In this panel, it is our purpose to reflect upon the possible specificity of a Portuguese orientalism distinct from the British, French or American experiences, as well as the configurations and tendencies of this situated Orientalism.
Session 1: In the XVI and XVII centuries, images from Portuguese travel narratives representing Asiatic societies as possible utopias invaded Europe. By the end of the XVII century, discourses about Asia promoting certain ideas and views of Eastern societies were already relatively current across Europe. This "Oriental Renaissance" would gain momentum throughout the XVIII and XIX centuries, surviving well into the first decades of the XX century as an ideological, symbolical and aesthetic apparatus that accompanied the process of European colonial expansion. The publication of Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) polemically articulated the symbiotic connection between Orientalism, as epistemological model, and European expansion. However, Said's theories did not deal with the Portuguese empire and its pioneering status in representing Asiatic societies. In this panel, it is our purpose to reflect on the possible specificity of a Portuguese Orientalism, distinct from British, French and American experiences as a situated case, with its own configurations and tendencies.
Session 2: "Postcolonial Perspectives on Goan Self-representation"
This panel aims to assess Goan self-representation in literature, the press and other cultural/artistic products as an alternative discourse to Orientalism. While the latter amounts to a model of knowledge that translates "otherness" for western eyes, a postcolonial reading of texts written by Goan authors will rather focus on Goan cultural identity and self-definition approached from a postcolonial perspective.