M. Luísa Sousa



M. Luísa Sousa

Academic title(s)



CIUHCT – Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology


Department of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, NOVA University of Lisbon


Post-doctoral researcher and invited assistant professor


CIUHCT, DCSA, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da UNL, Campus de Caparica, Edif. VII, Piso 2

Zip code

2829-516 Caparica




(+351) 21 294 85 03

Visible Email Address


Short biography

M. Luísa Sousa is a post-doc researcher and an invited assistant professor at the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT), at the Department of Applied Social Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of NOVA University of Lisboa.
Her on-going post-doc project is about the post-World War II development of highway engineering, both in Portugal and in two of its former colonies, Angola, and Mozambique, discussing USA’s influence (the “Americanization” of Europe), development discourses, and center(s) and periphery(ies) relationships. This project is financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, FCT).
She is also a member of the FCT’s financed research project “Engineering the Anthropocene: Colonial Science, Technology and Medicine and the changing of the African landscape,” coordinated by Maria Paula Diogo, and of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) financed project “The Cultural Politics of Sustainable Urban Mobility, 1890-Present”, coordinated by Ruth Oldenziel.
Her PhD dissertation (concluded in 2013), also financed by FCT (framed in a co-tutelle agreement between NOVA University of Lisbon and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle) on the construction of the automobility socio-technical system in Portugal (1920-1950), was published in July 2016.
She is a member of international associations for the History of Technology (Society for the History of Technology – SHOT; International Committee for the History of Technology – ICOHTEC; Tensions of Europe – ToE; Science and Technology in the European Periphery – STEP) and for the History of Mobility (International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility – T2M). She is also a member of T2M Executive Committee and its treasurer.
Since September 2017, she serves as Chief Editor for HoST – Journal for the History of Science and Technology and served has a referee for the journals The Journal of Transport History, History of Technology, and Transfers – Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies.

She has been nominated SHOT International Scholar (2004-2005). In the 2008 T2M conference, her co-authored paper (with Álvaro Ferreira da Silva) was awarded the Dr. Cornelius Lely Prize on mobility history and policy, which was annually awarded to best paper presented connecting history with current problems of policy and planning. She was also awarded in 2017 with a special mention of the 2017 DHST Prize for Young Scholars (IUHPST/DHST) and the prize “Publicações Internacionais de Jovens Investigadores” of the Portuguese Association APHES.

Recent publications

(with Cláudia Ninhos) “The nationalization of the Portuguese landscape: Landscape architecture, road engineering and the making of the Estado Novo dictatorship”, In Closing the Door on Globalization: Internationalism, Nationalism, Culture and Science in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Cláudia Ninhos e Fernando Clara (eds.), 107-143. Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2017;

Sousa, M. Luísa, “Roads for the 1940 Portuguese Nationality Commemorations: Modernising by excess in a context of scarcity”, The Journal of Transport History, 37, no. 2 (2016): 175-193;

A Mobilidade Automóvel em Portugal [Automobilitity in Portugal], 1920-1950 (Lisboa: Chiado Editora, 2016) (with a Preface by Frank Schipper);

“Colonial Centres and Peripheries: Low-cost Roads and Portuguese Engineers in the 1950s.” In Peripheral Flows: A Historical Perspective on Mobilities between Cores and Fringes, edited by Simone Fari and Massimo Moraglio, 169-188. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

Role in Tensions of Europe

Participant, Early Career Network

Research interests

Mobilty, Environment

Additional research interests

Colonial history