HIST-LIT 90FT: A Luta Continua: Legacies of Portuguese Empire





Instructor: Lilly Havstad
Meeting time: Wednesday, 9:45-11:45 am

Legacies of Portuguese EmpireAs a central player in the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and widely known as the last of the European powers to let go of its grip on its African territories in 1975, Portugal earned a reputation as one of the most violent imperial powers in modern world history. Over 500 years, tactics of violence and coercion were key tools for building its empire across Asia, the Americas, and Africa, particularly for the purpose of enslavement and recruitment of forced indigenous labor, and to establish colonial "order." In this class we examine Portugal’s violent colonial past while also examining a lesser known history of nonviolent resistance to Portugal’s imperial ambitions. We will read a mix of scholarly and primary historical and cultural sources to help answer the following questions: What is the role of violence in building empires? How did indigenous and enslaved peoples resist imperial coercion and colonial violence? And, what are the lasting legacies of Portugal’s violent imperial history? We consider forms of nonviolent resistance from across the Portuguese-speaking world with particular emphasis on Brazil, Goa, Angola, Mozambique, and Portugal.