About this meeting
Universities in Portugal have a long history, starting with the foundation of the University of Lisbon in 1288-90, which was relocated in Coimbra in 1537. The present organization of the University of Lisbon dates back to 1911, and is a direct outcome of the institution of a Republican government in 1910.
Celebrating in 2011 its first centenary, the commemorations of the reestablishment of the University of Lisbon encompass various reflections on its history. Among several events, the Executive Commission for the University’s celebrations, together with the International Commission for the History of Universities, is organizing an international conference titled “History of European Universities. Challenges and transformations,” to be held from 18-20 April 2011, at the University of Lisbon Campus .
Universities have been a typically European institution. Conforming to changing social, religious, ideological and political conditions, they played a significant role in virtually all philosophical, religious and scientific controversies that shaped Western culture. Furthermore, universities proved instrumental in shaping the profile of many professions.
Contributions to the history of universities have been often pursued in the context of cultural history with little interaction with the history of science, history of education, and science policy. This conference aims at bridging this gap by inviting reflections within and across these usually separate domains, and specifically by promoting discussion on the evolution of scientific disciplines within universities, the role of locality in discipline formation and training, and the positioning of universities vis-à-vis the context of liberal societies in the West. With this rationale in mind, the following themes would be specifically addressed:
- Circulation and networks of knowledge: disciplinary formation and identity, interdisciplinary relationships, formation and evolution of scientific fields.
- Universities in peripheral contexts: specificities of the formation and structuring of universities in the European periphery; relations between center and periphery; adaptation of universities to different local contexts.
- University training in comparative framework: strategies for the training of students, role of universities in elite formation, discussions and policies on higher education.