Digital Humanities

Beyond Prosopography: Using Digital Humanities to Study the Early-Modern Portuguese Colonial Judiciary

by Nuno Camarinhas (Centre for Research on Law and Society of the NOVA School of Law (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal))

Lecture Hall (Z01) (Hybrid format: online and in Frankfurt)

Lecture Hall (Z01)

Hybrid format: online and in Frankfurt

Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory Hansaallee 41, 60323 Frankfurt am Main

In this session organised as part of the permanent seminar ‘Legal History meets Digital Humanities’ we will be talking with Nuno Camarinhas, a researcher at CEDIS, the research centre on Law and Society of the NOVA School of Law (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal) and currently Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Camarinhas will present his research using data collected from a prosopographic analysis of the Portuguese judiciary (1620-1926) and also propose a methodological approach to the study of a large legal profession body using different methods from the Digital Humanities. 

Starting from a conventional relational database on judicial agents, he will present a spatial network approach to the study of the circulation of these agents inside a pluricontinental judicial apparatus in the long duration. The platform used for this approach is Nodegoat and the presentation will focus on its advantages in the process of crossing conventional biographical data with geographical references and with a clearly interconnected institutional network.

The talk will highlight the strengths and replication potential of such analysis as well as its difficulties and limitations, hoping to open up a dialogue with different analysis of similar subjects and to promote comparative approaches with other imperial experiences.

Camarinhas has worked on the history of justice in early modern Portugal, encompassing the judicial professions, the justice administration system, and its colonial transfer. Recently, he has developed research on these themes focusing on the 19th and early 20th century. Closely related to the themes of this presentation are the following  publications by Camarinhas: «Juízes e administração da Justiça. Portugal e o seu império colonial, sécs. XVII-XVIII» (Lisbon, 2010; French Editions: Paris, 2012), «Justice administration in early modern Portugal: Kingdom and empire in a bureaucratic continuum» (Portuguese Journal of Social Sciences, 2013); «Juridictions portugaises d’Outre-mer. Construction d’un appareil judiciaire et logiques de circulation à l’époque moderne» (Dijon, 2020) and «Lisbon, Goa and Bahia: imperial cities in the construction of a multicontinental judicial system» (in print).

Please note: the presentation is going to be recorded.

Organized by

Permanent Seminar 'Legal History meets Digital Humanities' (Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory)