The Portuguese-Speaking World

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Portuguese Orientalism

The Interplay of Power, Representation and Dialogue in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

In the Series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

Marta Pacheco Pinto is a research fellow at the Centre for Comparative Studies, University of Lisbon where she coordinates the project Texts and Contexts of Portuguese Orientalism: The International Congresses of Orientalists (1873–1973).

Catarina Apolinário de Almeida is a researcher at the Centre of History, University of Lisbon and editorial assistant of the peer-reviewed journal on Ancient History, CADMO – Revista de História Antiga.

Research on Portuguese orientalism has been mostly centred on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and has focused on missionary work and Catholic orientalism. In contrast, reflection on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is scarce and has relied on individual case studies, notwithstanding the TECOP (Texts and Contexts of Portuguese Orientalism: The International Congresses of Orientalists, 1873—1973) research project. This edited collection is the result of an international forum ( hosted by the Centre for Comparative Studies, the University of Lisbon.

The editorial aim is to counter the scant attention paid to Portuguese orientalist scholarship, which has been peripheralized within the comparative history of western imperialisms at large and within national orientalisms in particular. Incorporating Portugal into a broader European colonial discourse about the East, and discussing the responses to Portuguese colonial legacies, gives visibility to the agency of the multiple actors and networks implicated in the Portuguese modern connection to the East. Essays cover former Portuguese India (Goa), Macau, Timor and Japan, as well as East Africa, Egypt, and even Angola as an expansive site of the Portuguese orientalist rhetoric. The chapters by necessity revisit Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978), making use of its analytical framework. They foster an understanding of Portuguese orientalism as an epistemological system supported by an elite — either intellectual, scientific or literary — that assumed different material manifestations in the shape of colonial policies; scientific expeditions; exhibitions; press and literary publications; radio broadcasts; and the institutionalization itself of orientalist knowledge. This is the first collection in the English language overtly expressing an intention to examine this epistemological contribution.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-054-5
Hardback Price: £85.00 / $99.95
Release Date: Februrary 2021 
Page Extent / Format: 300pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No




Introducing Portuguese Orientalism
Marta Pacheco Pinto



Chapter 1
Orientalism as Mental Cartography: The "Capitalized Wealth of Human Knowledge" and the Unity of Mankind
Jean-Pierre Dubost

Chapter 2
Philippines: An Identity Built on Oblivion? An Oblique Asian Belonging to the East and the West, a Spanish Colonial Past and American Neo-Colonialism
Axel Gasquet

Chapter 3
"The gentile population is in the same social state today as it was in 1498":
António Lopes Mendes (1835–94), Geoculture and the Sub-Imperialism of Scientists
Everton V. Machado


Chapter 4
Studies on the "Portuguese Orient" (India [Goa, Daman and Diu], Macau and Timor) in the Colonial Context: Political and Scientific Programmes (1880s–1960s)
Patrícia Ferraz de Matos

Chapter 5
"A Western Light in Eastern Lands": The Study Missions to the Estado da Índia and the Development of an Indo-Lusotropicalist Rhetoric
Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos

Chapter 6
Belated Orientalism and Ideology in Portuguese Travel Writing on Africa
Isadora de Ataíde Fonseca

Chapter 7
Not a "Malae," Not Quite a "Kwai-Lo": Language and Hybridity in the Luso-Oriental Third Space
Inês Forjaz de Lacerda


Chapter 8
Abba Samuel and Abba Daniel: Coptic Lives Illuminated by Esteves Pereira's Translations from Ge'ez
Catarina Apolinário de Almeida

Chapter 9
A Perspective on the Near East: Reports in the Portuguese Press about the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun
José das Candeias Sales and Susana Mota

Chapter 10
Asian Drama in Portugal in the 1960s: Six Plays Broadcast on the National Radio Station
Ana Teresa Marques dos Santos

"Portugal and England" (1891) by Guilherme Vasconcelos Abreu
Marta Pacheco Pinto

The Editors and Contributors


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