Territories and Powers: a “glocal” perspective


This RG applies the slogan “Think global, act local” as the principal guiding axis for its research. In the reflection on the global-local relationship, when considering power and its territoriality, questions how scale becomes a powerful analytical tool for the social and human sciences. This core concept interconnects the diverse fields of research making up this RG, serving as the blocks that make up a cohesive structure. These are: “Mapping the Political and Ideological Structures of the Kingdom” – which analyses the issues around the “founding of the state” and the structuring of its powers; “Landscapes of power: large cities and small towns” – which observes the dynamics of urban centres as pole of attraction for the sphere of the Court and the royal bureaucracy – those termed the “king’s cities”, (especially Lisbon as its capital) and the small, medium and large centres of jurisdiction, where prevailing rule was contested both by the crown and by the aristocracy; “Medieval rural communities and landscapes” – a meeting point between history, archaeology and philology that seeks to deepen research into the range of settlements, the relationships with local power structures, within their own scope and beyond, and the modes and meanings of the domestication of the landscape, and the “Circulation of elites, models and processes” dedicated to the study of the processes and models through which social and political dynamics feed the networks of power and influence across the intellectual, economic and social fields as well as their patterns of circulation. 


Images, Texts and Representations


The scientific issues under study in this RG subdivide into four fields of research: Images and texts: meanings and usages” studying the relationships between Image and Text, with a particular focus on the relationships with the study of Colour, Gesture and Symbol in Portuguese, French and Italian Illuminated Manuscripts, as well as the medieval Bestiary; Texts in Context which strives to re-analyse the production of Medieval Poetry, Prose and  Chronicles and the intellectual, social and political contexts that produced them; Sociocultural Representations and Constructions” which seeks to analyse the construction of concepts such as the “Middle Ages” and its representation down through time and into the contemporary period, and “Knowledge and Science” which focuses on the issues around learning and scientific knowledge during the Middle Ages and which still remains an emerging field in this RG. The Research Group dedicates particular attention to studying the circulation of artistic and literary works in this period. Special attention is paid to studying illuminated manuscripts, cultural and artistic heritage and phenomena around the circulation of people, works, models and ideas, to the questions of medieval authors and patrons and the processes of establishing historical and scientific knowledge from the Middle Ages through to contemporary outputs on this theme.