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Dr Jesús Sanjurjo

Leverhulme & Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde

Associate Researcher of the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Dr Jesús Sanjurjo FRHistS is a Leverhulme & Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of the United Kingdom. Before joining Strathclyde, he taught at the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff and York. He obtained his PhD in 2018 at the University of Leeds, supported by an AHRC-WRoCAH PhD scholarship.

His first book, In the Blood of Our Brothers. Abolitionism and the End of the Slave Trade in Spain’s Atlantic Empire, 1800–1870 (University of Alabama Press, 2021) was a finalist for the prestigious Paul E. Lovejoy Prize. In December 2023, the Spanish edition of the book was released by Editorial Comares. The book analyses how anti-slavery ideas were shaped, received, transformed and developed in the Spanish Empire during the nineteenth century. In doing so, this study reveals the complex development of abolitionist and anti-abolitionist discourses in the public life of Spain and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean up until the end of the transatlantic slave trade. It unravels the history of the ideological, political and diplomatic battle fought across the Atlantic for the abolition of the slave trade in Spain’s Atlantic empire.

He has published various articles, special issues and book reviews, both in English and Spanish. His most recent publication, commissioned by the journal European History Quarterly, is the special issue ‘Centering Blackness in European History’, published in January 2023. This collection of essays engages with the methodological and intellectual challenges that we as historians face when centring the lives of Black people in the history of Europe. We conclude that no matter the difficulties, these new approaches have proven genuinely liberating and have allowed historians to shun traditional narratives that consistently ignore the intellectual, political, social and cultural contribution of Black people to European History.

His current major research project, ‘Black Soldiers of the Caribbean: Race, Slavery and Radical Politics,’ interrogates the intersection of Blackness, radical politics, slavery and self-emancipation in the Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions. It proposes that General Lorenzo’s uprising of 1836 in Santiago de Cuba is a fundamental episode in the history of revolutions in the Atlantic World and explores the motivations, fears and aspirations of the Black soldiers who participated in this failed rebellion. This project intends to contribute significantly to the debates on colonial slavery, the role of Black people (Black soldiers in particular) in imagining post-emancipation societies, and the relationship between liberal and modern thinking and the legacies of slavery.

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