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.