José Brownrigg-Gleeson Martínez


José’s chief research interest is to explore the role which the Hispanic world played in shaping Irish attitudes towards colonialism, empire, and modernity during the first half of the nineteenth century. Indeed, many of the challenges faced by Latin America at the time (such as the definition of citizenship, the separation of church and state or the acceptance of republicanism) would also become key issues in Ireland. His research to date has concentrated above all on understanding the political and intellectual dimensions of Irish support for the dissolution of the Spanish monarchy and the establishment of new states in the Americas. Thanks to the adoption of a decidedly transnational approach, he has highlighted the multiple and often divergent readings of the crisis of the Hispanic Atlantic which developed simultaneously in post-Union Ireland and amongst United Irish exiles in the United States.

José Brownrigg-Gleeson Martínez is a historian educated at the University of Salamanca in Spain, where he has written a doctoral thesis on how the Irish—both in Ireland and in the United States—interpreted the Latin American revolutions for independence during the 1810s and early 1820s.

During his time at Notre Dame, José extended the chronological scope of his work to examine how Irish American images of the new Latin American republics evolved in the decades leading up to the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Drawing on his previous research into the contacts between South American patriots and United Irish exiles in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, he worked to reconstruct the networks of Irish American book publishers, newspaper editors and translators who created and/or circulated images of the Spanish-speaking New World amongst Irish communities in the Atlantic. 

José has contributed to several books with chapters exploring Irish migration, mobility, and multilingualism in Spanish America in the late colonial period, together with others dealing with Hispano-Irish relations in the 19th century. He has carried out research stays at the University of Warwick (UK) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York in 2011-12. His research has received the generous support of various institutions, such as the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and Harvard University’s International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World.

In addition to the University of Salamanca, where he has taught modules on Latin American history and served on the organizing committee of several conferences, José has worked as a research assistant at the National University of Ireland, Galway (2014-15) and as an associate lecturer at the University of Winchester (2016/17).