CITCOM – Citizenship, Culture, and Memory
Coord: Elsa Peralta
- Citizenship, (trans)nationalisms, (post)colonialisms, and identities.
- Cultural production, representation, and communication.
- Memory, heritage, and history.
- Visual culture, film, and digital media.
- Cities, maps, borderlands, and mobilities.
CITCOM is a Research Group that addresses cultural and communicative processes in modern and contemporary societies, through which identities, memories and citizenship projects are institutionalised, negotiated, and struggled over. The Group follows a theoretically and empirically grounded approach to the study of global cultural processes that takes into consideration historical specificities, sociocultural structures, and power relations.
CITCOM is thus characterised by a broad and flexible epistemological and methodological apparatus, combining textual and visual analysis with archival research, sociological and historiographical enquiry, and ethnography and artistic practice, and focusing on a wide range of artifacts, processes and media, which include: written and edited text, film, photography, visual arts, soundscapes, oral accounts, cultural practices, or digital content, among others.
In 2023, CITCOM launched a new cycle of Research Seminars, with the aim to disseminate the work of its researchers and that of researchers the group’s members relate to, and promote peer discussion and the development of new avenues for investigation and analysis.
As part of the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese revolution, CITCOM also organizes the Research Seminars 50 years of April: Citizenship, Culture, and Memory
CITCOM organises its activities through 5 research sub-groups.
Legacies of Empire and Colonialism in Comparative Perspective intends to address the many ways in which the colonial past is still present in both former colonised countries and European colonising centres. This subgroup has hosted two FCT funded research projects (Narratives of Loss, War and Trauma: Portuguese Cultural Memory and the End of Empire - IF/01530/2014 and Portuguese Colonial Empire and Urban Popular Culture: Comparing Visions From the Metropolis and the Colonies (1945-1974) - PTDC/CPC-CMP/2661/2014) and currently hosts a third one (Constellations of Memory: A Multidirectional Study of Postcolonial Migration and Remembering - PTDC/SOC-ANT/4292/2021). It also runs the digital archive Traces of Memory (http://tracosdememoria.letras.ulisboa.pt/pt/ )
Film, Audiovisual and Contemporary Imaginaries is devoted to the study of film and the audiovisual, as well as other forms of contemporary moving image production. Its research adopts a critical approach to the concerns, challenges and configurations that define the contemporary era, including migration, colonial continuities, racialization, anticolonial struggles, nationalism, gender, nature and ecology. It adopts an intersectional perspective and takes into account audiovisual discourses and practices emerging in transnational contexts, simultaneously considering the specific conditions that structure the production of moving images in today’s global society.
Post-Archive: Politics of Memory, Place and Identity has a multidisciplinary programme in addressing issues of memory, diaspora and history in relation to contemporary migratory movements and urban landscapes of Africa and Europe linked to Portuguese colonisation and the fall of the colonial Empire. Since its inception in 2015, it has generated numerous seminars, lectures, publications, exhibitions and performances, held in partnership with Hangar - Centre for Artistic Research. Among the publications, the most notable is the Atlantic series published by Hangar Books, a collection focusing on contemporary artists from countries colonised by Portugal and their diasporas. This sub-group has created a web platform (https://postarchive.org ) that gathers and compiles documents, video, audio and photographic resources on the study of post-colonial urban realities present in the cities of Lisbon and Luanda, Maputo, Praia and São Tomé, and also operates the ArtAfrica archive (http://artafrica.letras.ulisboa.pt/en/ ).
Citizenship, Media and Cultural Production was created in 2022 and aims at an in-depth interpretation of two major areas of research that are defined within the framework of modern and contemporary processes of cultural elaboration, linked to political, communicative and sociocultural structures. On the one hand, it seeks to instigate reflection on the idea of citizenship, identity and belonging in contemporary societies, characterized by the development of new forms of communication and mediation. On the other hand, this line of research also constitutes a space for the study of different expressions of cultural creation, intermediation, circulation and appropriation, translated into the exploration of morphologies and social plans of practices of production, prescription and aesthetic, artistic, recreational and communicative fruition, in the social perspective of modern and contemporary contexts.
CILM – City and (In)security in Literature and the Media started as a project funded by FCT ref. PTDC/CLE-LLI/110694/2009 (CILM1). Some of our members have continued to explore the growing number of urban narratives – or city novels – concerned with questions of and about (in)security produced in both sides of the Atlantic since the early nineties. Since 2013, a new strand was created (CILM2) in which three new lines of research have emerged: (1) Comparing Home/lands: examines how the term “homeland” (a term reinvigorated with the creation of the Department for Homeland Security in the US ) has since, 2002, circulated between the US and Europe (including in academic and legal documents produced by the EU); (2) Prison States and Narratives of Captivity: explores the material and discursive construction of prisons and other carceral spaces and examines the historical, economic and psychological contexts which shape social status, conditions and jurisdiction of imprisoned subjects; (3) Classes, Gender and Races of (In)security: this line of research explores how class, gender, race intersect in the creation of new narratives of (in)security.
Legacies of Empire and Colonialism in Comparative Perspective
Visual Culture, Film and Contemporary Imaginaires
Post-Archive: Politics of Memory, Place and Identity