Otherness in Us
This line of research encompasses the study of topics such as regional, national, and international intercultural transfers and their reflection in society, language, culture, and heritage; investigates the presence of slaves, foreigners, and individuals viewed by communities as outsiders, including those seeking asylum and refuge; addresses issues of tolerance/intolerance, inclusion/exclusion, assimilation/discrimination.
The goal is to identify alterities that develop in spaces permeable to coexistence, analyzing these manifestations of difference and their interaction over time and space, as well as pointing out the memories built and the traces they produce. Through collaboration between research groups and projects, the purpose of this Research Line (IL) is to answer questions such as: how do literature and a range of cultural artifacts reflect issues related to the presence of political, economic, and ideological refugees, exiles, ethnic minorities, and others, throughout history in northwestern Portugal, and across borders in overseas territories? How have local and global representations evolved and contributed to existing patterns of cultural, aesthetic, and linguistic transmission? How did the “estrangeirados” – Portuguese cosmopolitan intellectuals of the 18th and 19th centuries who were abroad – introduce different worldviews, of international amplitude, in Portugal?
Another area of intervention is related to diaspora issues, censorship, and religious persecution of minorities in Portugal (e.g. New Christians, Jews, Muslims), and how the Inquisition dealt with these groups. How did linguistic, cultural, ethnic, religious and population alterities dissolve, or not, in Portugal and the former colonial territories? In what ways can religious literature offer us cultural representations of social practices, aesthetic elements, and values, and enrich our awareness of religious diversity and perceptions of other sensibilities?
Another research interest concerns the presence of slaves in Portugal, and how the dynamics of social and cultural interaction, inclusion and exclusion developed over time, since the 16th and 17th centuries, and more particularly from the 18th century on. How has the legacy of these exchanges attached to the historical process of slavery been represented in museum programs and narratives and in teaching programs? What brands, particularly cultural and heritage, tangible and intangible, remain? In addition to manuscript and archival sources, the answers to these questions will involve research into informal knowledge transfer systems and cultural artifacts, such as oral and popular tradition, artistic creations, and symbolic constructs.