Contacts & Continuities: 500 Years of Asian-Iberian Encounters is an international conference series to be held online from June 21 to July 23, 2021, occasioned by the quincentenary of the Magellan Expedition’s landing in 1521 in what would become the Philippine Islands. It aims to revisit how contacts, connections, and continuing conversations since the sixteenth century between the Iberian kingdoms of Portugal and Spain and the polities in Asia, especially the Philippines, shaped those societies. It also brings into sharper focus the adaptive and adoptive capacities of the agents of encounter and their communities.
The international conference series hinges on motifs of cultural exchange and legacies of the colonial encounter in the following four sites of negotiation: seafaring and trade, ideas, institutions, and forms of expression.
Contacts & Continuities brings together eminent scholars who offer diverse perspectives and pivotal points of inquiry regarding the encounters and interactions between Asian and Iberian cultures. This conference series sheds light on creative moments and clears new paths for reevaluating heritage and the role of Asian and Iberian agents as interlocutors in a global exchange of culture and ideas.
The conference is organized in collaboration with CHAM–NOVA FCSH, or the Centro de Humanidades of the Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas, of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. CHAM planned a two-part conference series, in Europe and in Asia, for the quincentenary of the Magellan landing. The first part, entitled “The Philippines—a Global Contact Zone: Transoceanic Connections (1521–1898),” was held at the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal in Lisbon, on March 21–22, 2019. Contacts & Continuities, hosted now by the Ateneo de Manila University this year, is the second part, which completes the series.