Abstracts (in order of presentation)
Kenneth David Jackson
Between cultures is a term that designates for Goa a cultural reality bringing together Occident and Orient. It applies to all those who traveled to a mysterious Orient after 1499 to work, live, remain, transform themselves radically, and perhaps return, centuries before the existence of a sense of distancing created by the lens of exoticism or Orientalism. It also applies to those who while living in the Orient necessarily lived with a Western cultural presence as well. The condition between-cultures does not represent a condition that alternates between one and the other, rather a mixture of both, an interdependence and dialogic synthesis in the place of an encounter. Between-cultures is the coexistence of qualities from both cultural traditions in one individual, who thus acquires a new miscegenated identity, marked by a capacity or need to adapt to various languages and cultural norms. Between-cultures is an historical phenomenon documented here through biography, poetry and prose, and photography that attests to a cosmopolitanism and globalization in 16th century Goa.
Filipa Lowndes Vicente
By analyzing the circulation and exhibition of objects and images of Goa throughout this period and in different spaces, we will be approaching debates on the production of colonial knowledge, the agents of these processes, and the creation of “Goa” as a space of difference within India. The role of the local elites in creating these visual and discursive representations will also be addressed. This Indian agency within the display of India necessarily comes to enrich, and even question, the debate on exhibitions as places for the rehearsal and promotion of colonizing ideologies. This paper will address wider issues of agency, representations of a Goan identity and the creation of a visual canon of Portuguese India (also as distinct to that of British India) through different case-studies, namely the industrial exhibitions which took place in Goa in 1860 and in 1890, next to the temporary exhibition of the body of St. Francis Xavier, or the visual survey of Goa produced the photographic firm of Souza & Paul in the late Nineteenth-Century.
No few predicaments shaped the lives of those who attended the medical school of Goa between 1842-1961. In this paper I will focus on the conflicts and contradictions experienced by its graduates while serving in the African colonial services under Portuguese rule (late 19th and early 20th centuries). Through their own voices and by their supervisors' depictions of them, we can apprehend the particular tensions of those loci of imperial practices and access the ways in which some in-between subjects carved for themselves a niche of identity attached to a meaningful role.
André de Quadros
Bombay Goans have a unique identity, alternating between Indian and Goan subtexts and identities. This narrative focuses on the personal formation of a Bombay Goan with a description of the musical universe that has surrounded him.
“Imaginary Goanlands: major immigrant writers in the diaspora” will examine some of these concerns in light of the new interest in diasporic writing world-wide and in continuation of my own filed-research among India’s mixed race populations. It contains a critical assessment of the place of Goan diasporic writing in world literature today and of the direction it is taking as its literary children lay roots in new territories far away from scenes printed in their minds by the cross-cultural Portuguese-tinted lenses of yore. It will assert that immigration has created a hybridized Goan who has become a citizen of the world—influenced by Christian precepts and Westernized mores but, despite his frequent rejection of Indianness, forced to be the essentialized Indian that the departure of the Portuguese from the Indian sub-continent forced him to confront. As transnational perceptions have been unleashed upon the world, this paper makes comparisons and draws conclusions about the place of Goan diasporic literature within the larger canvas of contemporary Anglophone World Literature.
This paper examines the impact of the Catholic Church and the Catholic hierarchy on state-wide election results in the state of Goa. In India, as a whole, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been perceived as a threat to the ideology of Secularism and this view has been encouraged by their political rival, the Congress party. Hence, typically, Catholic voters across the board in India have favored Congress candidates. Goa, strangely enough, is a remarkable anomaly in that the last state assembly elections saw the Bharatiya Janata Party forming the government. How does one account for the political victory in Goa of a party that has traditionally been anti-minority in India? It would appear that one of the major factors that led to the victory was the help extended to BJP candidates by sections of the Catholic clergy. The Church's political intervention, although not unprecedented in the annals of the state, came as a surprise as it occurred at a time of growing fear of Hindu militancy across the country. My paper makes the point that, both the intervention of the clergy as well as the victory for the BJP was possible in Goa because of its strong tradition of communal amity as opposed to the rest of India where political cleavages occur because there is a lack of understanding among rival religious factions. I would argue that the existence of communal amity in Goa is partly due to the state's recent political history and the particular type of colonial rule it was subjected to under the Portuguese.
The colonial influence in Goan culture is much deeper than the rest of the states in India for the very fact that it was ruled for longer duration by the Portuguese in comparison to the British, French or Dutch. In spite of the prolonged Portuguese rule Goa did not have a fertile ground for visual arts. The artists had to get their education in art colleges either in J.J. School of Art, Mumbai or from Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in Bengal in pre-independence era and a one more decade after independence till the establishment of Kala Academy and the Art College in 1970-73. The colonial influence that Goan art has is not different than rest of India. The situation of the post-colonial art is more or less similar to that of the other states. Europe and America continue their influence in addition to Mexican, Cuban, Chinese art in various forms. The heterogeneity of post-colonial culture is obvious in the use of technique, form, and issues addressed by the artists, even though they are not immediately affecting their lives.
Scholarship on Goan music is indeed situated between cultures both methodologically and topically, comprising archival and field work, studies of Portuguese colonial music and syncretic postcolonial genres, and both musicological and ethnomusicological perspectives written by western and non-western specialists. Accordingly, this paper will examine recent trends in Musicology and Ethnomusicology that impact Goa, and provide a critical examination of new methodologies that important for a post--colonial extension of musical Goa and its diaspora
Johns Webb Graham III
This paper attempts to place the Portuguese-St. Thomas relations in a global perspective, from first contact until the Dutch takeover of Malabar. Especially after the alleged “discovery” of the apostle’s tomb in Meliapor, several Portuguese began to assert that Thomas, the apostle of “the Indies”, had paved the way for them, and it was they who would complete the process of evangelization. For them to argue this required some of their own Thomas traditions to be silenced and replaced by local legend. In the new Portuguese Indian version, the apostle Thomas was transformed into an imperial saint whose evangelical works had laid the foundation in anticipation of the arrival of the Portuguese in India. The linkage between Thomas myths in the Indies, and how it filtered back and influenced Portuguese-St. Thomas Christian relations, has yet to be fully explored.