South Asian Studies Program

Filipe Themudo Barata and João Magalhães Rocha

Spring 2015 Lecture

“Portuguese Cultural Heritage in South Asia”

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Spring 2015 Soli Sorabjee Lecture featured a pair of presentations by faculty from the University of Évora in Portugal on the topic of “Portuguese Cultural Heritage in South Asia”:

Filipe Themudo BarataFilipe Themudo Barata

Filipe Themudo Barata, Associate Professor of History at the University of Évora

Topic: “When the World was a Place of the Unknown and Vasco da Gama United the East and the West”

The first voyage of Vasco da Gama to East Africa and India took place in 1497-99. At this time, knowledge about the world was still unclear and the quest for Christians beyond the boundaries of Christendom was one of the main goals of the expedition. Another goal was to create a new Spice Route, which could withdraw the commerce monopoly that the Italian cities of Venice and Genova had at the time. The seaborne empire which was created took time to build and to settle, as this lecture will try to critically illustrate.

João Magalhães RochaJoão Magalhães Rocha

João Magalhães Rocha, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Évora

Topic: “A Heritage Memory: the Portuguese Architectural Settlements on the Indian West Coast”

The accomplishment of Vasco da Gama enterprise was possible also due to the vision carried out by Afonso de Albuquerque, who became governor of Portuguese India between 1509-1515 and is the author of the real Portuguese settlement program in Indian Ocean. The lecture will present an overview of these major architectural works, many located in the cities of Goa, Damão and Diu. Moreover it will try to illustrate how these buildings represent an architectural continuity and variation from previous Portuguese constructions also in Morocco representing an advanced knowledge in engineering and constructive systems.