Maria João Branco

Foto de Maria João Branco

I am currently Associate Professor of Medieval History at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities – NOVA University of Lisbon.

From 1991 to 2011 I taught at Universidade Aberta, where I have been Director of the Department of Human and Social Sciences (2006- 2009).

Between October 2001 and October 2003, I became the first Director of the Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture in Oxford, where I was also a Fellow of St. John’s College and a Lecturer in the History Department.

I joined the NOVA FCSH in August 2011. I have been Director of the Institute of Medieval Studies, (2016 to 2021), after having been executive secretary and deputy director of the same RU between 2011 and 2016.

I concluded my MA degree in 1990 at the NOVA FCSH, with a thesis on Esgueira, a medieval village of central Portugal in the 15th century, and I received my PhD in 2000, at the Universidade Aberta, with a thesis on the construction of the royal power in Portugal (12th -13th centuries).

My work explores the construction of royal power and the political culture of 12th-13th centuries Portugal, in its internal policies and its relations with other Western Medieval polities, a field in which the role of jurists and ecclesiastics is fundamental. In this context, I also study the relationship between Portugal and the Papacy.

I published more than 50 chapters and articles in national and international books and journals. I authored three books as an individual author, four in collaboration with other colleagues and five as co-editor of collaborative volumes.

I am a member of the Portuguese Academy of History in the category of Correspondent Academic and of the Portuguese Society of Medieval Studies.