Thursday 1st March 2012 at 4.15pm




Alice Santiago Faria, Goldsmiths and New University of Lisbon  
Mobility Networks across the East Portuguese Empire

Abstract: In this seminar, I will present my postdoctoral project. This is an ongoing project, which is in its early stages. This presentation is, therefore, a first attempt to present some of themes of this work in progress. In colonial empires, Public Works created the institutional framework for different manifestations of mobility which connected the metropolis, colonies and transposing empires. These networks occurred in many ways and directions, through the circulation of people, laws, models, materials, and building parts, etc.

My research aims to reconstruct the mobility networks created in the framework of the Public Works in the former provinces of East Portuguese Empire (Goa, Macao, Mozambique and Timor) during the 19th century. At the same time, the research focuses on the local. Public Works’ departments were established for the first time in each territory of Portuguese colonial space in 1869. Despite the growing desire for control from the central administration, much of the responsibility of the infrastructure of the territories was through the local departments. These infrastructures included construction of roads, railways, ports and irrigation canals, but also public administration buildings, such as schools, hospitals, etc. that largely were small functional buildings. They were a considerable part of the built heritage of these territories.  By directing my attention not only on the colony-colonizer relations but to the local and to the intracolonial and intercolonial connections, I wish to understand how this administrative institution has helped to shape the built environment of these territories, encouraging their inter-influence.