Five hundred years after the death of King Manuel I of Portugal (r. 1495- 13 December 1521), the Centre for the History of Society and Culture of the University of Coimbra promotes the international conference  Beyond King Manuel I: The Portuguese Empire in a Changing World, c. 1450-1550.

The Conference will bring together a group of about 20 historians of diverse backgrounds and career stages who will produce presentations on original research under any of the thematic frameworks proposed.


Revisit the traditional notion of Portugal’s projection into the world from a geographically and culturally decentered perspective. Aiming to reassess and recontextualize the figure of the monarch, early modern Portugal, and the domains and peoples that shaped the Portuguese empire, this conference will build on historiographical developments of recent decades, grappling as much with questions and tendencies heeded by researchers as the methodologies and analytic categories that they employ.

With the objective to challenge the idea of Portuguese exceptionality, we intend to bring together scholars using different modes of comparative analysis, connected history, and engagements with the histories of the world beyond Portugal.

Seeking open-ended and non-teleological approaches can help to better elucidate the role of non-Portuguese actors and contexts, in addition to the improvisations, adaptations, false starts, mutual influences and local experiences that contributed to the trajectories of empires in the Manueline era.

At heart, we seek a better grasp of how histories traditionally deemed “Portuguese” were interlaced with a broader world marked by swift and unexpected transformations.

Important Dates

13 December 2021

Opening conference announcing the International Conference

31 December 2021

Deadline for the submission of proposals

28 February 2022

Notification of proposals acceptance

1 June 2022

Disclosure of the Final Programme of the International Conference

From 8 to 30 June 2022

Registration for attendance

6 a 8 de julho de 2022

International Conference Beyond King Manuel I: The Portuguese Empire in a Changing World, c. 1450-1550