The Annual Gulbenkian Vasco da Gama Lecture

March 20, 2014 - 5:30pm

Writing the History of Abolitionism in the Portuguese South Atlantic

Roquinaldo Ferreira

Vasco da Gama Associate Professor in
History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
Brown University

MacMillan Reading Room
John Carter Brown Library 

Reception at 5:30 pm
with remarks at 6:00 pm by His Excellency Nuno Brito
Ambassador of Portugal to the United States
Lecture begins at 6:30 pm

Presented by the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and the John Carter Brown Library

About the lecture: This lecture examines African agency in the context of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in Central Africa. It places Portugal’s decision to end shipments of slaves from Angola to Brazil in the broader context of the transformation of Portuguese colonialism in Central Africa in the nineteenth century. It relates Portuguese abolitionism to geopolitical disputes with other European powers in Africa and beyond. By examining the struggle at the end of the slave trade in the Angolan city of Benguela, it argues that slave revolts were a critical factor in the process that led to the end of the slave trade in Angola.

About Roquinaldo Ferreira: Roquinaldo Ferreira is Vasco da Gama Associate Professor in the History Department and the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Department at Brown University. Before coming to Brown in 2013, he taught at the University of Virginia. He has held a visiting appointment at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and has been a visiting professor at the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (Geneva, Switzerland). He has lectured widely in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. For full bio, see