The relationship between cultures of different continents, as mediated by colonialism and post-colonialism, is a central topic of different social sciences, such as cultural and literary studies, history, political sciences and anthropology. Accordingly, the ideologies and strategies of European empires have been scrutinised, colonial rule and discourse have been the object of detailed analysis, and categories such as nationalism and postcolonial nations have stimulated long-term critical scholarship.
However, comprehensive studies on Portuguese colonialism have not yet developed as a leading goal of Portuguese social scientists. Despite its historical and ideological particularities, the Portuguese empire has been almost entirely the object of historical research and a more interdisciplinary approach, focused in contemporary identity processes as well as in the reconstruction of colonial realities, is strongly needed.
In the next three years, CEAS intends to contribute to the development of this area of research, around two main directions. The first concerns colonial and post-colonial identity processes in former Portuguese colonies such as Goa and East Timor. A second one deals with colonial archives in Portugal, with a special emphasis in visual data. The organisation of international conferences and workshops will favour the scientific debate on this area of research.