Salazar’s Ghosts: global colour lines, decolonizations and entangled histories of race, ca. 1960-1965

French Institute Seminars in Humanities (FISH)
28 August 2014

14:00 – IFAS Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein


Caio Simões de Araújo
PHD Candidate, University of Geneva

Historiographies of African decolonization have been reductive in at least two ways. First, imperial perspectives reify the geographic solidity of the Empire, paying little attention to connections that go beyond its boundaries. Second, histories of liberation movements and their struggle for the nation alone often neglect that such claims have been forged in a connected world. In both cases, the focus is placed on the binary tension between colonizer and colonized, with little attention being paid to alternative associations. This seminar aims to bridge this gap. I explore the international dimensions and transnational linkages underlying Portugal’s colonial endgame in the first half of the 1960s, in particular in relation to the internationalization of the race question. I argue that historical investigation on the global colour line would benefit from tying together (however loosely) South Africa, Brazil, India, and Portugal – and her colonies – , for these were all critical theatres in which the contestations over the meanings of race and the evils of racism were being negotiated and struggled over. To tease out these complex associations, I suggest, calls for further research on the entangled histories of race and shared trajectories of decolonization in Southern Africa and beyond.


Caio Simões de Araújo is a PhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant in International History and Anthropology at the Graduate Institute, University of Geneva. His research focuses on the internationalization of the race question in the 20th century and transnational histories of decolonization.