The 40th Meeting of the Portuguese Economic and Social History Association (APHES), which took place online on July 9-10, 2021, made it clear: the links established with other academic fields are transforming the debate, currently more inter and transdisciplinary.

Researcher Paula Pereira (Project SAND) presents a paper at the 40th Meeting of APHES (online) on July 09, 2021.

The ReSEED team presented results in two sessions. The first one, “Agriculture, Food and Regional Dynamics in Portugal: Interdisciplinarity in Economic and Social History”, organized between two research projects – ReSEED and SAND – aimed to cross different data to discuss food consumption in Portugal around the 17th and 18th centuries. In the session, it was possible to dialogue with colleagues from different disciplines: Archaeology, Anthropology, Cultural History, among others. They have been analysing, above all, archaeological records: human, plant and animal vestiges. These historical sources provide other data on living conditions, diseases, consumption or nutritional levels that can be cross-checked with the information the ReSEED Team is gathering.

Researcher Anabela Ramos presents a paper  at the 40th Meeting of APHES on July 09, 2021.

Principal Investigator Dulce Freire and researcher Anabela Ramos presented the paper “Agriculture and cooking: impacts of new food products in Portugal (17th-18th centuries)”. It demonstrated that several printed and manuscript sources, namely Francisco Borges Henriques’ book from the early 18th century, already mention the reliable use of new plant products in the Portuguese culinary, from rice and oranges, original from Asia, to sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, from Americas, and others.

Researcher Carlos Manuel Faísca presents a paper at the 40th Meeting of APHES on July 10, 2021.

A lively debate

In the session “Agriculture, Living Standards and Migration”, Freire and researchers Carlos Manuel Faísca, Alberto González and Francesco D’Amaro presented the paper “The impact of biological innovations on Iberian agriculture (18th to 20th centuries). The work explained how the historical social construction of different cereals could have influenced agrobiological research and the public investment in the improvement of these crops’ production. Their presentation was followed by a lively debate with other historians open to contributions from several resources and approaches. The discussion also showed that is possible to develop different tools and strategies to explain changes in live conditions, food availability or State intervention on migratory movements, during the 19th and 20th centuries.

At end of the conference, the APHES coordination announced that the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra will host the next Meeting in 2022.

Another part of the paper presented by researcher Carlos Manuel Faísca at the 40th Meeting of APHES on July, 10,2021.