Zoltan Biedermann has received a grant from the AHRC to support research for his new book Mutual Conquests.
Lecturer receives AHRC grant to support research on Iberian imperialism in 16th century Ceylon
Zoltán Biedermann, lecturer in Birkbeck's Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies, has received a grant from the AHRC to support his research leave during the spring term 2012. He is completing a book entitled Mutual Conquests: Sri Lanka and the Making of Iberian Imperialism in Asia, 1500-1600, where he proposes a revision of the first century of European-Asian interactions in the island of Ceylon.
The book focuses on political and cultural aspects of the Portuguese involvement in Sri Lankan politics at a time when the authorities in Lisbon where reluctant to make plans for a military occupation. It argues that the Portuguese presence in the island gained meaning thanks to Sinhalese rulers who attempted to secure military support from the Empire.
Mutual Conquests looks at diplomacy, mapping, boundary-crossing and cross-cultural understandings and misunderstanding. It connects local political and cultural processes with the larger dynamics of Iberian imperial expansion.
The Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Spanish and Portuguese languages with historical, cultural and media elements.