The Hispanic-Anglosphere: transnational networks, global communities (late 18th-20th centuries)’ is an international research network funded by the AHRC and the University of Winchester in partnership with the National Trust. We challenge old assumptions of enmity and isolation to develop a new critical conceptual framework – the ‘Hispanic-Anglosphere’ – to study individuals, networks and communities that made of the British Isles a crucial hub for the global Hispanic world and a bridge between Spanish Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas at a period that, perhaps not unlike today, was marked by natural disasters, the dislocation of global polities, nation-state building and the rise of nationalism (late 18th to early 20th centuries).
And we are busy at work! Historians in the British Isles, continental Europe, the Americas and Russia in association with scholars from other disciplines and non-academic partners started implementing the project’s 18-month agenda through this interactive website (http://hispanic-anglosphere.com) and by holding on 3-5 November 2017 one of two planned three-day workshops. During the first meeting, participants explored and tested ways of thinking about the British Isles vis-à-vis the global Hispanic world, offered relevant case studies for research and analysis and sought input from the general public for the formulation of short and longer-term research agendas. Talks and debates were organized in partnership with the National Trust Tyntesfield, the stately home founded in 1843 by the Madrid-born merchant William Gibbs whose family built much of its fortune on the importation of Spanish wine and fruits, Peruvian guano and the export of Irish linen, Newfounland fish and British manufactures, among other commodities.
To celebrate the occasion, Dr Ana Carpintero Fernández, historian and Lecturer in Guitar Studies (Conservatorio Profesional de Música, Zaragoza, Spain) played in an original Fabricatore guitar dating back to 1819 a number of extracts from little-known guitar compositions published in the British Isles by two Spanish composers, including one dedicated to the Scottish Fourth Earl of Fife, a British volunteer in the Spanish Army during the Peninsular War and friend of the South American liberator José de San Martin.
In the months leading to the second workshop (22-24 June 2018), the network has initiated the systematic identification of Individuals, Networks and Communities. We are very aware that this task highlights the open-ended character of the project since it will be impossible to fully achieve it within just 18 months. But the data gathered will be used for thematically mapping and studying the activities of relevant individuals and communities to throw light over little known instances and processes of entanglement. A further key objective is to further develop the online presence by encouraging the interpretation of a wide range of archival, audio-visual and material evidence relating to the Hispanic-Anglosphere and by bringing them, and our academic discussions, to a wider audience; for example, through an online exhibition. So keep tuned and don’t forget to follow this site! (an easy way to do it is by simply clicking the message ‘Follow’ at the bottom of the screen).