Maurophilia and the female environmental and dressed body

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


This is an ongoing research project that aims to survey and interpret expressions of maurophilia in the female universe of the Portuguese court during the 16th century.
The theme of maurophilia and Moorish dress has been dealt with in Spanish historiography of the Muslim heritage, but very rarely by Portuguese historiography, which, on the contrary, tends to favour the approach to Europe beyond the Pyrenees, as if Iberia did not share a common Arab heritage that extended to all Christian kingdoms. Also, the relationship with the Muslim cultural tradition has been mainly treated from a male point of view, leaving aside the female environments in which Moorish practices prevailed for centuries.
This presentation draws on some case studies that characterise this research topic using visual, material, and written sources related to women from the royal or noble family and that raise questions related to the representation of the self and the vision that others, namely travellers, produced about Portugal in the sixteenth century.
These visual and/or written narratives have served to inform prejudiced and subalternising discourses about Iberian religion and culture for centuries, indeed even today.
Period8 Dec 2021
Event titleIdeas, Practices and Criss-Crossing of the Lusophone Self in the Early Modern Period
Event typeWorkshop
LocationChemnitz, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • History and Cultures of Fashion
  • History of Portugal
  • Gender
  • Visual Culture
  • Material Culture
  • Early Modern History