The approval of this Chair by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in 2015, supported by the Agency for the Promotion of the Atlantic Culture, in partnership with the Azorean Institute of Culture of the Azores (IAC), is an evidence of the evolution of APCA and demonstrative of the growing contribution of this organization to the development of Madeiran culture and knowledge.
The Chair for Atlantic Island Studies and Globalization was established according to the ideal of promoting fundamental and applied research of cultural and scientific heritage of Lusophone islands articulated with the aim of renewing and enriching the educational content of Lusophone universities and the territories of island diasporas originating from the Atlantic islands. Based on a markedly interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary epistemology, with a main focus on the area of Arts and Humanities, the primary purpose of this Chair is to stimulate research on the tangible and intangible heritage of the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic islands, in order to contribute to their more systematic and thorough knowledge. This critical knowledge will favour the appreciation of the islands in terms of international cultural and scientific dissemination, the development of the tourism industry and other applications in terms of asserting their cultural heritage worldwide.
With the increasing proliferation of nesology studies at an international level, through the establishment of institutions in different countries with an insular geography, there was a pressing need for the creation, in a Portuguese university, of a Chair dedicated to the study of islands connected to Portugal in historical, political and cultural terms.
This Chair, from the general area of cultural studies, will convene the most diverse scientific fields in order to develop research projects and advanced training, based on the objective of obtaining results marked by transversality and by the complexity of the analysis, to update the knowledge about the forms of cultural and scientific creation in an insular environment.
The creation of this Chair is part of the programmatic projection of the relevance of insular geography in the twenty-first century defended by Grant McCall, who considered our time to be the island millennium. In light of this conviction turned slogan, a debate and scientific research program was carried out in the framework of global organizations such as UNESCO in order to know the role of islands in the context of hypermodern societies and networks currently being broadened in the process of globalization. Scientific communities are increasingly aware of the distinctive positioning of islands and their archipelago networks in the retrospective and prospective study of these extra-continental areas, taking into account their geostrategic importance and their cultural identity and peculiarities.
With the overall objective to establish itself as a centre to foster research and teaching of topics related to insularity within the framework of the Atlantic islands, particularly Lusophone islands or those connected to the Community of Portuguese- Speaking Countries, specific objectives are as follows: a) foster studies in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective about island cultures, b) develop a scientific exchange platform with international institutions dedicated to the study of islands, c) build an Internet portal with the purpose of disseminating research taking place at an international level about islands and the insular condition, d) to promote cultural and scientific events, including seminars, conferences, meetings, concerts and exhibitions, e) raise resources and fund scholarships to promote research and teaching on island cultures, f) offer advanced training in the area of island studies, g) promote the creation of systematic instruments of knowledge about the island cultural universes, h) make a thorough literature review to provide a road map of sources and study books, constantly being updated in a database on the Chair website, i) create critically annotated editions of previously unpublished and little known works from the cultural heritage of the Atlantic islands, j) set up a media lab for the production of advanced content in order to provide the basis for education programs, especially in e- learning mode, as well as educational and cultural multimedia contents allowing the dissemination of scientific knowledge about the island cultural realities.
Having the Aberta University as its host institution, the Chair also counts as partners the following institutions, including the main Portuguese universities and research centres, as well as relevant international universities: Aberta University; Brown University; University of Madeira; University of the Azores; University of Cape Verde; Coimbra University; Portuguese Catholic University - Braga; University of Algarve; University of Alcalá de Henares; University of Santiago de Compostela; University of Minho; CHAM - New University of Lisbon; Carism - University of Paris II; Federal University of Santa Catarina; Centre of Camonian Studies of the University of Coimbra; University of Birmingham; University of Chemnitz; University of Hawaii; University of Sydney; and the University of Bamberg.