Black Legend


About the project

This project will study the Black Legend as an Early-Modern cultural dialogue, one in which Spanish intellectuals saw foreign prejudices as challenges that they needed to answer.

The project will approach the Black Legend from an interdisciplinary angle by combining literary studies with theories on nation building, propaganda, and identity formation. In particular, we will examine how the Black Legend influenced the Spain's self-conception during the Golden Age: how did Golden Age Spanish writers receive those ideas and how did they use theatre to respond to them, how did commercial and court plays in this way contribute to nation-building, and how did a nation already previously constructed, such as Spain, adapt to foreign perceptions of it and reshape its own self-image?

This project brings together universities in the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Germany, and Switzerland in order to examine how the Black Legend influenced Spain's self-image, and how Spanish intellectuals responded to and countered foreign propaganda using drama.

Our international team of researchers will review how the Black Legend was born and evolved; study how it reached Spain; and analyze how Spaniards responded to it in their literature.