Séance exceptionnelle du 27 mai 2015, 17 h à 19 h
Site Raspail / IMAf, salle de réunion, 2e étage, 96 bd Raspail
Jorge Flores, Institut Universitaire Européen de Florence
Dialogical empire : the political debate about overseas Portugal through fictional writings
Broadly speaking, the present seminar intends to study the “venues” for, and multiple forms of, political debate and contest in an early modern imperial setting. Focus will be put on the Portuguese empire and one will particularly look at the ways in which fictional writings – fictive letters, and especially imagined dialogues – mirrored and triggered such debates and tensions in the seventeenth century. Needless to say, the dialogic form was deeply rooted in Western culture from Antiquity to the Renaissance and it is also known that this literary device had a sizeable impact in early modern Iberia, making its way into Portugal’s overseas empire and respective cultural practices. Among many other examples, we count imagined dialogues on (Portuguese) language (João de Barros, 1540 ; Pero de Magalhães Gândavo, 1574), as well as on science (Dom João de Castro, before 1538), medicine (Garcia de Orta, 1563), religion (Father Manuel da Nóbrega, 1558) and painting (Francisco de Holanda, 1548).
While building on this context and set of rich precedents, the seminar will alternatively offer a close reading of four “political” dialogues penned in the first half of the seventeenth-century that critically discuss imperial policies spanning different continents. Together with the celebrated Diálogo do Soldado Prático by Diogo do Couto (in fact, two different dialogues, the second dated 1611-12), and the Diálogos das Grandezas do Brasil by Ambósio Fernandes Brandão (1618), I will be presenting two lesser known pieces related to Sri Lanka : Dom Filipe Botelho’s Jornada de Uva ordenada a maneira de dialogo (1633) and the anonymous Jornada do Reino de Uva (1635). I am currently preparing with Maria Augusta Lima Cruz an annotated critical edition of these two Jornadas.