Dr Julia McClure
- Senior Lecturer (History)
I am an early modern global historian of the Spanish Empire, specialising in the history of poverty, charity, and inequality. My work explores how concepts of poverty played a role in the formation of colonial societies and imperial inequalities. It also examines the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous societies, their strategies of resistance, and the ecological impacts of imperialism. In the last years my broader research projects have focused on the history of Indigenous agroecological communities in the South of Mexico. My first monograph, The Franciscan Invention of the New World (Palgrave, 2016) explored the role of missionaries and the ideology of poverty in the early Atlantic world. My second monograph, Empire of Poverty: The Moral-Political Economy of the Spanish Empire (forthcoming), explores how concepts, laws, and institutions of poverty were central to the legitimation, governance, and business of empire and how Indigenous and Black people used concepts of poverty to create ways to resist colonialism.
I have broad interests in the role of law, institutions and cultural practices in shaping patterns of global inequality. I have written on the socio-economic rights of the poor and the legal history of property and subsistence rights. I also have broad interests in global environmental history and the ecological impacts of imperialism. I am interested in using queer theory as a methodology for decolonising our understanding of the world and the relations between humans and nature.
In 2021, I co-founded the food sovereignty network which works with grassroots organisations in Scotland and around the world to examine the challenges to food sovereignty, including historic issues such as land access, the structure of the capitalist system and global supply chains, and legacies of colonialism. I am part of an international team of researchers examining contemporary challenges to agroecology in Latin America.
In 2015 I founded the poverty research network which is an inter-disciplinary and international collaboration which aims to deepen our understanding of the historically constructed nature of poverty as a way of offering new insights into how poverty is caused and addressed today. I was the P.I. of an international AHRC/GCRF project, ‘Beyond Development: Local Visions of Global Poverty’. During this project I held workshops in Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, Slovenia, and Senegal to investigate the intersection between local conceptions and experiences of poverty in relation to global narratives of development. I organised an exhibition based upon newly commissioned films that challenged stigmatising representations of poverty. I am interesting in exploring new ways in which the arts and humanities can contribute to understandings of poverty and finding new solutions.
Before working at the University of Glasgow, I was a lecturer at the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick and held postdoctoral fellowships at the European University Institute in Florence and the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard.
- Displaced Indigeneity, unsettling histories: forced migration, kinship and belonging´, Past & Present Conference Funding (2023), £2,000
- 'Indigenous Histories in Glasgow’s Museums, Repatriation, and Racial Equity in the UK´, Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Funding (2023), £1,000
- Sustainable Cities: Indigenous Histories of Mayan Garden Cities and the Future of Urban Growing, PI, co-Is Anna Chadwick, Mark Banks, Ross Beveridge, Global Challenges Research Fund (2022), £17K.
- Food Sovereignty Network, Dear Green Bothy creative arts funding (2021), £1,500.
- Food Sovereignty Network, Arts Lab (2021), £1,500.
- Re-costing the earth: indigenous governance of silviculture in Southern Mexico and the redesign of `sustainable development¿ consultation and impact assessment. PI with Anna Chadwick and Emma Cardwell, Global Challenges Research Fund (2020) £55,604.
- Community Led Science for Climate Adaptation: Supporting Indigenous Water Management in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. Co. I. with Anna Chadwick and Emma Cardwell, Global Challenges Research Fund (2019) £74,978.
- Markets, Constitutions, and Inequality, (co. I), Global Challenges Research Fund (2019) £24,425.
- Resilience in genetic and cultural diversity: supporting sustainable indigenous agricultures in Chiapas, Mexico. Co. I with Rebecca Harrison and Emma Cardwell. Global Challenges Research Fund, (2018), £15,401.
- Poverty Research Network Project, ‘Beyond Development: Local Visions of Global Poverty’, AHRC/GCRF, £60,000 (2016)
- IAS small research grant from the University of Warwick for the poverty research network (2015).
- EUI Network grant for a Poverty Research Workshop (2014).
I welcome applications from potential PhD candidates in any of my main areas of interest: early-modern global history, colonial Latin America, the Iberian World, poverty, charity, inequality, and institutions.
- Rita Valencia, SGSAH EARTH Fellow 2023, "Decolonial Methodologies to unveil and inspire: Indigenous agroecological practices and urban-rural connections"
I have taught broadly on pre-modern global history and the late medieval and early modern history of the Iberian World and the Spanish Empire. I am the co-designer and convenor of Glasgow’s new pre-honours course ‘Connected Worlds?: An Introduction to Global History’.
Current Undergraduate courses offered at Glasgow:
- A Global History of Charity: From Begging to Basic Income
- Poverty and Charity in the Spanish Empire
- Law and Justice in the Spanish Empire: Indigenous American, African, Asian and European perspectives
- Global Environmental Histories of Empire
- Special Subject: The Forging of the Iberian World
- Dr Julia McClure on Academia
- Convenor of the Poverty Research Network
- Co-convenor of the Food Sovereignty Arts Lab Theme
- Convenor of the Global History Research Cluster
- Public engagement and occasional writing:
- Scarcity and Risk in the Tropics, History Workshop Online (2022)
- 'The Politics of Poverty in the Middle Ages: Changing Attitudes Towards the Poor', The Medieval Magazine (2022)
- 'Pandemic politics and the past: history and the future of global inequality' Discover Society (2020)
- An interview on poverty, ideology and the historic pathways to global inequality
- Discover Society article on 'Pandemic politics and the past: history and the future of global inequality'
- The future of global history, University of Queens, Canada Toynbee Prize Foundation (2020)
- Roundtable inequality and the future of global history, University of Glasgow,
- BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, Amerindian rights, slavery and just war in the Valladolid debates
- BBC History Extra Magazine, 'did the age of exploration do more harm than good?'
- The National on politics of poverty reduction policies for national media
- Summer Reading Recommendations for incoming students
- Dr Julia McClure receives honourable mention for Renaissance Studies 'Article Prize 2020'