Dale Luis Menezes will present a paper titled, ‘Global News, Vernacular Print: A Study of Political Ideas in Modern Portuguese India (1880-1975)’ at the International Congress on Politics and Culture in Colonial Periodical Press, to be held at the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. The Congress will be held from 22-25 May, 2017 and the concept note of the Congress is available here.
Menezes’ paper looks at the print-culture of Portuguese India which existed in diverse languages, such as Portuguese, Marathi, English, Nagri Konkani, and Romi Concanim. These newspapers are a source of constructing the intellectual history of modern empires. Print-culture has received a decent amount of attention in recent times with scholars like Rochelle Pinto and Sandra Ataíde Lobo working on the intellectual production of elite Goans. However, we do not know much about the subaltern, working class sections of Goan society. How these publications in various languages engaged with news and events from across the globe, and how they selected news items according to their ideological and political proclivities, and their location within empires indicates how politics was negotiated within the setting of the Portuguese empire. This study proposes to focus on three newspapers: the weekly Ave Maria in Romi Concanim, Porjecho Adar a bilingual weekly in Romi Concanim and Portuguese, and the weekly O Bharat in Marathi. It is only by trying to be as representative of the print-culture of Portuguese India as possible that one can make sense of the global and local circulation of ideas, through the medium of news reports. Focusing on global news as reported in the local or the vernacular press would help us understand the intellectual ideas with which the ‘local’ actors engaged.