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Maysa Espíndola Souza, M.A.

Doctoral Researcher

Maysa Espíndola Souza

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
"Law and the Creation of Dependency in the Ibero-Atlantic"
Hansaallee 41, Westend
D-60323 Frankfurt am Main
espindola[at]rg.mpg.de

 

 

Research

Between roças and palhotas:
The Colonial Explotation in Portuguese Africa, 1850–1930

My research explores free labor policies instituted in Africa by the Portuguese State from the first legal measures enacted for the abolition of slavery to the promulgation of the Colonial Act. During post-emancipation period, Portuguese Africa experienced the proliferation of labor arrangements in which legally free individuals were submitted to compulsory work. Beyond the borders of slavery and freedom, labor relations in Portuguese Africa need to be analyzed in their complexities. Although legislation was the same, local negotiations greatly influenced the forms of exploitation of free labor.

The main contribution of my research may be precisely to demonstrate the influence of local arrangements on colonial policy. In order to problematize the interpretations that overestimate colonial power, from smaller scales of analysis my research seeks to understand the African's agency.

The sources that can be used for this are criminal processes, inventories, reports, worker listings, among others that allow us to understand the daily life and some of the expectations of the Africans themselves. It should be stressed that the large-scale use of forced labor and continuing attempts to transform overseas populations into laborious workers according to the mould of European political economy ideas were not a specificity of Portuguese colonialism. However, what is intended to be analyzed in my project are the specificities of the strategies employed to carry this out. In this regard, I maintain that legislation was key in producing the legality of the colonial policy.

Education

  • 2018–2022         Ph.D. in European Legal History, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 2014–2017         M.A. in History, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil
  • 2007–2012         B.A. in History, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil

Academic Positions

  • 2019–present     Research Associate in Research Group "Law and the Creation of Dependency in the Ibero-Atlantiy",
                               Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 2018–2019         Scholarship holder of "Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES"
  • 2014–2017         Scholarship holder of "Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES"
  • 2009–2012         Scholarship holder of "Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq"

Participation in Centers, Scientific Associations, Collaborative Projects

  • Member of Laboratory of Social History of Work and Culture, UFSC

Recent Publications 

  • Espíndola Souza, Maysa: A Liberdade do contrato: o trabalho africano na legislação do Império Português, 1850–1910. Dissertação de mestrado. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 2017.
  • Espíndola Souza, Maysa: Africanos livres sob a tutela do Imperial Hospital de Caridade. Revista Santa Catarina em História, v. 8, p. 40, 2015.
  • Espíndola Souza, Maysa: A liberdade da lei: o trabalho do indígena africano na legislação do império português. In: 7º Encontro de Escravidão e Lliberdade no Brasil Meridional, 2015, Curitiba. Anais do 7º Encontro de Escravidão e Liberdade no Brasil Meridional, 2015.
  • Espíndola Souza, Maysa: Assuntos Coloniais: as políticas de administração do trabalho livre na África Portuguesa. In: IX Semana de História Política. Política, Conflitos e Identidades na Modernidade/VI Seminário Nacional de História. RJ: PPGH/UERJ, 2014. p. 2337–2346.
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