Colonial (Mis)understandings. Portugal and Europe in Global Perspective, 1450-1900

Colonial (Mis)understandings. Portugal and Europe in Global Perspective, 1450-1900

Centre for Overseas History, Lisbon
From - Until
17.07.2013 - 20.07.2013
Katja Castryck-Naumann, Verflechtung und Globalisierung, Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa

Since the fifteenth century, an extended geographical, natural, scientific and political reality has posed a continuous challenge to the ways in which the world has been understood historically. And misunderstood. The aim of this conference is to address the processes of interpretation, both explicit and implicit, recognized and obscured, that were initiated by European Expansion. Imperial spaces, whether governed by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, French or other Europeans, set the stage for contact, confrontation, and conflict in colonized spaces such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, India, or Martinique where regimes of translation, circulation, and resistance emerged. How many implicit misunderstandings or tacit silences characterized human interactions in the face of a new, shared, and connected reality?

In recent years concepts such as the 'first globalization', 'global history' and 'world history', have attempted to connect these multiple realities. But how have these approaches been understood and put into practice? And what challenges do they pose to scholars today? Intellectual production has been prolific and this is an opportune moment to reflect upon these questions, and assess what has been achieved and what strides are yet to be made.

The Centre for Overseas History (CHAM) was created in 1996 and is an inter-university research unit affiliated with the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Universidade dos Açores. CHAM currently consists of 212 associated scholars, including 71 full-time researchers, 24 of these are post-doctoral fellows from Portugal, Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the United States. CHAM´s scholars work on interdisciplinary topics related to European expansion, colonialism, and comparative and global histories from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Special emphasis is placed on the history of Portuguese contact with diverse world regions since the early modern period.


[For a detailled programm see the conference website]

Wednesday, 17th July
18:30: Opening session
Sanjay Subrahamanyam: Collection and Comprehension: Europeans, Ottomans and Mughals, 1550-1750

Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th July
Parallel Panels
Fighting monopolies, building global empires: power building beyond the borders of empire (15th- 18th centuries)
The materiality of religion in Africa during the European expansion
Out of India: reinstating the empire in the periphery. Fluid Portuguese powers in different Asian political contexts from the Persian Gulf to Japan (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
The land issue in the early modern overseas empires
Rivalry and conflict? Dutch-Portuguese colonial exchanges, 1580-1715
Franciscan circulations: friars, texts and written culture in the early modern Portuguese empire
Text or image? Western receptions of Indo-Persian manuscripts
Jews and new-Christians in the Portuguese imperial space (16th-18th centuries): social, economic and political dynamics and identitary constructions
Christian understandings and critiques of Asian religions (1600-1800)
The overseas judiciary: justice administration and municipal governing in colonial spaces
(Mis-)understanding religious art in colonial encounters
Frontier exchanges in colonial Latin America
The Iberian body in the global landscape (16th and 17th centuries)
Embodied perspectives: visual geographies of the Portuguese empire
Women, land and power in the European Empires
Political communication in the pluricontinental Portuguese monarchy: kingdom, Atlantic and Brazil (1580-1808)
From Lisbon to the overseas Iberian world: commercial routes and global trade (15th-18th centuries)
The ‘industrialization’ and circulation of sculptures (1450-1800): works, technology and materials within Europe and between Europe and America
The eye of the beholder: perceptions on/of the Old City of Goa from the 16th century to the present
Relics, altars and other sacred things in the juridical construction of religious spaces in Ibero-America (15th-17th centuries)
Changes in European trade during the overseas expansion, 1450-1550
Crossroads of knowledge and science: rethinking the role of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans in the Portuguese Empire (16th- 19th century)
Colonial cities: global and local perspectives
Exchange and adaptation: (mis)understandings at a global scale

CHAM Roundtables
Interactions between rivals: the Christian mission and Buddhist sects in Japan during the Portuguese presence (c. 1549 - c. 1647)
Counting colonial population: demography and the use of statistics in the Portuguese Empire, 1776-1875
All his worldly possessions: the Estate of the 5th Duke of Bragança, D. Teodósio I
Salvador da Bahia: American, European, and African forging of a colonial capital City

Contact (announcement)

Centro de História de Além-Mar,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa,
Universidade dos Açores

Av. Berna 26
1069-061 Lisboa
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