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Imperial Entanglements: Transoceanic Basque Networks in British and Spanish Colonialism and their Legacy

AHRC-funded project AH/N001184/1. July 2016-Jan 2020 (36 months funded).

Imperial Entanglements aims to transform our understanding of the entangled relations between the British and Spanish Empires during the 18th and 19th centuries, by foregrounding a new transoceanic history/geography defined by interimperial subjects such as the Basques.

Its core objective is to reconstruct the histories and afterlives of two Basque commercial families, the Larrinagas and the Zuluetas, and the dense web of transoceanic and translocal economic and cultural connections they created in the triangular network linking the UK, the Basque Country, and Spain’s principal remaining colonies in Cuba and the Philippines.

By combining the historiography of interimperial connections with the local micronarratives of ‘minor imperialisms’, we aim to understand how these Basque families worked across metropolitan, imperial, maritime and linguistic boundaries to operate transoceanic networks that simultaneously defy and participate in imperial sovereignty. By investigating the literary, cultural and material afterlives of the Larrinaga and Zulueta networks, we will explore how the Basque dimension continues to shape both imperial histories even after their demise and national refashioning.

Project Team


Advisory Board

Anna Brinkman (Research Fellow)
Joseba Gabilondo (Co-Investigator)
Tim Hollies (Academic Technologist)
Kirsty Hooper (Principal Investigator)
Steve Ranford (Academic Technologist)
  Professor Manuel Barcia (Leeds)
Professor Andrew Popp (Liverpool)
Professor Vicente Rafael (UW-Seattle)
Professor Benita Sampedro (Hofstra)

Email us:

imperialentanglements dot warwick at gmail dot com