Conference “Crossing Histories and Ethnographies” – Lisbon – ICS-UL 1-2 July 2013

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On 1-2 July 2013, it will take place at the Institute of Social of the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL) and at Cinemateca Portuguesa, the closing international conference of our project. Participants will include Elizabeth Traube as keynote speaker, Claudine Friedberg and David Hicks as special speakers; and will offer papers by Gonçalo Antunes, Judith Bovensiepen, Rui Feijó, Andrew McWilliam, Ricardo Roque, Frederico Delgado Rosa, and Susana de Matos Viegas.
“Crossing Histories and Ethnographies” is envisaged as an interdisciplinary event that brings together historians and social anthropologists who work on the history and anthropology of Timor Leste. The rich and complex colonial and post-colonial history of anthropology in East Timor will be used as a laboratory for a wider reflection on both the virtues and vices of the connections and equivocations, continuities and discontinuities, between colonialism, post-colonialism, and ethnography. The conference thus aims at exploring the past and present of ethnographic research in East Timor, in relation to their colonial past as well as their contemporary post-colonial significance.
Contributors will be crossing historical with ethnographic approaches to documentation and/or oral materials and field data, with a view to address the dis/connections between ethnographic knowledge produced in the Portuguese colonial period and ethnographic knowledge stemming from the recent renewal of anthropological interest in East Timorese societies. In engaging critically with the colonial archives of East Timor, the conference expects to illuminate far more than just past anthropological understandings and encounters. It expects especially to consider how former colonial encounters and ethnographies may, or may not, continue to shape current scholarly understandings, and thereby impact more widely upon the creation of a post-colonial moment for the history and anthropology of Timor-Leste.

The conference is sponsored by FCT, ICS-UL, REGS – Race and Ethnicity in the Global South Laureate Program (University of Sydney), and Cinemateca Portuguesa.

“Crossing histories and ethnographies” is also a pre-conference event of the EuroSEAS 2013 meeting to be held in Lisbon in 2-7 July 2013.

Free entrance.

YOU CAN NOW WATCH THE VIDEOS OF THE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS ONLINE through the ICS-UL youtube channel Click here: http://www.youtube.com/instcienciassociais or – FOLLOW THE LINKS presented in the CONFERENCES Page on this website

admin On Junho - 26 - 2013

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  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa
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Exploring Colonial Anthropologies

  • The presence of the Portuguese in Timor, a small island at the end of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, dates from the mid-sixteenth century. For the next 250 years, Portuguese Catholic missionaries, soldiers, traders, officials, governors, scientists, and military became regular company of the Timorese populations. First based in Lifau (Oecusse), and since 1769 based in Dilly, the Portuguese claimed sovereignty and exercised colonial government over the Eastern half of the island. Today’s nation Republic of Timor-Leste, went by the name of ‘Portuguese Timor’, a colonial province of Portugal, until the Indonesian occupation in 1975. Throughout this long colonial period a great and rich variety of published and unpublished documents was produced by colonial agents.


    From manuscript letters to administrative reports, travelogues, journal articles, or book-length texts, the Portuguese colonial archives offer an abundant field of important material about the past and present of the bodies, languages, and cultures of Timor-Leste peoples. It is this varied and complex colonial material on the history and anthropology of Timor that this research project aims at revealing, exploring, and critically analyze.


    In engaging with these archives, we are concerned not just with how they illuminate former anthropological understandings and colonial encounters between Indigenous and Europeans; we also aim at exploring how they shape current understandings and might help the creation of a post-colonial moment for the history and anthropology of Timor-Leste.

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