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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Chloe Ireton

M.A. History, The University of Texas at Austin

PhD Candidate
Chloe Ireton




I am a historian of the Iberian world in the Age of Discovery, with a specific focus on religion, identity, and empire. My broader research interests lie in the complex Atlantic world in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries; a space where people, ideas and knowledge, and commodities and trade (to name just a few examples) from European, American, Asian, and African worlds intersected and interacted. My teaching fields span the Iberian world in the Age of Discovery, slavery & Atlantic Slave trades, British, Spanish and Lusophone Americas, Africa & the Atlantic World, and the Mediterranean World.

My dissertation “Ethiopian Royal Vassals: free black itinerancy in the Iberian Atlantic (1500-1640),” examines circulations of knowledge about African Christianity within the Iberian Atlantic between 1509 and 1640. In the sixteenth century, hundreds of free Afro-Iberians, some of them first generation Africans, acquired royal permits to travel to the New World as Old Christians. I argue that the idea of “Ethiopia” allowed crown bureaucrats, free blacks, and slaves to agree that Africans were entitled to claim an “Old” Christian status. I explore how itinerant free blacks who travelled between Iberian port cities served as cultural intermediaries, connecting urban black communities across the Atlantic and disseminating ideas about Christian Ethiopia.

I have received financial support from various sources to complete my dissertation research. Currently I hold a two year Study Abroad Studentship awarded by The Leverhulme Trust and a one year Andrew W. Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship awarded by Social Science Research Council (held concurrently with Leverhulme Trust in 2015) to complete archival research for my dissertation in Spain, Mexico, and Colombia between 2015-2017. I have also received funding to complete dissertation research from the American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Grant, Renaissance Society of America Research Travel Grant, Conference for Latin American History James R. Scobie Memorial Award, W. M. Keck Foundation Fellowship at the Huntington Library, and various competitive grants and fellowships in the History Department, British Studies Program, John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies, and Tereza Lozano Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.


Atlantic History, Iberian Imperial Expansion, Religion and Culture, Colonial Latin American History, African History, Mediterranean World.
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