Luso-tropical, oriental and post-luso-tropical medievalisms: Crossroads in the definition of the Portuguese Middle Ages as Brazilian past. C. 1850-c.1980
Abstr. due: 10.03.2019
Dates: 09.05.19 — 10.05.19
Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC)
Brazil as a product of Portuguese colonization and the political processes of the modern and contemporary period is a nation whose identity, similarly to the rest of American nations, has been mostly built recurring to a post-medieval past. This characteristic, however, did not preclude Brazilian historical culture from incorporating elements of the European and especially Portuguese Middle Ages, which in turn influenced the image that Brazilians created about themselves. Particularly relevant to this process was the work of Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987), an intellectual whose writings were politically appropriated by the Estado Novo in Portugal but who also left a profound mark in narratives about Brazilian national identity. The idea of medieval Portugal as a melting pot of diverse cultures (Christians, Muslims and Jews) had been advanced by several authors since the 19th century, and it also served as a basis of Freyre’s theories regarding an alleged Portuguese ability to create uniquely successful relations with people in the tropics – theories which, at the time of their publication, were controversial in Brazil and would be later described as “Luso-tropicalism”.
Among the suggested topics are included:
- The cultural and political contexts of the production of “Luso-tropicalism” and their relations with the various representations of the Portuguese Middle Ages;
- The authors that influenced Gilberto Freyre’s theories on medieval Portugal;
- The relation between Gilberto Freyre’s theories and orientalist discourses or representations of Portugal and Brazil;
- The ways in which Portuguese and Brazilian contemporary historiographies have interpreted the “influence of medieval Portugal” in the development of Brazilian society until present times, considering the different views (either more “traditionalist” or progressive”) on the Portuguese Middle Ages produced during the 20th century.