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Wed 18 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 19 March
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Fri 20 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
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Sat 21 March
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    14.00 - 16.00
    16.00 - 17.00

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Wednesday 18 March 2020 08.30 - 10.30
W-1 SEX01 Social Plurality and Global Empires: Sex and the Family
Matthias de Vrieshof 2, 004
Network: Sexuality Chair: Sophie Rose
Organizer: Sophie Rose Discussant: Sophie Rose
Agata Bloch : Demystifying the “Racial Democracy” and Biological/cultural Miscegenation in Colonial Brazil
The aim of my paper is to discuss the utopian theory of "racial democracy" propagated by the Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre in the first half of the twentieth century. In his opinion, the patriarchalism, mixing of races and biological and cultural miscegenation in the colonial period of Brazil turned out ... (Show more)
The aim of my paper is to discuss the utopian theory of "racial democracy" propagated by the Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre in the first half of the twentieth century. In his opinion, the patriarchalism, mixing of races and biological and cultural miscegenation in the colonial period of Brazil turned out to be exceptionally positive for the emerging racially mixed society. The Portuguese colonizers were supposed to overcome social, cultural, climatic and geographical difficulties by biologically mixing with Indian and African women.

My research objective is, however, to contradict the racial democracy and by emphasizing the multicultural dialogue between the colonial residents and the central administration. I have noted that certain social groups, such as descendants of Native Indians and African slaves, were allowed to establish such a dialogue at the institutional level with the Portuguese monarch in Lisbon. Interestingly, these relations intensified after the expulsion of the Dutch from the north-east of Brazil in the middle of the 17th century.

I believe that the relations between Lisbon and the colonial communities were based neither on racial democracy nor on the conflict, but on the new, multicultural dimension of the modified concept of the late medieval feudal lord-vassals relations, mutual obligations, and patriarchal relation between the monarch and his subordinates. (Show less)

Gerald Groenewald : Black or White? Sexual Assault and Unwanted Children at the Cape of Good Hope, c. 1652-1795
Among the thousands of criminal court cases at the Cape of Good Hope during the period it formed part of the Dutch East India Company’s empire (1652-1795), a few dozen deal with what would now be called sexual assault and rape. Most of the perpetrators were slave men from Asia ... (Show more)
Among the thousands of criminal court cases at the Cape of Good Hope during the period it formed part of the Dutch East India Company’s empire (1652-1795), a few dozen deal with what would now be called sexual assault and rape. Most of the perpetrators were slave men from Asia and Africa while the victims (in those cases that came to court) were mostly colonist women of European descent. This paper investigates these cases with a dual aim: to trace how over time perpetrators of sexual assault and the children resulting from such unions were considered and treated.

The paper is based on a database of all criminal cases at the Cape of Good Hope which helps answer the first part of its aim. Tracing the fate of children born from such violent unions is based on a variety of qualitative sources, ranging from records from the Orphan Chamber and Dutch Reformed Church to genealogical research. Far from considering such children outcasts, the paper demonstrates that the reaction to such cases from the colonial authorities and society was dynamic and contingent. (Show less)

Francisca Hoyer : “My Slave Boy Moojoo”, Margareta, and “the Mother of the Said Child”: Family Formations of German Migrants in the East Indies during the 18th Century
Thousands of German-speaking men migrated to Southeast Asia in the service of the Dutch and British East India companies during the eighteenth century. This paper examines the wide range of family formations and the diverse, often competing practices of family ordering that resulted from this new form of transcultural mobility. ... (Show more)
Thousands of German-speaking men migrated to Southeast Asia in the service of the Dutch and British East India companies during the eighteenth century. This paper examines the wide range of family formations and the diverse, often competing practices of family ordering that resulted from this new form of transcultural mobility. Using the lens of inheritance practices, the paper draws on wills of German-speaking emigrants in the East Indies and analyses these documents as emotional practices and practices of power. The case studies include testators who bequeathed almost everything to relations “at home”, as well as those who left everything to their “new” families in Southeast Asia. An advantage of this approach is that it makes visible actors of early modern globalization who remain hidden in other archival sources. These include non-European women, free and enslaved, out-of-wedlock children and enslaved boys and girls, people who were an integral part of German migrants’ households, but who, at the same time, challenged European Christian notions of the family. The paper concludes that we can gain new insights into imperial families by de-Europeanizing our perspective on the family, comparing competing family practices to each other, and locating families in Europe and Southeast Asia within the same analytical field. (Show less)

Sarah Pearsall : Indigenous Plural Marriages, Governance, and Empire
Marriage was a central institution of governance in early modern empires. Defining who could marry whom, in terms of religion, race, and age, was a key way to patrol boundaries. However, there were also conflicts about the form of marriage itself. Early modern empires witnessed many clashes between the ideal ... (Show more)
Marriage was a central institution of governance in early modern empires. Defining who could marry whom, in terms of religion, race, and age, was a key way to patrol boundaries. However, there were also conflicts about the form of marriage itself. Early modern empires witnessed many clashes between the ideal of monogamous, heterosexual marriage, despite its various discontents, and indigenous forms of marriage, including polygamy. Colonizers, settlers, and missionaries attempted to eradicate plural marriages among many leading figures, though often without success, in the Mediterranean, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Europeans confronted polygamy among non-Europeans and so defined it in certain distinctive ways that resonated powerfully in a range of global settings. Whose marriage was “modern” and “progressive” and whose was “backwards” and “barbaric” depended often on definitions forged in these early modern imperial contexts. This paper focuses on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century confrontations of Protestant and Catholic missionaries with plural marriage among Native American leaders in mainland North America within a wider global context. It uses sources such as missionary accounts, dictionaries, and archaeological material to illuminate the role of marriage, sex, and family in early modern imperial encounters. (Show less)

Amélia Polónia, Rosa Capelão : Disputing Gender, Sex and Sexuality in the Portuguese Overseas Empire in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Even the first intercultural encounters of the Portuguese in the First Global Age (1500-1800) identified a great variety of practices regarding gender relations, sex and the experience of sexuality as practised within different African and Asian communities. Some of them transcended the binary, heteronormative and androcentric pattern dominant in the ... (Show more)
Even the first intercultural encounters of the Portuguese in the First Global Age (1500-1800) identified a great variety of practices regarding gender relations, sex and the experience of sexuality as practised within different African and Asian communities. Some of them transcended the binary, heteronormative and androcentric pattern dominant in the West. In order to interpret those practices different meanings were ascribed to them.
The aim of the paper is to investigate the response of Portuguese civil and religious authorities who sought to impose their Western values, trying to build a family model that would support a project of colonial domination. For this, the paper will focus on the way the expression of desires, emotions, fantasies, behaviours and bodily practices imposed in order to build a normative/western sexuality model. Other aspects of colonial identity which came into play in this process will have to be taken into account such as race, religion, and ethnicity.
The paper is based on narrative sources such as travel books and chronicles, as well as collections of published letters. Seeking to comprehend aspects of social, symbolic and psychological realities, it will also analyse identifiable individual sensorial experiences, together with contexts, practices, discourses, and norms. (Show less)



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