitudes towards religious minorities during the Middle Ages, especially towards the mudejars, their manuscripts written in Arabic and in aljamiado. Within the arts, she is particularly attracted to poetry and music.

Email address: M.ColominasAparicio@uva.nl

Last Modified: 10-04-2015