The Institute of Contemporary History (IHC) is a research centre of excellence in its field, the largest Portuguese centre for historical research in the moderna and contemporary periods, with centres at the NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities (NOVA FCSH, in Lisbon) and the University of Évora. It is composed of a multidisciplinary team of about two hundred researchers and five specialised science managers.
The IHC is the only Portuguese History research centre to participate in an Associate Laboratory, the recently created IN2PAST, the Associate Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Heritage, Arts, Sustainability and Territory. Associated Laboratories are elite units created by the Portuguese state to develop research careers and to mobilise science to support public policies. In addition, the IHC hosts the Digital Humanities Laboratory, an interdisciplinary space where knowledge in the Arts and Humanities converges with methodologies from Computer Sciences. The IHC thus fosters interdisciplinary approaches and covers a wide range of topics concerning the conceptualisation, contextualisation and interpretation of historical reality for the period from the late 18th century to the present day.
With a strong internationalisation strategy, it is the understanding of the IHC that it is necessary to overcome the limits of methodological nationalism and foster the critical practice of comparative, transnational, and global history, as well as to consider the centrality of the colonial and anti-colonial question for the history of the contemporary world and, in particular, of Portugal.
Being part of the IHC therefore means being part of a multicultural, creative, collaborative, and publicly engaged environment that brings together researchers from the fields of History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Sociology, Arts, Biology, among others. As a research centre in modern and contemporary history working on a wide range of topics, we regularly collaborate with the media, museums, archives, municipalities, and secondary schools. All these activities are framed in a Programme for History in the Public Sphere, which promotes the IHC’s intervention in non-academic settings.