Jesús Sanjurjo

Jesús Sanjurjo

WRoCAH Doctoral Researcher and Teaching Assistant

Summary: Anti-slavery Ideas; Abolitionist Movements in the Atlantic World; Anglo-Spanish Diplomatic and Cultural Relations; History of Ideas.

Location: Parkinson Building 4.09A. Office Hours: Tue 10-11

Teaching Commitments: HIST1210, HIST2600, SPPO2510/11, MODL5042M

Jesús Sanjurjo studied History at undergraduate level at the University of Oviedo, Spain (2009-2013), and he continued his postgraduate education at the University of Leeds where he took an MA in 'Race and Resistance' (2013-2014).

He worked as PA to director for the online journal Periodismo Humano and, between 2013 and 2015 (second Obama administration), he was appointed member of the US Embassy Youth Council of Spain at the United States Embassy in Madrid. During this time, he coordinated the programme Connecting Young Leaders organised by the US Embassy Youth Council of Spain, in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Madrid and the International Institute Madrid.

During the academic year 2016/2017, he served as Vice-President of PILAS, the postgraduate affiliate of the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS), and co-organised the PILAS Annual Conference 2017, one of the biggest postgraduate conferences in Latin American Studies in Europe. In 2017, he joined the The Brilliant Club as PhD Tutor. This organization is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. He currently co-directs the Leeds University based research group Ideas and Identities in the Atlantic World, c1500-c1900

He has been awarded an AHRC-WRoCAH Doctoral Studentship to support his PhD studies at the University of Leeds.

PhD research

Abolitionism and the End of the Slave Trade in Spain’s Empire (1800-1870)

Supervisors: Dr Gregorio Alonso and Prof Manuel Barcia

Spain was the last country in the Atlantic World to tolerate the traffic in slaves across the Ocean. For four centuries, millions of men, women and children were banished from their homelands and forced into a life of slavery in the Americas. Spanish abolitionist activists challenged this reality and contested the public legitimacy of the odious commerce. This thesis analyses how abolitionist ideas were shaped, transformed and developed in Spain’s empire and the crucial role that British activists and diplomats played in advancing the abolitionist cause. It explores the complexity of abolitionist and anti-abolitionist ideas in Spain’s public life from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the end of the Atlantic slave trade.



'Comerciar con la sangre de nuestros hermanos: Early Abolitionist Discourses in Spain's Empire', Bulletin of Latin American Research (2017) DOI: 10.1111/blar.12746.

'Negros o Esclavos. La retórica de la esclavitud en la prensa española del exilio londinense (1818-1825)', Anuario de Estudios Atlánticos, 62 (2016). 

'Caminos Transístmicos y Ferias de Panamá, siglos XVI al XVIII', Anales. Museo de América, 20 (2012), pp. 260-270.

Book reviews

Eduardo Galbán Rodríguez, La abolición de la esclavitud en España. Debates parlamentarios, 1810-1886, (Madrid: Dykinson, 2014) in Revista de Indias264, (2015), pp. 594-596.

Manuel Barcia, The great African slave revolt of 1825. Cuba and the fight for freedom in Matanzas, (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012) in Iberoamericana. América Latina-España-Portugal, 52 (2013), pp. 266-267.

Ignacio Fernández Sarasola, Los constituyentes asturianos en las Cortes de Cádiz (Gijón: Trea, 2012) in Iberoamericana. América Latina-España-Portugal, 49 (2012), pp. 255-257.


'Trading in the blood of our brothers', WRoCAH Conference 2015, University of York, October 2015.   

'Liberalism, Slavery and Abolition in Spain', The Arts and PVAC ‎Poster Conference, University of Leeds, October 2014. (Awarded 1st Prize)

As proofreader

Richard Cleminson, Anarquismo y sexualidad (España, 1900-1939) (Cádiz: University of Cádiz, Edición Libro Electrónico 2016 [2008])

Teaching Commitments

Teaching Assistant 

The Modern World, 1750-2000 (HIST1210), School of History (2017/2018).

The Hidden Atlantic: Pirates, Sailors, and the Slave Traders, 1807-1867 (HIST3396), School of History (2017/2018).

Brazil and Cuba from Colonies to Republics (HIST2600), School of History (2017/2018).

The Global Caribbean, 1756-1848 (HIST2433), School of History (2016/2017).

Latin America since Independence (c1800 - c1930) (SPPO2510/11), School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (2016/2017 & 2017/2018).

The Historical Development of Spain and Hispanic America (SPPO1045), School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (2016/2017).

Practical Language Skills in Spanish 1 (SPPO1010), School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. (2015/2016 & 2016/2017).

Language Assistant

Interpreting Skills - Spanish (MODL5042M), MA Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies, Centre for Translation Studies (2015/2016, 2016/2017 & 2017/2018).

Invited speaker

"'To Correct The Public Opinion Of This Country'. British Abolitionism And Imperial Rivalries (1823-1833)", Conference: The Transnational Networks of the Illegal Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Harvard University, Barcelona, May 2018. 

"'Cuba es todo.' Abolición, anexionismo y equilibrismo metropolitano, 1845-1861", Fourth François-Xavier Guerra Seminar, jointly organized by the Latin American Centre, Univerity of Oxford and the Centre de recherche d'histoire de l'Amérique Latine et du monde ibérique (CRALMI), University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, November 2017.

"Madden, Turnbull, and a new abolitionist strategy in Spanish Cuba", CHIA Postgraduate Research Showcase Seminar, University of Leeds, April 2017. 

"'Without liberty there is no honor'. Cuba, Abolition, and Democracy in the context of the Glorious Revolution (1868)", Re-imagining Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1770s-1880s International Workshop, Latin American Centre, University of Oxford, March 2017. 

"El encaje político e ideológico del comercio de esclavos y la esclavitud en el desarrollo legislativo decimonónico español", Historia Constitucional de España (HICOES), Madrid, January 2017.  

"'The wolf by the ears': defining anti-slave trade discourses in early 19th Spanish Empire", Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS), University of Liverpool, October 2016.

"La construcción de un discurso público sobre el comercio de esclavos en España (1814-1823): influencias, fracturas y consensos", 'International Symposium 'Conociendo América desde Asturias'', Ribadesella, September 2016.

"Transnational Influences and Cultural Transfers in the Formation of Spanish Anti-Slavery Discourses, 1802–34: The Anglophilia of Agustín de Argüelles (II)" , Opening Session, Wider World History Network (WWHN), White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities, University of Leeds, March 2015.


"'Our Fellow Creatures': Anti-Slave Trade Discourses from within Ferdinand VII's Administration (1814-1820)", "The Illicit Slave Trade in the Hispanic Atlantic World, 1807-1867", Latin American Studies Association (LASA) 2018 Congress, Barcelona, 25 May 2018. 

"'Donde no hay libertad no hay honra'. Progress, slavery and radical politics in Spain (1810-1872)", 63rd Annual Conference of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain And Ireland (AHGBI), University of Leeds, 26 to 28 March 2018.

"'A matter of 'national dignity'. Anti-slave trade discourses from within the Spanish administration", Comparative Abolition in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans: A Research Conference, Baines Group for the Comparative Study of Unfree Labour - University of Leeds & Working Group on Comparative Slavery - Harvard University, Leeds, 22 and 23 September 2017.

"Wilberforce, Argüelles y Toreno: influencia británica en los primeros discursos abolicionistas en España", Congreso Internacional 'Cádiz en la red del tráfico negrero internacional: de la legalidad a la clandestinidad', Universities of Cádiz and Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona, Cádiz, October 2017. 

"Impelidos de su propia conservación". (Re)thinking the Slave Trade after Abolition in Cuba, PILAS Annual Conference 2017, June 2017 (PILAS and the University of Leeds).

"Blue eyed slaves in Spanish Cuba: The forced labour expedition of Urbano Feijóo in 1853", 'After Slavery? Labor and Migration in the Post-Emancipation World', University of Leeds, June 2016. 

"Absolutist policies on the slave trade in Spain: political commitments and ideological fractures (1814-1820)", Sixth Annual Meeting of the Nineteenth-Century Hispanism International Network, The School of Advanced Study, University of London, April 2016.

"Liberalism, Abolitionism and Imperialism in the Atlantic World: Confronting the 'Evolutionary Approach'", European Social Science History Conference, Valencia, March - April 2016.

"British influence in the construction of policies on slave trade in Spain after the Cortes of Cádiz (1814­1823)", International Conference:"Romanticism, Reaction and Revolution: British Views on Spain, 1814­1823", Anglo­Hispanic Horizons Initiative, University of Oviedo, June 2015.

"Translating 'Abolitionism': Early Spanish Anti-Slavery Discourses and the Beginning of British Abolitionist Campaign in Spain", Fifth Annual Meeting of the Nineteenth-Century Hispanism International Network, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, April, 2015.

"Negros or slaves": characterization of slavery as seen in the Spanish press under exile in London (1818-1825), History Postgraduates' Workshop, University of Leeds, February 2015.

"Transnational Influences and Cultural Transfers in the Formation of Spanish Anti-Slavery Discourses, 1802–34: The Anglophilia of Agustín de Argüelles", 129th Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, New York City, January 2015. 

"Negros o esclavos: caracterización de la esclavitud a través de la prensa española del exilio londinense (1818-1825)", University of Alcalá de Henares, XVI Congreso de la Asociación de Americanistas Españoles: “América. Encuentros, desencuentros y cruce de miradas”, Madrid, September 2014. 

"Optimización de la presencia del investigador en la red: Aplicación de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación para la difusión y divulgación científica en Internet", University of Oviedo, February 2014.

"La Ilustración de los americanos: una aproximación a la América colonial española del siglo XVIII", University of Oviedo, I Jornadas de Estudios Americanos de la Universidad de Oviedo, April 2013.  

"Compromiso plural": hacia un nuevo modelo de gobernanza universitario, basado en la responsabilidad cívica e institucional", University of Cantabria, IV Interuniversity Meeting of Students for the Study of the European Higher Education Area, Santander, April 2011.

Scholarships, Internships, External Funding and Outreach

'La esclavitud fue otro punto en la brecha de dos imperios', Diario de Cádiz, 6 October 2017. (Interview)

WRoCAH Associate Award, White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) (October 2017). 

Student-Led Forum (SLF), White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) (June 2017). 

LCS PGR Experience Fund, 2016/17, University of Leeds (June 2017). (With Lourdes Parra Lazacano)

LCS PGR Public Engagement Fund, 2016/17, University of Leeds (June 2017). (With Lourdes Parra Lazacano)

Faculty of Arts PGR Research Impact Grants 2016-17 (June 2017). 

Public engagement collaboration with a comprehensive state school, Highfield Leadership Academy, Blackpool (January 2017). (In collaboration with Alasdair Wood).

Researcher Employability Project (REP), White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) (June 2016). 

Large Award (formerly, Research Support Grant), White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) (2015-2016). 

PGR Communication Editor, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies of the University of Leeds (2015- ). 

Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland-Embassy of Spain in London Postgraduate Conference Grant (2014-2015).

Arts & Humanities Research Council-White Rose College Arts & Humanities Doctoral Studentship (2014- ).

MA Scholarship. School of History of the University of Leeds (2013-2014).

Beca de Colaboración del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Gobierno de España en el Departamento de Historia de la Universidad de Oviedo (2012-2013).

Ruta Quetzal BBVA 2008 (Panamá-España) - Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2008). 

Academic Associations and Research Centres

Postgraduates in Latin American Studies (PILAS), Vice President (2016/2017).

Research Group Ideas and Identities in the Atlantic World, c.1500-c.1900Co-Director.

Baines Research Group for the Comparative Study of Unfree Labour, Member.

Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS), Member.

Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Member. 

The Conference of Latin American History (CLAH), Member.

The Centre for the History of Ibero-America (CHIA), Member.

Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies (ASPHS), Member.

Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI), Member. 

Asociación Española de Americanistas (AEA), Member.

Asociación de Estudios Americanos del Principado de Asturias (AEAPA), Founding Member and former General Secretary. 

External Positions

Reviewer for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

PhD Tutor at The Brilliant Club.

Member of the US Embassy Youth Council of Spain at the United States Embassy in Spain. (2013-2015)

Team Leader of the Program Connecting Young Leaders organized by the US Embassy Youth Council of Spain, in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Madrid and the International Institute Madrid. (2014-2015)


Comparative Abolition in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans: A Research Conference, 22 and 23 September 2017 (Baines Group for the Comparative Study of Unfree Labour - University of Leeds & Working Group on Comparative Slavery - Harvard University). Co-organiser. 

RENKEI PAX Workshop: Emancipating the Mind: History, Politics and Heritage, 17-26 August 2017 (University of Liverpool & International Slavery Museum). Participant.

PILAS Annual Conference 2017, 26th and 27th of June 2017 (PILAS and the University of Leeds). Co-organiser. 

Panel Session 'Slavery, Maritime Networks and Knowledge in the Iberian Atlantic World', PILAS Annual Conference 2017, 26th June 2017 (PILAS and the University of Leeds). Panel Coordinator. 

WRoCAH Colloquium 2: Who With? Working with Partners, "My REP - The Next Stage", 14 December 2016, National Railway Museum (WRoCAH). Invited speaker. 

'How is the Atlantic World Approached in Historical Research?' A Roundtable discussion, 4th of May 2016 (LHRI, University of Leeds). Co-organiser. 

Atlantic Ideas, Identities, and Slavery: Comparison, connection, and causation, 3rd of March 2016 (LHRI, University of Leeds). Co-organiser. 

Prensa, diplomacia y relaciones internacionales. Connecting Young Leaders, 27th of May 2015 (US Embassy Youth Council of Spain, US Embassy in Spain). Co-organiser.

Screening of the documentary, 'Yo Decido. El tren de la Libertad', 21st of April 2015 (University of Leeds). Organiser.

Nuestro futuro, Nuestras políticas. Connecting Young Leaders, 8th of October 2014 (US Embassy Youth Council of Spain, [US Embassy in Spain]). Organiser.

Seminario Internacional Permanente: Alimentación y hábitos alimentarios en Asturias y América, Academic year 2012-2013 (AEAPA and The University of Oviedo). Secretary.

Las guardianas de los cuentos: Una propuesta de animación a la lectura para el aula de infantil y primaria, 9th-12th of April 2013. Secretary.

Trabajo en DDHH en el ámbito internacional11th-14th of March 2013 (AEAPA, The University of Oviedo, Government of the Principality de Asturias). Secretary.

Culturas de la América Prehispánica, November 2012 (AEAPA and The University of Oviedo). Secretary.

I Jornadas de Estudios Americanos de la Universidad de Oviedo, (Unión de Estudiantes and The University of Oviedo). Co-Director.

Screening of the documentary 'Las Constituyentes', 16th of April 2012, (Unión de Estudiantes and The University of Oviedo). Organiser.

Revueltas por la Libertad, 7th of April 2011 (Unión de Estudiantes and The University of Oviedo). Organiser.



Twitter: @JesusSanjurjo