The lost century. Nineteenth-century Portugal

October 18 and 19, 2018

University of Coimbra


In the past years, partially as a consequence of the historical studies about globalization (and its periodization) and as a result of numerous historiographical and methodological ruminations associated with Global and Transnational History, the long nineteenth-century has been/has become critically assessed. In many ways, it again merited the right to be considered as a fundamental historical period in itself, not as an epiphenomenon, a transit point, a mere after or before some significant historical moment, for instance, the French Revolution or the First World War. These tendencies of relative historiographical depreciation are particularly clear in relation to nineteenth-century Portugal, in all its possible geographies. In many ways, this is a lost century, one that needs to be rediscovered and redefined. It is seen as the corollary of the disintegration of the old regime, a process in which the collapse of the luso-brazilian empire stands out. It is characterized as an era of failed modernization. It is also taken as a mere antechamber of a troubled twentieth-century and its three social revolutions. This conference aims to question these and other assertions and, also, evaluate the existing body of knowledge about nineteenth-century Portugal, mobilizing a multifaceted enquiry, favouring multiple themes and  diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, including comparative exercises.

The topics that foster the debate over nineteenth-century Portugal, which will be addressed by the conference, include:

- From the “lost” to the “fundamental” century: historiography, theory, methodology

- Portugal in the world and the world in Portugal

- The imperial factor: dynamics and consequences

- To discipline and regulate: reason, expertise, technology

- The sovereignties of the political: ties, dependency, participation

- The orders of disorder: revolts and social movements

- The economy of the social: doctrines, institutions, practices

- The genders of the century: the experiences of inequality

- Tradition and modernity: tension and dialogue

- 1820-2020: a critical evaluation of nineteenth-century liberalism

Orgs. Joana Brites (CEIS20/UC) and Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (CES/UC)