Knowledge and the challenge to empires, c. 1790-1950

CABayly Poster-page-001 (1)On the 26th of July, Professor Sir Christopher Bayly, director of the South Asian Studies Centre (Cambridge University) will be at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (ICS-UL) to present the lecture “Knowledge and the challenge to empires, c. 1790-1950”, in an activity organized by the project Colonial Mimesis in Lusophone Asia and Africa.

The lecture will take place at the Auditório Sedas Nunes, Institute of Social Sciences, between 17h-19h.



We have now added a new section, providing a bibliography of published works related with the concept of mimesis and its influence in history and theory. The list was compiled by the team members and we tried to provide a broad outlook, collecting works from different theoretic and historiographical traditions. Please note that this bibliography is still a work-in-progress and is in draft form. We hope to keep adding new and more diverse publications during the term of the project.

Go to bibliography


We have updated the publications section of the website. You will now be able to find a list of the most recent publications by the team members, with the online version of some articles, chapters and working papers associated with the project. You are free to use and cite them, provided that you refer to them correctly, as explained on the front page of each paper.

Learn more about our publications


Welcome to “Colonial Mimesis in Lusophone Asia and Africa”

Colonialism is conventionally understood as a violent intrusion into the lives, cultures, and societies of the indigenous people in the extra-European world. From this perspective, a definitional feature of European colonization practically since the sixteenth century has been the effort put into drastically transforming the indigenous ways of life according to the cultural norms and social principles of the colonizers.

Cover of “La Diffeza di la Razza”, II, 19, 20 March 1939 – XVII, “Antirazzisti de tutto il mondo, unitevi!”

The current project intends to look at the role played by processes of imitation and mimesis in colonial situations from a reverse perspective, that is: as a process and as a practice of the colonizers themselves that could bear productively on colonial relations of power. The study is set in the context of Portuguese colonialism in Africa and Asia, in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Learn more about the project