Dr Chloe Ireton

Chloe Ireton is a Lecturer in the History of Iberia and the Iberian World 1500-1800, with a focus on race, religion, and empire. Chloe comes to UCL from the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her PhD in History. Over the last few years, Chloe has also held institutional affiliations with the Departmento de Historia at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, and the Area de Historia Modern at the Universidad de Pablo Olavide in Seville, and she has also been a fellow in residence at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

Chloe is currently completing a monograph tentatively titled Blackness in the Iberian Atlantic (1500-1640), which traces the lives of hundreds of free black individuals in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries who became colonial settlers in the early Hispanic Caribbean. Weaving together the world of black vecinos through archival fragments scattered across varied institutions of colonial governance, the book uncovers how black colonial subjects shaped discourses of blackness, Christianity, and empire in the early Iberian world. Such individuals fostered interconnected black spheres through literacy, transoceanic ties, and epistolary networks. They - along with black brotherhoods in port cities - shaped localised meanings of blackness by sponsoring churches, positioning the Catholic Church as historically inclusive of black individuals, and appealing to the crown as black Catholic royal vassals. Employing cross-disciplinary research methods, Chloe's monograph places plural sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Iberian discourses on blackness and religious lineage - across published texts, religious treatises, art, literary plays on stage, and cartographic representations of Africa - in conversation with a de-centered multi-sited archival social historical research method that uncovers the transoceanic lives of hundreds of free black individuals across the Iberian Atlantic. Tracing a loose history of ideas - or an intellectual history - across the Hispanic Atlantic, the monograph explores the long-obscured ideas and experiences of black colonial settlers and the diverse intellectual milieus that they shaped, and places the voices of African Diaspora at the centre of the early Iberian Atlantic intellectual world.

Broadly, Chloe's teaching centres on the histories of African, Hispanic, and Lusophone worlds, and explores how these regions contributed to knowledge formation and histories of ideas in Europe and the Americas.

Major publications

  • '"They are Blacks of the Caste of Black Christians": Old Christian Black Blood in the Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Iberian Atlantic.' Hispanic American Historical Review, 97:4, 2017, pp. 579-612.
  • 'Black Atlantic', Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America in the World, 1776 to the Present, Edward J. Blum, Editor in Chief; Cara L. Burnidge, Emily Conroy-Krutz, and David Kinkela, Associate Editors (Charles Scribner's Sons: 2016).

For a full list of publications, please see Chloe's Iris profile.

Grants and projects

Chloe's research has been supported by the American Historical Association, The John Carter Brown Library, The Leverhulme Trust, Social Science Research Council Andrew W. Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship SSRC-IDRF, The Huntington Library, The Renaissance Society of America, the Conference on Latin American History, and various centers at The University of Texas at Austin, including, The Graduate School, British Studies Program, John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies, the Tereza Lozano Institute of Latin American Studies, and the History Department.


  • Research Module: Black Atlantics in the Global South
  • Advanced Module: Race, Identity and Empire in the Iberian World 1500-1700
  • MA European History, Theory Unit
  • Indios, Africans and Women in the Iberian Empires 1500-1700 (third-year special subject)