ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

45 – South Asian–Portuguese relationships from the fifteenth century to the present: Colonialism, interactions, and identities

The arrival of the Portuguese in South Asia at the very end of the fifteenth century added one more element to an already highly diverse social ecology. Portuguese missionaries, merchants, soldiers, settlers and officials engaged with local populations in a multiplicity of public and private domains, leaving complex legacies that are still evident today.

Convenors

Hugo Cardoso - Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Linguística, Lisbon, Portugal
Dominic Esler - Independent researcher, Independent researcher (anthropology), St Andrews, United Kingdom

Long Abstract

The arrival of the Portuguese in South Asia at the very end of the fifteenth century added one more element to an already highly diverse social ecology. Portuguese missionaries, merchants, soldiers, settlers and officials engaged with local populations in a multiplicity of public and private domains, leaving complex legacies that are still evident today. Previous research has shown that South Asian–Portuguese interactions were characterised not only by conflict but also by adaptation and exchange, as demonstrated by the contemporary maintenance of Portuguese dialects and local Portuguese ethnic identities in India and Sri Lanka. In this panel we seek to broaden and deepen our understanding of such relationships – and to discover generative points of comparison – by bringing together interdisciplinary research from South Asia and beyond, from the beginnings of Portugal’s South Asian colonies to the present day.

We invite presentations which foreground these issues, with an emphasis on local praxis, in the following three areas. First, historical studies of South Asian-Portuguese interactions in the colonial period, particularly drawing new evidence into these discussions. (We also welcome research on Portuguese colonies elsewhere that considers connections to, or comparisons with, Portuguese colonialism in South Asia.) Second, historical and social scientific studies focusing on the legacies and products of South Asian-Portuguese interactions, up to and including the present, and the maintenance of the Portuguese language as well as local Portuguese ethnic or ethno-linguistic identities. Third, historical and social scientific research on South Asian–Portuguese relationships in Portugal itself, in the past or in the present.

Presentations

Transcultural Building Traditions: Early Modern Transformations in South India.
Arfeen-Wegner Percy- Ruhr University Bochum, Centre for Religious Studies, Bochum, Germany
Vypeen’s Portuguese Devosta
Cardoso Hugo- Universidade de Lisboa - Faculdade de Letras, Lisbon, Portugal
Conversion, Catholic Institutions, and Colonialism in Portuguese-controlled Northern Sri Lanka, 1618-1658
Esler Dominic- Independent researcher, Independent researcher (anthropology), St Andrews, United Kingdom
Cultural memory of the slave: Remembering the kapiri of Cochin
Hussain Adeep- Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Humanities and Social Sciences, Guwahati, India
The chronicle of the “Charlemagne Chronicle” in Caviṯṯunāṭakam Musical Theatre of Kerala, India
K Wilson Geetha- Eberhard Karls Universitat, Tubingen, Indology, Tubingen, Germany
From Nehru’s India to Modi’s India: Novels that Activate Memories of the Portuguese in India
Kabir Ananya Jahanara- King’s College London, English, London, United Kingdom
The Indian temple and court dancers in the 16th century Portuguese reports
Leucci Tiziana- Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde er de l'Asie du sud, Paris, France
LANGUAGE, RELIGION AND RESISTANCE:Consolidation of the Mappila Identity (16th-17th Centuries)
Perumannil Sidhcik Ameen- University of Pennsylvania, South Asia Studies, Philadelphia, United States