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Richard Ibarra

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Email    richardibarraucla@gmail.com
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Richard Ibarra is interested in the construction of community (particularly in urban contexts), the extension of communal memory across time and space, and the social and cultural underpinnings of integration and naturalization. His dissertation explores the assimilative strategies utilized by Italian merchant diasporas (especially from Genoa) in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Seville and the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean and New Spain. These merchants' dual retention of foreign identity and assimilation in Iberian communities reinforced the social and economic networks that fascilitated Habsburg imperial ambitions across the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic. 

His dissertation also traces the shift from a more visible and ambivalent invocation of foreign identity, to its increased dissumulation over the course of the sixteenth century utilizing petitions for travel to the Americas, lawsuits for noble status (hidalguía), and inquisition records certifying blood purity (limpieza de sangre). “Pious Merchants, Honorable Hidalgos: The Ambiguous Integration of Italian Merchants in Seville and the Atlantic, 1450-1650” thus illuminates some of the ways their ambiguous integration was butressed by certain civic and religious activities and transformed at the end of the sixteenth century as a result of the broad anxities concerning identification and communal boundaries that permeated late Medieval and early modern Iberia.

Field of Study



Medieval and Early Modern Social and Cultural History (Iberian Mediterranean & Atlantic)

Conference Presentations

“Two Disputed Inheritances: Wills and Illegitimacy in Peru and New Spain, 1550-1750.” Pre-circulated paper to be presented at the Spanish History Symposium, UC San Diego, January 22, 2022.

“Attesting and Contesting Genoese Nobility in Sixteenth-Century Seville.” Identity Abroad in Central and Late Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, University of Cambridge, January 7-8, 2022.

"Piety and Display: Processions, Confraternities, and Charity in Seville." Pre-circulated paper presented at the California Medieval Seminar, via Zoom, April 17, 2021.

"Wills, Tombs, and Burial Plans: The Ambiguous Integration of Italian Merchants in Sixteenth Century Seville" Presented at the Spanish History Symposium, UC San Diego, January 18, 2020.

“Property Dispute and Crusaders in the Letters of Ivo of Chartres.” Presented at France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies Southern France and the Latin East in the Thirteenth Century: Crusade, Networks, Exchanges, Stanford University, April 20, 2018.

“Setting Apart a Saintly King and His Dynasty: The Royal Tombs at Las Huelgas.” Presented at Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) Emerging Scholars Conference, UCLA, October 27, 2017.

“Genoese Merchants and Sixteenth-Century Spanish Naturalization: The Arguments of an Anonymous Citizen of Seville.” Presented at Early Modern Iberia (EMI) Passages Graduate Symposium, University of Pennsylvania, April 22, 2017.


Teofilo Ruiz, Rowan Dorin (History, Stanford), Stefania Tutino, Jessica Goldberg, Meredith Cohen (Art History), Celine Dauverd (History, Univeristy of Colorado-Boulder)


C.Phil. History, UCLA, 2018

M.A. History, UCLA, 2017

B.A. History & Medieval Studies, UC Santa Barbara, 2015