Property Rights, Land and Territory in the European Overseas Empires
International Conference - Lisbon, 26-27 June 2014
The occupation of territories, the rule over land and the definition of property rights, either de jure or de facto, were major concerns in the making and long-term development of almost every European overseas empire. They were also deeply interrelated with other key aspects of the empire-building process, including sovereignty claims, territorial expansion, settlement, taxation, power relations, social mobility, economic development, and the relationship with indigenous peoples. Therefore, those issues were of interest to all parts involved in the colonial venture – imperial governments, colonial authorities, first and later generations of settlers, native peoples and their elites – who dealt with them through complex and dynamic processes of negotiation and conflict.
The solutions adopted to regulate property rights and other territorial and land-related issues had their roots in legal norms, political concepts, institutions, ideologies and social practices transposed from each European metropole, then reframed and accommodated to each colonial context. Developing from different backgrounds in Europe, these theories and practices combined in a variety of ways with different conditions in the colonies, producing both contrasting and similar outcomes across time and space.
For the most part, the study of these topics has been pursued in a piecemeal fashion, either by disciplinary fields, empires or regions of the world, thus overlooking their interconnections. How can we compare the way issues of land, territory and property rights were dealt with across a variety of empires (e.g. Portuguese, Spanish, British, Dutch, French) and their different geographies? What can different branches of scholarship (from legal, economic, political, social and cultural history) offer each other? This conference aims to provide answers to these questions, by bringing these previously separate studies together into a common forum and setting them in comparative perspective.
Deadline for proposals submission: 20 April 2014, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paper proposals: please attach a Word file with the title, a 250-words abstract, name, institutional affiliation and a 100-words bio note of the proponent.
Panel proposals: please attach a Word file with the title and a 300-words abstract for the panel, plus the titles of papers (max 4), name, institutional affiliation and a 100-words bio note of the organizer and each presenter.
Notification of acceptance: 5 May 2014.
Registration fees: regular 50 €, student 40 €; after 1 June: regular 70 €, student 55 €.
Venue: ISCTE-IUL (University Institute of Lisbon), 26-27 June 2014.
Allan Greer, António Hespanha, Bas van Bavel, Jorge Flores, José Vicente Serrão, Rosa Congost, Rui Santos, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Vera Ferllini
José Vicente Serrão, Bárbara Direito, Eugénia Rodrigues, Susana Münch Miranda
Host Institution: CEHC-IUL
Funding: FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia