Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows

Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows

Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows compiles an extensive collection of essays on the status of women throughout the vast Portuguese colonial space, from Brazil to the Far East, crossing Europe, Africa and India, between the 16th and the 20th century. Absent or mystified, silenced or victimized, women in the History of Portugal and its colonial venture are the living example of the part historiographical discourse, ideology and popular memory have played in the construction of identities, their practices and representations. The production and critical consumption of History have long revealed countless gaps and silences within its own discourse. This book questions the reason for such gaps and silences and wonders about the real role of all those who do not or have never had access to power and to the perpetuating word, those whose voices have been systematically erased from sources and documents because of past or present attending interests.

Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows congregates a wide assortment of disciplines so as to provide multiple independent viewpoints, sources and methodologies. By bringing authors from around the world together, this work ensures that the various cultures and memories that are part of the global saga, as well as the various versions of the history of the Portuguese colonial empire, may be heard.

Clara Sarmento, PhD in Portuguese Culture, develops her research on intercultural representations of gender, as the coordinator of the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the Polytechnic Institute of Oporto, where she holds her teaching position. Recipient of the American Club of Lisbon Award for Academic Merit and of the Centre for Social Studies Award for Young Social Scientists.

"Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows seeks to remedy two lacunae in scholarly literature by putting firmly and clearly into view both the global historical significance of Portuguese colonial history in general, and also more specifically the contribution of women to its creation and operation over several hundred years. [...] Drawing on the pioneering work of more than 20 international scholars hailing from a wide range of disciplines, and covering an impressive range of times and places, this is an intriguing and important contribution to many scholarly fields, its implications and ramifications reaching far beyond any narrow specialist confines."

- David Inglis, Professor of Sociology, University of Aberdeen, UK.

"Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire: The Theatre of Shadows, edited by Clara Sarmento, is a significant and bold contribution to the field of Lusophone Cultural Studies. [...] From studies encompassing witchcraft and mysticism, to women as both slaves and slave owners, Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire provides a complex array of insights into women in the domestic, public and cultural spheres. It widens the theoretical debates in contemporary feminism to take account of the peculiarities and similarities of Portuguese-speaking women’s imperial experience. Breaking new ground, Women in the Portuguese Colonial Empire is an invaluable resource for any scholar who is interested in understanding the cultural and historical significance of women in the Portuguese colonial process."

- Phillip Rothwell, Professor of Portuguese, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

"The diversity of the book is really one of its strong points, for it gives some impression of the very wide range of feminist scholarship concerned with the position of women in the ‘Theatre of Shadows' that is the Portuguese empire. I hope that this publication will bring this important genre to the notice of a wide international audience."

- Michael Pearson - University of Technology, Sydney

"This collection of essays provides a useful multidisciplinary approach to the retrieval of women's voices and experiences in the history of portuguese colonialism. The volume is certainly a treasure trove of new archival work and valuable data in specific history fields, most notably female slavery in Brazil."

- Hilary Owen, University of Manchester.

Leny Anzai

Zélia Bora

Célia Borges

Daniela Calainho

Larissa Chaves

Teresinha Chaves

Ângela Grillo

Helena Guimarães

Luísa Langford

Dalila Lopes

Selma Pantoja

Isabel Pinto

Mónica Rector

Eugénia Rodrigues

Betina Ruiz

Clara Sarmento

Leonor Seabra

Margarida Seixas

Cristina Pinto Silva

Daniel Simião

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ISBN: 1-84718-718-8

ISBN13: 9781847187185

Release Date: 12th August 2008

Pages: 320

Price: £39.99