History Department
History Department

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra's three new books examine entangled interactions between empires of the Atlantic world

Wed, October 25, 2017
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra's three new books examine entangled interactions between empires of the Atlantic world
Prof. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra

Story by Jennifer Levin, History and Plan I Honors, University of Texas at Austin

The History Department congratulates Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra on his three new book publications: Entangled Empires: The Anglo-Iberian Atlantic, 1500-1830 (University of Pennsylvania Press, February 2018), The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, 2nd Edition (Routledge, September 2017), and As Américas na Primeira Modernidade (1492 - 1750) Vol.1 (Editora Prismas, 2017).

Professor Cañizares-Esguerra, the Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at UT, has written more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters to date. His award-winning books include How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic World (Stanford University Press, 2001), Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford University Press, 2006), and Nature, Empire, and Nation: Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World (Standford University Press, 2007). He has also coedited The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) and the Princeton Handbook to Atlantic History (Princeton University Press, 2014). 

His new books examine interactions that occurred between empires of the Atlantic world, through the works of multiple scholars. Entangled Empires offers twelve essays that demonstrate the far-reaching influence of the English, Spanish, and Portuguese empires. 

The 2nd edition of The Atlantic in Global History, co-edited with Erik Seeman, explores Atlantic history beyond the early modern period, with an updated introduction that discusses developments in the field since the book’s original publication in 2006

As Américas na Primeira Modernidade was coedited with Luiz Estevam de O. Fernandes and Maria Cristina Bohn Martins. It features work mostly by Brazilian scholars. It reveals the entwined histories of the many empires and peoples that created the first global modernity in the Americas, particularly in Brazil.

Entangled Empires holds particular significance because six of its twelve chapters were written by current or former UT graduate students. What these students have in common is that they have worked with Professor Cañizares-Esguerra as supervisor or co-supervisor. The inclusion of these works attests to the strength of UT’s history graduate program and the accomplishments of its students. UT faculty members like Professor Cañizares-Esguerra encourage and enable graduate students to gain professional experience that is often reserved for those already in academia.

“The graduate students involved in this project have had the chance to workshop our research at the conference, go through the peer review process, and then work with the editors at Penn Press to develop the final, polished product,” notes current UT history graduate student Kristie Flannery about her experience with Entangled Empires. “This book demonstrates that the History Department at the University of Texas at Austin, and Professor Cañizares-Esguerra in particular, is professionalizing students or the next generation of historians.” 

Flannery's chapter, “The Seven Years’ War and the Globalization of Anglo-Iberian Imperial Entanglement: The View from Manila,” examines the 1762 British invasion of Manila and considers the larger implications of the event on Spain’s ability to manage its colonial holding of the Philippines.

Current UT doctoral student Bradley Dixon also contributed chapters to both Entangled Empires and As Américas na Primeira Modernidade. Bradley is writing his dissertation “Republic of Indians: Law, Politics, and Empire in the North American Southeast, 1585-1715”  that demonstrates the centrality of Spanish-American legal culture in the history of the thirteen Anglo American colonies.

Entangled Empires also includes the essays of former UT graduate students Mr. Mark Sheaves, Dr. Benjamin Breen, Dr. Christopher Heaney, and Dr. Cameron Strang.

“The process of working on this book was the most rewarding experience I had at UT with regards to academic stimulation, collaboration, and career preparation,” says Mr. Sheaves, who previously served as Senior Assistant Editor for UT History's Not Even Past. In particular, he stresses the importance of the practical training he received from Professor Cañizares-Esguerra, especially for his current position as the Communications Strategist for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Breen, Assistant Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, completed his PhD at UT in 2015. In addition to his chapter “Empires on Drugs: Pharmaceutical Go-Betweens and the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance” in Entangled Empires, he also wrote an essay for As Américas na Primeira Modernidade.

In his chapter “Marrying Utopia,” Dr. Heaney explores how and why the image of Peru as a Utopia was used by English writers in the 16th century to promote colonization in the Americas. Dr. Heaney completed his dissertation "The Pre-Columbian Exchange: The Circulation of the Ancient Peruvian Dead in the Americas and Atlantic World" at UT in 2016, and now holds the position of Assistant Professor at Penn State University.

Dr. Strang, Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, completed his dissertation at UT in 2013. His chapter “Planters and Powerbrokers: George J. F. Clarke, Interracial Love, and Allegiance in the Revolutionary Circum-Caribbean,” examines an Anglo planter’s decision to rally support against American expansion into Spanish Florida.

“The essays in Entangled Empires offer fascinating new perspectives on some of the most important developments in the early modern era--things like revolutions, the slave trade, and imperial competition--by recognizing that the histories of the Spanish and Anglo worlds were deeply intertwined,” writes Dr. Strang. “The rising influence of this historical approach, often called "entangled history," owes much to Professor Cañizares-Esguerra's scholarship over the past two decades."

Congratulations to Professor Cañizares-Esguerra and these current and former UT history graduate students!
See also: Prof. Cañizares-Esguerra’s research has been featured on Not Even Past including a video interview on Puritan Conquistadors, original essays that dispel the myth that Latin America has no classical tradition, and examine some of the artifacts he uses to teach the history of Latin America in his popular class, "Colonial Latin America Through Objects." as well as over a half-dozen book and tv series reviews.

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