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Dr Lisa Kattenberg

  • College positions:

    Research Fellow

  • Subject:


BA in History (University of Amsterdam), Research MA in History (University of Amsterdam), MA in History of Political Thought and Intellectual History (Queen Mary / UCL, University of London), PhD (University of Amsterdam)


Research interests

I am a historian of early modern political culture and ideas, with a special interest in the Spanish empire, the Low Countries and the Iberian Atlantic. My first book, The Power of Necessity: Reason of State in the Spanish Monarchy, c. 1590-1650 (under contract with Cambridge University Press), explores how individuals negotiated the tension between political pragmatism and moral-religious principles in an empire under pressure, both in theory and in practice. In my current research I focus on (intellectual) exchange and movement within the early modern Iberian world. I am particularly interested in the connections between the Dutch Revolt and the Chilean Arauco War, and I study conflict and interactions between the Spanish, Dutch and Mapuche. 

I am co-convenor of the Early Modern Scholarship and Religion Seminar and, from Michaelmas 2021, of the Political Thought and Intellectual History Seminar (Series II). 


Teaching interests

I lecture and supervise for Part I, Paper 16; Part II, Paper 6; and Historical Project. I have also taught early modern Spanish palaeography at graduate level. 

At the University of Amsterdam, I have taught several undergraduate skills courses and seminars in early modern intellectual, cultural and world history. I was also involved in undergraduate counselling, supervised BA dissertations, and co-organised postgraduate workshops and a summer school on global intellectual history.


Awards and prizes 

Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities: Keetje Hodshon Award for best doctoral thesis in history completed at a Dutch university during the past five years (2019)

Renaissance Society of America: RSA Newberry Fellowship (2019)

Amsterdam School for Historical Studies: ASH Valorisation Award for public history blog (2018)

Casa de Velázquez, Madrid: Ayuda específica para doctorados (2017)

Royal Dutch Institute in Rome: KNIR Research Fellowship (2015) and Hugenholtz Research Fellowship (2013)



Lisa Kattenberg, ‘The Free Slave. Morality, Neostoicism and Publishing Strategy in Emanuel d’Aranda’s Algiers and its Slavery, 1640-1682’, in: Mario Klarer, ed., Mediterranean Slavery and World Literature: Captivity Genres from Cervantes to Rousseau (London: Routledge 2019), pp. 152-172.

Lisa Kattenberg, ‘Military Rebellion and Reason of State. Pacification of Mutinies in the Habsburg Army of Flanders, 1599-1601’, BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review 131:2 (2016), pp. 3-21.

Rosanne Baars and Lisa Kattenberg, ‘“Het leezen van goede boeken, … is al te noodigen zaek”. Boekenbezit van Amsterdamse kunstenaars, 1650-1700’, Amstelodamum 101-3 (2014), pp. 22-38.

Lisa Kattenberg, ‘Moslims, “morale deuchden” en commercieel succes. Het slavernijverslag van Emanuel d’Aranda, 1640-1682’, De Zeventiende Eeuw 28-1 (2012), pp. 21-39.

Lisa Kattenberg, ‘Fadrique Furió Ceriol en het Spaanse denken over de Nederlandse Opstand, 1566-1573,’ Skript Historisch Tijdschrift 31-4 (2009), pp. 206-18.


Other interests

I am a singer, with a special interest in flamenco. Since 2005 I have been part of Calle Real, a flamenco choir that specializes in the traditional music of the Andalusian province Huelva. Although Calle Real is based in Amsterdam, from Cambridge I continue to be involved in projects and concerts.