IHR Partnership Seminar SeriesCoastal Connections

Speakers: Maria Paula Diogo (NOVA University Lisbon), Ana Simões (University of Lisbon ), M. Luísa Sousa (NOVA University Lisbon), Hugo Silveira Pereira (NOVA University Lisbon)

From the perspective of colonial engineering, coasts are portals of globalization and key nodes of worldwide colonial economy based on the exploitation of resources. In this context, the coast is part of an extended network of infrastructures of mobility and communications that includes its counterpart, the hinterland. We will explore the binomial coast/hinterland by using examples from the 19th century Portuguese African Empire, namely by addressing the close relationship between the design of railway lines, roads and harbours, as well as the role played by ports as hubs for the circulation of goods, people, and diseases. 


Maria Paula Diogo (Lisbon, 1958) is Full Professor of History of Technology at the NOVA School of Sciences and Technology, where she teaches since 1986. Having pioneered the field of History of Technology in Portugal, her research focuses on the History of Technology and Engineering in Portugal and colonies and its relationship with the processes of globalization, circulation, and appropriation of science and technology, networks, centers and peripheries, and, more recently, the Anthropocene predicament. She has an extended curriculum that includes leading research projects, publishing, organizing national and international conferences, and serving in the scientific boards of the main societies and journal of her research area. Her most recent co-authored books are Inventing a European Nation. Engineers for Portugal from baroque to Fascism (Morgan & Claypool, 2021) and Europeans Globalizing: Mapping, Exploiting, Exchanging (Palgrave Macmillan 2016. Freeman Prize by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST). In 2019 she co-edited the volume Gardens and Human Agency in the Anthropocene (Routledge/Routledge Environmental Humanities Series) and in 2021 a 4 volumes series on the role of science, technology and medicine in Portugal. In 2020 she was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the highest recognition from the Society for the History of Technology.

Ana Simões is Full Professor of History of Science at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (FCUL), Portugal, and member of the Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT). She is Vice-President of the European Society for the History of Science (ESHS) (2020-2022), after being its President (2018-2020). She was also Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Her research interests include the history of quantum chemistry, and history of science in Portugal, 18th to 20th centuries, from the perspective of science in the European peripheries, urban history of science and the Anthropocene as seen through the lens of history of science. She authored and edited more than 160 publications, participates in national and international research projects and networks, and regularly organizes meetings, both nationally and internationally.

Recent publications include Gardens and Human Agency in the Anthropocene (co-editor) (Routledge, 2019); Einstein, Eddington and the Eclipse. Travel Impressions (graphic novel, Chili com Carne, 2019, bilingual edition); “The Fabulous 1930s in the History of Science and Technology”, HoST, 14 (2020); Ciência, Tecnologia e Medicina na Construção de Portugal (co-editor) (Lisboa: Tinta da China, 2021), 4 vols.

M. Luísa Sousa is a historian of technology and researcher at the Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT) and invited assistant professor at the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the NOVA School of Science and Technology. Her research focus on how the construction of the socio-technical system of automobiles has shaped current mobility practices and uses of public space, crossing the history of technology, urban history and the history of engineering. She is the PI of the project " Laboratório de História para Mobilidades Urbanas Sustentáveis: Políticas cicláveis de Lisboa” on bicycle-driven mobility in Lisbon  She co-edited volume 4-Science, Technology and Medicine in Portugal's Construction. Innovation and contestation, 20th century – from Science, Technology and Medicine in the Construction of Portugal (Lisbon: Tinta da China, 2021).

Hugo Silveira Pereira is a historian of technology and assistant researcher at the CIUHCT – Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology at the NOVA School of Science and Technology and Visiting Fellow at the Department of History at the University of York. He was Visiting Scholar at MIT. He has published several books and articles on the historical processes of decision-making, construction and operation of railways in Portugal and its former colonies. He is currently the PI of the project STEMgram, which analyzes the production, publication and circulation of photographs that portray science, technology, engineering and medicine artefacts and activities in the Portuguese metropolitan and colonial context (1850-1920).