Luís Espinha da Silveira was a 19th century history scholar and a music lover. He brought it to the classroom to talk about the struggles between Liberals and Absolutists. Recently, in the celebrations of the Bicentenary of the Liberal Revolution of 1820, to which he dedicated with strong enthusiasm, he intended to take the music of the liberal era to S. Carlos and to the streets of Lisbon.
Professor, researcher, a demanding academic, with himself and with colleagues, he belonged to the founding nucleus of NOVA FCSH in 1977-1978, its History Department and, later, in 1990, the Institute of Contemporary History.
Outspoken, without fear of the battles that always take place when reforms and changes are made - and he was involved or coordinated several: in the coordination of the Department of History, in the curricular reform of 2001-2002; at the NOVA FCSH Board of Directors, in the 2006 Bologna curriculum reform; at NOVA's Rectory, as pro-Rector, in the reform of doctorates or in the implementation of the Teaching Quality Assurance System, between 2007 and 2011.
There have been many students since 1977, there have been many research projects, national and international, many publications, master's and doctoral guidelines. And he was demanding with the students, because he believed that they could always do more and better.
During 44 years of dedication to NOVA FCSH, he gave us innovation and a permanent insistence that we think “outside the box”. In research and teaching, he was a pioneer in the connections between History and the Digital Humanities, he was decisive for the creation and maintenance of an Information Management and Curation area, he was visionary in stimulating a look at Environmental History, he made school with studies on the State, territory and society. He made us leave our “comfort zone”, not conforming to the limits of the 19th century and Portuguese territory. For him, the long duration was important, the comparative history was decisive, the transnational perspective that he brought to classes, to orientations, to projects, to what he published.
"He was a scholar of rare quality, a respected and esteemed professor, someone with international and innovative research. He was also distinguished by his loyalty to friends, values and causes and his obstinacy towards the latter", recalls the Rector of NOVA, João Sàágua.
At NOVA we are in mourning and join the family of Professor Espinha da Silveira to whom we express the most heartfelt condolences.