Strategic Plan

Connecting Societies

The CH-ULisboa Strategic Plan for the 2018-2022 quinquennium, extended to 2023-2024, is based on the fundamental idea that observing societies from a connective perspective deepens our understanding of the past. At the same time, it is based on the conviction that, historically, Portugal (and Lisbon) is an excellent observation point to study the underlying dynamics of networked societies. The focus of research at the Centre for History will increasingly be on the interconnections and relations between different societies, favouring interconnections on a broad geographical scale, extending from Europe and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic spaces, and to the African and Asian worlds of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in research topics that are reflected in the structure of the research groups: Cultural Encounters and Intersecting Societies, Building and Connecting Empires, Uses of the Past, Court Studies and Diplomacy, and Military History

The study of intersecting societies requires work within international research networks, which CH-ULisboa has been encouraging by promoting active participation in networks such as Heloïse: European Network on Digital Academic History, the Royal Studies Network, the BRASPOR Network, Iberconceptos, the Asian Network Collections or the Vatican Coffin Project, among many others. The African Ivory Research Network (AIRN) and the Rede Ibérica de Estudos Africanos (RIBEA), co-founded by the Centre, are now in the implementation phase.

Special attention will be given to some key themes that will broaden the current research. Environmental history is one of them. Issues such as water management, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, and coastal change will be addressed. Maritime history, a consolidated field of specialisation at CH-ULisboa, will be further developed, as well as the history of inter-religious relations. Lisbon will be emphasised as a case in point to study the global scale starting at the local from an interconnected perspective.

The history of the universities is one of the Centre’s international references. The history of historiography and the study of contemporary receptions of different historical periods have become increasingly important. Different processes of transition are examined from the perspective of comparative history, applied at different scales of observation.

Digital Humanities are central to the strategic plan for 2018-2022 and the following biennium, and will be developed along two essential lines: i) the consolidation of formal and informal partnerships with researchers from other human and social sciences and from the field of Information Technology; ii) the implementation of digital methods and tools in the Centre’s research projects, and the production and/or preservation of digital content, namely historical sources and working tools.

The Centre for History book publishing service will be a flagship of the R&D unit. Following the best contemporary editorial practices, such as the Cadmo journal, and using blind peer-review and open access, it publishes the results of the team’s work and leading international research.

Finally, the Strategic Plan aims to broaden and diversify the impact on non-academic audiences, contributing to the challenges of today’s societies and to the valorisation of local heritage, in partnership with public institutions (e.g., Odivelas Town Hall, S. Jorge Castle, Lisbon Museum or GEO – Gabinete de Estudos Olisiponenses) and private institutions (such as the NGOD – Acção para o Desenvolvimento, in Guinea-Bissau), both national and from other countries, with a horizon as wide as the transcontinental projection of our know-how.