This project is innovative in two ways: on the one hand, it will use Portuguese sources and the African Portuguese empire as an object within the Anthropocene debate; on the other, in methodological terms, it addresses the formation of Neo-Europes by taking into consideration:
(i) the construction of colonial infra-structures;
(ii) tropical diseases and medicine;
(iii) the reordering of the colonial agricultural territory.
The team will resort to data developed, collected and processed in previous national and international projects (WHICH ONES); it will then move to a different level of analysis byreinterpreting said data under new light, re-framing it and complementing it with furtherinformation to densify the new approach.
By focusing on a country considered peripheral and taking up the concept of Europeanizing the World/Provincializing Europe (Chakarbarty, 2000), this rationale reinforces the integration of the researchers involved in the project in the research networks (STEP – Science and Technology in the European Periphery and ToE – Tensions of Europe), which have guided them methodologically and conceptually, and promotes their participation in new international fora, notably The Anthropocene Project and the environmental history networks. It will equally contribute to the aims of the research group Experts, Institutions and Globalization of CIUHCT, a research unit recently evaluated as Exceptional, by addressing the role of technoscience in the configuration of today’s world.
In terms of the methodological framework, and since the project assumes that human intervention in the natural world became itself a natural power, the actor-network theory will be used to enquire on how, who and in what geometries the human and the non-human intervene in the process of domestication of nature in contemporary world.