All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Closer: Portugal’s Imagined Imperial Frontiers |
|In a world where frontiers are said to be collapsing – or show, on certain levels, a growing frailty – the concept of the “border” as place of contact and interchange between cultures has been increasingly asserting itself as both more productive and more adequate to the new political and cultural orders.
When applied to the European Empires this, of course, is a rewriting suitable to our own times’ imagination of the Self and the Other, providing comfort, forgiveness for the crimes of the Empire and a way out for future cooperation between nation-states.
Portuguese historiography has lately been arguing that the Portuguese Empire is, in many ways, a product of the imagination, which the field realities did not sustain. Portugal from Minho (the mainland European northern frontier with Spain) to Timor (now The Democratic Republic of East Timor) was a fiction taught in schools and inscribed in the historiography and novels. Its frontiers have always been, as it were, already imagined.
The independence of the colonies in the 1970’s did bring about an awareness of the fantasies the Portuguese had been actually living. Reading Portuguese contemporary historical novels, however, one will find evidence of the resilience of those old representations, with a “universal” empire at the centre.
There are still shifts in the configuration: the birth of the empire is being written as an intercultural meeting; the Other’s radical alterity is part of the Same; and Portugal is portrayed as a multicultural society before multiculturalism became fashionable. The territory and the nation state realities are irrelevant, given that our empire is, and always has been, of the mind – poetical, or cultural. No matter how different, or how far, the Other is still being written as the Same and quite close – if anything, closer.