A. Jorge Aguilera López
Welcome to my web page! Everyone knows me as Jorge (Lloret, 1987) and I am a Spanish historian who lives in Finland. At present I am a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki (HY). My research focuses on the study of the Royal Shipyard of Barcelona and the construction of war galleys during the Early Modern Period. As a side project, I am also interested in the Spanish-Swedish diplomatic and commercial relations during the sixteenth century.
This website has the main objectives of publicizing my academic activities and, above all, to have my own historical dissemination platform. Guided by work, curiosity and fortune, many times while navigating –both in person and digitally– through the vast documentary sea that the many archives and libraries keep, I luckily stumble upon “small historiographical treasures”. These treasures contain information about curiosities, things, peoples or episodes that are little known, forgotten or directly, unknown. Unfortunately, I lack the time and the necessary expertise to adequately roll out all this material, due to that in many cases the issue is not related at all to my research. The fate of those interesting findings is to go on to swell my database in the false hope of one day using them; or be explained as a curiosity or anecdote to people in my circle. The latter caught my attention. The majority of my family and closest friends "are allergic to history", and although they love me very much and wish me well in all my endeavours, they have little interest in the details of what I try to do professionally. However, these same uninterested people get really curious when I give them a little dose of history from those small historiographical treasures. That is why, encouraged by friends and colleagues, I decided to start this blog which I named Rowing through History, referring to the oars, the driving force of the galleys to which I dedicate my main research and, also, as an allusion to the “Sea of History” in where I metaphorically navigate and immerse myself as a historian.
As for how I got here... I obtained my BA degree in 2013. My Bachelor’s thesis (in Spanish): The Military Revolution during the first half of the Sixteenth Century: Creation, Organization, Financing and Composition of the Spanish Tercios of Charles V (qualified “Excellent with honours”). After that, I studied the inter-university MA degree in Early Modern History of the Western Mediterranean (2014-15) at UB. I was awarded as the best of my promotion with the Extraordinary Award of the Master's Degree. My Master's thesis (in Spanish) entitled Making Malta’s Relief: The Barcelona Royal Shipyard in the Mediterranean policy of Philip II (1556-1565) (qualified “Excellent with honours”), was my first serious approach to the study of galleys and shipbuilding. As a result of this work, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona (MMB) offered me and to my colleague and friend Alfredo Chamorro, to carry out a research project in which the topic covered in my Master's thesis was deepened and chronologically expanded. Project that lasted two years (2016-18) and whose results we hope will see the light soon. Simultaneously, I was also teaching Spanish and Catalan languages to asylum seekers in Sabadell and Terrassa (Barcelona). I also collaborated in a research with the Maritime Museum of Norway (2018).
During the summer of 2018, I moved from Barcelona to Helsinki to work as a researcher in a project on maritime history at the University of Helsinki (2018-19). Once the project was completed, I decided to start my doctoral studies at University of Helsinki (2019-). My doctoral thesis (preliminarily) titled Barcelona city-arsenal: The Royal Shipyard, its workers and the construction of galleys during the Sixteenth Century is being supervised by Mikko Huhtamies (HY), Anu Lahtinen (HY) and Xavier Gil Pujol (UB). Currently my project counts with the financial support of The Finnish Cultural Foundation, to whom I am deeply grateful.
On the other hand, I also have life outside the academic world. Among many other hobbies I have, I would highlight war-games and more specifically: Warhammer. I recovered this hobby –which I already knew from my teenage years– not only to entertain myself and to give way to my artistic desires, but also as “therapy” with which to counteract the –sometimes– stressful moments of scholarly life. I mainly paint Space Wolves (40k) and Ironjawz (AoS).
Thank you for stopping by and encouraging you to contact me, especially if you are interested in knowing more about of what I do or want to propose some kind of collaboration or project.