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Reassessing the Portuguese Colonial Past: New Scholarly Perspectives and Political Activism

5:00pm - 7:00pm / Thursday 6th February 2020
Type: Lecture / Category: Department / Series: Centre for the Study of International Slavery
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The event is co hosted and co funded between Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) and Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (LCMRS).

Over the past two decades, Portugal’s colonial rule in Asia, South America, and Africa has been subject to increasingly intense debate both within academe and society at large. Innovative research has begun to question benign and Euro-centric approaches to the Portuguese imperial past and has now arrived at profoundly different views which expose the violent and exploitative character of colonial rule.
This set of new perspectives on Portugal’s colonial past, however, is also the result of an unprecedented involvement of activists and civic groups in public debate. One important example are the Associations of Portuguese of African descent, which campaign against still-prevailing forms of celebrating the Portuguese colonial past. These include the recent decision to create a ‘Museum of Discovery’ dedicated to Portugal’s maritime glory, or the monument dedicated to the Jesuit missionary António Vieira.
Scholarly revision and community activism both face hostile opposition. This talk discusses the main developments in an ongoing debate that continues to intensify, and that in itself highlights the importance of fostering critical debate about Portugal’s colonial past.


Speaker: Pedro Cadim is Associate Professor Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
His main research area is the history of the early modern Iberian world, with a focus on the interactions between Portugal and the Spanish Monarchy. He also works on the Portuguese colonial empire and the early modern Atlantic world. He has published numerous books and articles, including Portugal y la Monarquía Hispánica, ca.1550 - ca.1715 (2017) and Polycentric Monarchies: How Did Early Modern Spain and Portugal Achieve and Maintain a Global Hegemony? (2012, with Tamar Herzog, Gaetano Sabatini and José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez). Pedro has held visiting professorships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, New York University, Université de Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville).

For a podcast, see here: http://historyhub.ie/pedro-cardim-hispania-portugal-spanish-monarchy-16th-17th-century.