Centre for the History of Ibero-America

Alhambra Granada

Our research

The Centre for the History of Ibero-America (CHIA) brings together academics, postdoctoral scholars and doctoral students with shared interests in the history of Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries. Their studies range from the medieval period to the present and include explorations of the tenth-century Count of Barcelona, Borrell II (945-93); studies of the Portuguese physician and Dominican friar, Gil de Santarém (d. 1265); the history of slavery and the slave trade in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world; the European experiences and contacts of the Latin American Libertadores before, during and after the independence process; mobility, identity and culture in the post-emancipation Caribbean; the origins of Catalonian nationalism; the eugenics movement in Portugal; the development of the Spanish anarchist movement and the history and memory of the Spanish Civil War.

Members of the Centre have won awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. Postdoctoral fellows have gained funding from the Leverhulme Trust and from the Marie Curie scheme offered by the European Commission. PhD students have also won scholarships from the White Rose Network and from the University of Leeds.

Impact and engagement

The Centre helps to promote research and disseminate knowledge within the University of Leeds, across the wider academic community and to the general public. It does so by collaborating with national and international partners on research, teaching, public engagement and impact activities. Each year it holds an annual lecture, a seminar series, a symposium and a postgraduate showcase. It works closely with the Instituto Cervantes to bring events to the general public and regularly hosts speakers from Spain and other countries. 

Academic team

Director: Richard Cleminson

Deputy Directors: Gregorio Alonso and Jesus Sanjurjo (University of York).

  • Dr Gregorio Alonso (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Dr Peter Anderson (History)
  • Dr Anyaa Anim-Addo (History)
  • Professor Manuel Barcia (History)
  • Professor Richard Cleminson (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Professor Stephanie Dennison (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Professor Paul Garner (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Dr Jonathan Jarrett (History)
  • Dr Rebecca Jarman (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Dr Iona McCleery (History)
  • Jennifer Nelson (Leeds Beckett University)
  • Professor Angel Smith (Languages, Cultures and Societies)
  • Bethan Fisk (History)
  • Professor Duncan Wheeler (Languages, Cultures and Societies)

Visiting/Postdoctoral research fellows

  • Dr Massimo Aresu 
  • Raul Minguez Blasco
  • Dr Daniel Zapico

PhD researchers

  • Nathaniel Andrews
  • Jennifer Argyle
  • Sarah Brown
  • Liam Morris
  • Hayley O’Kell
  • Joshua Newmark
  • Stephen Rainbird
  • Scott Ramsay
  • Lloyd Belton

The Centre welcomes applications from prospective visiting scholars and PhD students.

PhD graduates

  • Danny Evans
  • David Hewitt
  • Lourdes Parra
  • Jesus Sanjurjo

Specialist Research Group on Anarchism in Iberia and Latin America

This grouping under the umbrella of CHIA works as an informal site for information exchange, discussion of the latest historiographical trends in work on Iberian and Latin American anarchism and for the elaboration of possible research and grant collaboration. We welcome contact from other scholars working on these areas with a view to building this group and the activities that follow from it. The convenor is Professor Richard Cleminson (r.m.cleminson@leeds.ac.uk)

  • Nathaniel Andrews
  • Richard Cleminson
  • Danny Evans
  • Angel Smith
  • James Michael Yeoman


CHIA events 2021-2022
Semester 1 

Wedneday 13 October 2021, 17.00-18.30 (online via Teams)
Angela Cenarro (University of Zaragoza), "Mujeres, género y Dictadura de Franco: elementos para un debate".

Wednesday 24 November 2021, 16.00-17.30 (online via Teams)
Research in Progress seminar by Gregorio Alonso (University of Leeds), "Hard times reveal good friends. Spain and Britain during the wars of Hispanic independence".

Wednesday 1 December 2021, 17.00-18.30 (online via Teams)
Pamela Radcliff (University of California at San Diego), "Defending Municipal Liberties: mobilizing a 'municipalist tradition' in Spanish democratic discourse from 1808 to the Present".

Thursday 9 December 2021, 18.00-19.30.
Peter Anderson (University of Leeds) launches his latest book The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain in conversation with The Guardian journalist and historian Giles Tremlett, online event with Instituto Cervantes Manchester and CHIA.

Semester 2

Wednesday 23 February 2022, 16.00-17.30 (online via Teams)
Eline Van Ommen (University of Leeds), Research in Progress seminar.

Wednesday 16 March 2022, 16.00-17.30 (in person)
Angel Smith (University of Leeds), Research in Progress seminar, "Cultural Imperialism and the Orientalisation of Spain, 1800-1850".

Wednesday 18 May 2022, 17.00-18.30 (in person)
David Brydan (King's College London), Annual Lecture, "What can Franco's Spain teach us about the history of internationalism?".

Early June 2022
New Trends in the Historiography of Anarchism symposium (in person at the University of Leeds organised by Joshua Newmark).

Further details of these events will be circulated in due course. For those interested in attending and who are external to the University of Leeds, please email the Director of CHIA, Professor Richard Cleminson (r.m.cleminson@leeds.ac.uk) for more information on how to join.

CHIA events 2020-2021
Semester 1 

Wednesday 21 October 2020, 4-5.30pm
Francisco Romero-Salvadó (University of Bristol), “Lenin in Barcelona: The Centenary of a Tragi-Comedy”.

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 4-5.30pm
Daniel Zapico (University of Leeds), “Socio-technical imaginaries for a regenerated Spain, or how to think of electricity and overcoming national/imperial decadence after the 1898 Disaster”.

Wednesday 2 December 2020, 4-5.30pm
Cláudia Castelo, “Gilberto Freyre and the theory of Luso Tropicalism”.

Semester 2

Wednesday 10 February 2021, 4pm
Erika Pani (Colegio de México), "In the Laboratory of Politics. The Confederate States of America and Mexico's Second Empire, 1848-1867”.

Wednesday 3 March 2021, 4pm
Helen Graham (Royal Holloway, University of London), “A Dream of Total Control: What practices of ‘preventive detention’ tell us about Francoism from the 1940s to the 1970s (and about what came next)”.

Wednesday 5 May 2021, 4pm
Francisco Eissa-Barroso (University of Manchester), “Neither Spanish nor Latin American History: Rethinking the structure of the Spanish empire through the Early Bourbon Reforms”.

Wedmesday 12 May 2021, 2-5pm
Modern Spain Workshop:

Daniel Zapico (Visiting Fellow, University of Leeds), “Socio-Technical Imaginaries for a Regenerated Spain, or How to Think of Electricity and Overcoming National/Imperial Decadence after the 1898 Disaster.”

Raúl Mínguez Blasco (Marie Curie fellow, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds). “The Council Generation. Gender and Religious Identity in Progressive Catholic Women (Spain, 1960-2020)’.

NB. All these events will be held on Teams. If you would like to attend one of these talks as a guest please email Professor Angel Smith.

CHIA events 2019-2020
Semester 1

Wednesday 9 October 2019, 3-5 pm
Workshop. Global History and the Hispanic World. Interventions by Pol Dalmau, Jesús Sanjurjo, Angel Smith. Chaired by Manuel Barcia,.Baines Wing SR 2.15.

Friday 11 October 2019, 4pm
Dr Ricardo Funes (Yale/La Havana Universities), “The Cuban Socialist Revolution and the programme to ‘transform nature’.”
Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building, 3.11.

Tuesday 29 October 2019, 6pm
Brian Hamnett (University of Essex). “The Hispanic Monarchy between Enlightenment and Revolution”. Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building, 3.11.

Thursday 7 November 2019, 6pm
Ignacio Peyró, “Josep Pla, el catalán anglófilo”. Event sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes, Business School, Maurice Keyworth LT (G.02)

Wednesday 20 November 2019, 5pm
Angela Cenarro (University of Zaragoza), “Mujeres, género y Dictadura de Franco: elementos para un debate”. Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building, 3.11.

CHIA events 2018-2019

May 2019 Postgraduate Showcase Event. Date to be confirmed.

14 May 2019 Will Fowler, St. Andrew’s, ‘The Forgotten Mexican Civil War of the Reforma, 1857-61’ Chair Paul Garner. Grant Room 18.00.

30 April 2019 Stephen Jacobson, Universitat Pompeu Fabra ‘Republican Imperial Pretensions in the Atlantic World:  Southern European Legionnaires in Buenos Aires during the 1850s’ Chair Nir Arielli. Grant Room 18.00.

27 and 28 March 2019 Refugees and Exile: Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the End of the Spanish Civil War, Blenheim Terrace / Parkinson Building For more information and to book a place

12 March 2019 Pol Dalmau, Leibnitz Institute of European History, ‘Press, Politics and National Identities in Catalonia'. Chair Ángel Smith. Grant Room 18.00.

February 2019 Rebecca Earle, Warwick, annual lecture. ‘Poetry, Philosophy and Potatoes’. Date and venue to be confirmed.

12 February 2019 Paul Garner, Leeds, ‘Challenging Historia Patria in Mexico. The Porfirato in Mexico (1876-1911). Parkinson 4.20.

29 January 2019 Ainhoa Campos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ‘Hunger in Civil War Madrid’ Grant Room 18.00.

12 December 2018 Jesús F. Chairez, Manchester, ‘From Wardha to Chapingo’. Grant Room. 18.00.

04 December 2018 Massimo Aresu, Leeds, ‘Diásporas romaníes en el Mediterráneo durante la Edad Moderna’ Grant Room. 18.00.

27 November 2018 Matt Kerry, Leeds,‘Dirty Drawers and Battlefield Amours: Politics, Sexuality and the Social History of the Spanish Civil War’. Grant Room 18.00.

12 October 2018 Gregorio Alonso, Leeds, ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities. London, Hispanic Exiles and the Imperial Race

02 October 2018 Morten Heiberg, Leeds, ‘The Will of the Weak. US Spanish-Relations after Franco, 1975-1989’. Grant Room. 18.00.


CHIA events 2017-2018

July 2018 Giles Tremlett The Guardian and author of Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen and Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen will be giving a lecture at the International Medieval Congress sponsored with the Instituto Cervantes and the Centre for the History of  Ibero-America.

15 May 2018 Postgraduate Showcase Event.

03 May 2018 Professor Lisa Surwillo (Stanford University), The Color of Motherhood - Enslaved Cubans under the First Spanish Republic.

24 April 2018 Symposium on Spanish anarchism. Speakers include Professor Martha Acklesberg (Smith College), Professor Richard Cleminson (Leeds), Dr Danny Evans (Leeds), Nathaniel Andrews (Leeds).

27 February 2018 Dr Enrique García Hernán Institute of History, within the Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences (Centro de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas) at the Spanish National Research Council ‘A Spaniard Henry VIII’s Court. The Glory and Decline of Juan Luis Vives.’ This event forms part of the Institute of Medieval Studies Lecture Series and is sponsored with the Instituto Cervantes and the Centre for the History of Ibero-America.

20 February 2018 Dr Nerea Aresti, Universidad del País Vasco, Dr Inmaculada Blasco Herranz, Universidad de la Laguna, Dr Carmen Caballero Navas, Universidad de Granada, Professor Pamela Beth Radcliff , University of California San Diego. Symposium on Gender History (from the medieval to the modern period) in Spain. In English (with a translator for Dr Blasco). Chair: Dr Iona McCleery.

05 December 2017 Professor Antonio Cazorla Sánchez, Trent University (Canada), ‘Sites without Memory and Memory without Sites: on the Failure of the Public History of the Spanish Civil War.’

21 November 2017 Professor Manuel Suárez Cortina (Universidad de Cantabria.) Professor Angeles Barrio Alonso (Universidad de Cantabria), Dr. Enrico Accai (University of Leeds) ‘Federalismos entre Europa del Sur y América Latina: un debate historiográfico’. In Spanish. Chair: Dr Peter Anderson.

17 October 2017 Chia Annual Lecture Professor Adrian Shubert (York University, Toronto) ‘What do historians really think about biography? Thoughts from Spain’. In English. Chair: Dr Peter Anderson.  

16 October 2017 Round-table Discussion on the crisis in Catalonia. Speakers Adrian Shubert (York University, Canada), Angel Smith (University of Leeds), Antonio Martínez Arboleda (University of Leeds).


CHIA events 2016-2017

28 June 2017 David Alegre (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) "Western Europe at Civil War: Violence, Collaboration, Counterinsurgency, and the French, Walloon and the Spanish Volunteers Fighting on the Eastern Front (1941-1945)"

26 April 2017 Postgraduate Research Showcase Seminar 

29 March 2017 Enrico Acciai (University of Leeds) “Spanish Civil War and International war volunteering: towards a new transnational history”

22 March 2017 Marci Freedman (University of Manchester) "Jewish Texts, Censorship and the Spanish Inquisition – An Exploration"

01 March 2017 Gonzalo Capellán (University of La Rioja/Spanish Embassy in London) “A war of words. The new language of revolution from Mediterranean to Atlantic”

22 February 2017 Giulia Quaggio (University of Sheffield) "A transnational encounter between exiles: Recovering the essay Una doble experiencia política: España e Italia (Francisco Ayala-R. Treves, 1994)" 

06 December 2016 Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom (University of Leeds) 'Entrenching Democracy: The Ideal of the Republican Soldier-Citizen in the Spanish Civil War'

01 November 2016 Mark Lawrence (University of Kent) 'Renovating the Two Spains: a comparative study of the First Carlist War and the Spanish Civil War'

25 October 2016 Rúben Serem (University of Nottingham) 'Old wine in new bottles? The eternal recurrence of the myth of Badajoz (August 1936)'


CHIA events 2015-2016

19 April 2016 Fernando Molina Aparicio (Universidad del País Vasco) ‘Myth and Identity. The Basque Country under Francoism, 1936-1975’

01 March 2016 Gemma Rubi (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) ‘Las visitas reales de Alfonso XIII y la nacionalización de las masas’

23 February 2016 Antoni Kapcia (University of Nottingham) ‘Cuba at the Crossroads: But where exactly has it come from and what might shape its future?’

09 February 2016 Javier Ramón Solans (Münster Universität) ‘The invention of the Latin American Church. Vatican Authority and Political Imagination’

CHIA First International Symposium – 10 May 2016

Violent Anticlericalism in Modern Spain

  • José Luis Ledesma (Universidad Complutense de Madrid): 'Anticlericalism and the Civil War: Origins, functions and limits of anticlerical violence' 
  • Julio de la Cueva (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha): 'Not only Spain: anticlerical violence in Mexico and the Soviet Union in the interwar period'
  • Maria Thomas (University of Exeter): ‘Contra el vaticano, poder clitoriano’. Women and anticlerical mobilisation in contemporary Spain.

Three of the most prestigious scholars in the field will address the use of physical violence against ecclesiastical personnel and property in Modern Spain. The recurrence of instances of anticlerical violence in the first decades of the twentieth century will be examined by taking into account the underlying cultural, social and political factors and conditions that framed them. Contrasting views, as well as new approaches and future challenges affecting this field of studies, will be offered. Shorter interventions by our colleagues Gregorio Alonso and Peter Anderson will, respectively, present and conclude the event.

CHIA Inaugural lecture: Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra – 27 April 2016

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Martyr, Doctor, and Virgin, Three Times Saint

Summary: Sor Juana’s life and her rapid transformation from a beloved poet of the court into an introverted self-lacerating mystic actually point to her success and wide acceptance as a formidable intellectual, exactly the opposite fate that liberal and feminist historiography have repeatedly brought down upon her. The Catholic historiography rest satisfied by claiming that Sor Juana did not suffer any persecution. Unlike them, I argue that support for Sor Juana among large sectors of the Spanish clergy in both Mexico and Spain (and the court as well) was formidable. So much so that the last two volumes of her works came out in print as dossiers for possible canonization. A narrative emerged among the learned that Sor Juana’s theological works amounted to evidence of extraordinary epistemological miracles and that Sor Juana’s vita recorded a life of martyrdom for learning. She came to be seen as a potential saint that belonged in three separate celestial hierarchies: doctor, martyr, and virgin. 

Guest speaker: Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of more than 60 academic articles and book chapters. His books include: How to Write the History of the New World (Stanford 2001 -translated into Spanish and Portuguese); Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford 2006; translated into Spanish); Nature, Empire, and Nation (Stanford 2007); The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000(co-edited, with Erik Seeman),The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade (co-edited with Jim Sidbury and Matt Childs); and an edited collection Entangled Empires and Severed Archives: Anglo-Iberian Atlantic Worlds 1500-1830 to be published by University of Pennsylvania Press. His new book project is entitled Bible and Empire: The Old Testament in the Spanish Monarchy, from Columbus to the Wars of Independence.

Outputs: Journals edited by members of the department include the Journal of Iberian and Latin American StudiesAtlantic Studies and European History Quarterly.