Women as Intermediaries in Portuguese Overseas Empire

94 George Street

Providence, RI 02906

The study of early modern empires is usually focused on imperial rivalries, monopolies, warfare strategies and political disputes between European colonizers. Focusing on such central power strategies excludes the perception of how individuals contributed to those historical processes, at times to an even greater extent than the central powers themselves; and it disregards the active influence of African, Asian, and American, men and women, on colonial dynamics. The proposed approach tries to shed new light on the so-far ignored, but crucial role of women as brokers in Portuguese State of India by analyzing the importance of both the indigenous and the Portuguese women as intermediaries in worlds where collaboration, confrontation and assimilation patterns were critical.

Amélia Polónia, University of Porto, Portugal, Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinar Cultura, Espaço e Memória.