Helsinki Legal History Series: Cristina Nogueira da Silva 26.3.2024

We warmly welcome you to join the Helsinki Legal History Series Lecture with Cristina Nogueira da Silva 26.3.2024

When: Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 3:00pm - 4:30pm (UTC+2).

Where: Porthania Building, Room P545, University of Helsinki. You can also join us online via Zoom

Topic: Helsinki Legal History Series: Cristina Nogueira da Silva 26.3.2024

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Meeting ID: 637 3244 0554
Passcode: 331089


Title: “Citizens of ‘black race’ in Portuguese legal doctrine from the twentieth century”.

Abstract: This paper aims to discuss the impact of racial criteria on access to citizenship and its influence on the identification and self-identification of local elites of native origin within the 20th-century Portuguese Empire. The focus will be on how this local elite countered the racialization of citizenship by invoking 19th-century universalist and color-blind legal principles that enabled them to define both themselves and the entire population of African origin as full Portuguese citizen


Cristina Nogueira da Silva is an Associate Professor of NOVA School of Law, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NSL-UNL), na ingtegrated researcher of CEDIS, the NSL Research Instituto, and associated researcher of Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa (ICS-UL). She has a PhD in History of Law at NSL-UNL (2005).

Her primary research areas include 19th-century liberal political cultures, imperial citizenship, constitutionalism, and the legal dimensions of colonialism in America, Africa, and Asia. Her recent projects focus on exploring the legal status of individuals and territories in contemporary Portuguese Overseas dominions, colonial legal pluralism, and the use of law and legal institutions by both the 'colonizers' and the 'colonized'. Some of her publications are Constitucionalismo e Império. A Cidadania no Ultramar Português (2009); ‘Universalism, Legal pluralism and Citizenship: Portuguese Imperial Policies in the Nineteenth Century’, 2016); 'Colonial Justice in Mozambique (1915-1954): Preserving and Changing Indigenous Customary Law' (2023); Imperios Ibéricos y Representación Política (siglos XIX-XX), (ed. with Inés Montaud, 2021), Slave Subjectivities in the Iberian World (ed. with Ângela Barreto Xavier and Michel Cahen, 2023).

This seminar is part of the Helsinki Legal History Series in collaboration with the CoCoLaw project. In 2024 the Helsinki Legal History Series runs under the theme of "Identities and Legal Histories". We are focusing on the questions of how have collective identities shaped law, and how has law been used to affect, change or protect common identities? Does law recognize marginalized identities or is the history of law a narrative of exclusion?