General description

IHA is a R&D Unit hosted by FCSH-NOVA and a full member of the international RIHA network. It is the sole Art History funded Unit in Portugal and its relevance is evidenced by the number of post-doctoral researchers (58, of which 1 FCT contract & 21 FCT fellows) and PhD students (35 FCT fellows), by the quality of its scientific outputs, growing international networking, and capacity for attracting partnerships and funding.
In 2007 IHA went through a process of reorganization and reorientation of its research policy that resulted in a major improvement of the Unit’s work. As consequence, IHA’s was scored “Very Good” in 2007 and 2013 evaluations processes. The budget obtained in this last evaluation did not allow IHA to directly hire researchers for reinforcing strategic areas but this restriction was balanced by IHA researchers’ capacity of attracting external funding (despite the crisis) and their success in FCT competitive calls for projects and scholarships.
IHA has a flexible and democratic structure enhanced by its management framework and by the diverse backgrounds and affiliations of its researchers – several affiliated with other universities (Lisboa, Porto, Évora, Aberta, Autónoma), museums, heritage administration, and the Lisbon City Council. It has grown into a cohesive community of researchers committed to the excellence of individual and group research, and knowledge transfer within a motivating scientific and educational environment.
IHA’s democratic footprint is boosted by the autonomy of its five research groups. All groups approach art history in its broadest sense, considering visual and material culture, museum, heritage, urban studies and art theory. Two Thematic Lines intersect and connect groups’ activities: “The Exhibition: theory and practices” and “Cultural transfers in a global perspective”. Multidisciplinary perspectives and encounters are encouraged in IHA’s overall activities, especially via Clusters’ activities (platforms to foster external collaborations).
IHA is a Unit of high level education and peer dialogue, that promotes the integration of its members in international networks. It is also project-oriented. Groups trigger and run research projects. IHA’s Board and Core Scientific Committee discuss these projects and their articulations with IHA’s Strategic Programme and Thematic Lines.
IHA’s work is committed to Portuguese art history, but is by no means confined to it. Not only interrogations prompted by Portuguese art history entwine with general art historical questions, but also Portuguese historical relations with other geographies is conspicuous (European, Asian, African and American).
R&D projects articulate basic and applied research (EU and FCT projects and seed projects funded by the Unit). Their development involves close cooperation with the academia – IHA actively participates in 3 FCSH-NOVA PhD programmes (Art History, Urban studies, Artistic Studies), while also collaborating in CORES programme from FCT-NOVA -, as well as international and national networking: partnerships with museums, foundations, city councils, heritage sites, urban regenerating agents, private institutions privileging the study of materials, archives, collections, or education and dissemination strategies, and those surveying the impact of cultural consumption and the growth of tourism. These partnerships are designed to involve PhD, MA and/or BA students through internships and scholarships.
IHA’s networking is an essential aspect of its internationalization, grounding the mobility of its members and the growing dissemination of their research. IHA’s open-access and peer review editorial policy is also key in this process. IHA assures positions within the RIHA Journal board of editors, and publishes 2 peer-reviewed journals: Revista de História da Arte (whose paper version is sponsored by Millenium bcp), and Revista de História da Arte – W series devoted to the online edition of conference proceedings.