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Agata Błoch, Phd

As an Assistant Professor at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, I am an expert in colonial studies of the Portuguese Empire, with a particular focus on the early modern Atlantic world. My current research is twofold: the Imperial Commoners of Brazil and West Africa (1640-1822) from a correspondence network perspective, and the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities project, where I specialize in Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Handwritten Text Recognition in the context of historical research.

My academic credentials include a PhD in History from the Institute of History (2021), an MA in History of the Portuguese Empire from Nova University of Lisbon (2018), and an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Warsaw (2014).

I am passionate about a diverse range of historical subjects, including Digital Humanities, historical network analysis, global history, social history, subalterns, postcolonial theories, and gender studies.

Tłum Konferencji

Recent book

“The Free and the Enslaved. Voices of the Subalterns in the History of Portuguese Empire” 

Warsaw, 2022, p. 468.

[Portuguese version]

"The Free and the Enslaved. Voices of the Subalterns in the History of Portuguese Empire" is the story of ordinary and extraordinary people living on the outskirts of the Portuguese colonial empire. It tells the story of those who once inhabited present-day Brazil, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and the Atlantic archipelagos of Cape Verde and São Tomé. Among them were not only indigenous peoples but also Jews, Jewish converts or Muslims fleeing religious persecution, and Gypsies, witches, and criminals sentenced by the Inquisition and civil courts. Once free, once enslaved. But their subalternity varied when we consider intersecting elements such as gender, assimilation, relationship to their master, and their place in the network structure.  Thus, it is worth bringing out these voices and looking more closely at which social groups actively and consciously participated in making the Portuguese colonial empire and which ones disappeared forever from history. Will the reconstruction of history from the perspective of those most marginalized help to deconstruct it?

Online lectures

Recent articles


[ENG] The “Miserable Vassals” of the Empire: The Androgynous Codes of Behaviour of Black and Indigenous Peoples in Late Colonial Brazil (1775–1808)

Canadian Journal of History

Volume 57 Issue 3, December | décembre 2022, pp. 420-457

Tradycyjna afrykańska sukienka

REVIEW [EN] Comboni Missionaries in Mahdist Sudan - Faith, War and Slavery: A History of the Colonial Conquest of Sudan (1881–1898) By Patricia Teixeira Santos and Suresh Kumar.

The Journal of African History (2022), 63(3), 418-447.

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