Professor Francisco Bethencourt
Charles Boxer Professor
College Staff Committee
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1827
Address Department of History
King’s College London
London WC2R 2LS
Research interests and PhD supervision
Francisco Bethencourt is Charles Boxer Professor and a leading authority on the history of the Portuguese-speaking World. He also specialised in religious history and the relations between Europe and the World. Prior to joining King’s College London in 2005, Francisco lectured at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He gained his PhD in History and Civilisation at the European University Institute (Florence). He was Visiting Professor at the Universidade de São Paulo and Brown University (1993, 1995, 1998). He was director of the National Library of Portugal (1996-8) and the Gulbenkian Cultural Centre in Paris (1999-2004). He has been a member of the Advisory Councils of the Warburg Institute and the Institute for the Study of the Americas (University of London), the Committee on Early Modern History (Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne), and the Centre for the Study of Religious History, Catholic University of Portugal (Lisbon)
Professor Francisco Bethencourt is also the co-ordinator of Portuguese PhD studentships and sponsorship protocols at King’s College London.
World History: Racism and Civil Rights
World History: Power and Inequality
European Expansion: 15th-19th century
Religious History and the Inquisition
Identities and Cultural Exchange in the Iberian World
Francisco Bethencourt has written the first comparative history of the Inquisition, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, published in six countries (France, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom and Serbia). He co-edited the first comprehensive history of the Portuguese expansion in five volumes, from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, in which he published fourteen chapters. He has extensively published on the history of the Portuguese-speaking world and European expansion, namely on comparative organizational culture. He has been engaged with religious and political history, national identities and cultural exchange. He published a monograph on the history of magic in sixteenth century Portugal and compared southern European magic. He published and edited over 100 items. He worked in thirty archives in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Brazil, France and the United Kingdom. Recently Francisco completed a new monograph on the History of Racism. He is preparing a new project on inequality in world history.
Professor Francisco Bethencourt would particularly welcome applications from research students interested in topics relating to:
European Expansion (15th-19th centuries)
Missions and Religious History in the Catholic World
Inquisition in Southern Europe and overseas
World history: racism and inequality
For more details, please see his full research profile.
Francisco Bethencourt, Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century (forthcoming 2013, Princeton University Press)
Francisco Bethencourt and Denis Crouzet (eds.) Les frontières religieuses. Rejets et passages, dissimulation et contrebande spirituelle (forthcoming 2013, Presses Universitaires de Paris-Sorbonne)
Francisco Bethencourt and Adrian Pearce (eds.), Racism and Ethnic Relations in the Portuguese-Speaking World (London/Oxford: British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2012)
Francisco Bethencourt , The Inquisition. A Global History, 1478-1834 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Francisco Bethencourt and Florike Egmond (eds.), Correspondence and Cultural Exchange in Europe 1400-1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
For a complete list of publications, please see Francisco's full research profile
Expertise and Public Engagement
4AAH1004 Power, Culture and Belief in Europe 1500-1800
5AAH1007 Religion and Society in Southern Europe
5AAH1008 History of the Iberian World (1492-1822)
5AAH1009 World History: Material Culture (1500-1900)
5AAH1010 World History: Power & Inequality (1500-1900)
7AAH2002 Approaches to Early Modern History
7AAH2012 European Expansion: Ethnic Prejudices and Civil Rights (1500-1850)
Professor Francisco Bethencourt was Director of the Gulbenkian Foundation Cultural Centre in Paris (1999-2004) and Director of the National Library of Portugal (1996-1998). He has been a member of the ‘Commission de Spécialistes en Histoire Moderne at the Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne (since 2009); a member of the Steering Committee of the Vasco da Gama Chair on European Colonization and Decolonization at the European University Institute (since 2009); a member of the Advisory Councils of the Warburg Institute (since 2007), the Institute for the Study of the Americas (since 2006), and the Centre for the study of Religious History, Catholic University of Portugal (Lisbon). He is a consultant of the European Research Council and the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal)
Francisco Bethencourt is a member of the Academia Europaea. He was a member of the editorial team of the series ‘Empires in Perspective’ at Pickering and Chatto (2006-12). He is at the editorial board of Portuguese Studies.
Francisco Bethencourt is the co-ordinator of Portuguese PhD studentships and sponsorship protocols at King’s College London. He is a member of the College Staff Committee.