Courses & Syllabi

Fall 2017 Courses 


POR 720.01. Lying in Portuguese (3 credits)

Prof. Victor Mendes

Mon 4:00-6:30 pm. Room: LARTS 103

Abstract. Fernando Pessoa wrote in The Book of Disquiet [1913-1934]: "The most abject of all needs is to confide, to confess. It's the soul's need to externalize. // Go ahead and confess, but confess what you don't feel. Go ahead and tell your secrets to get their weight out of your soul, but let the secrets you tell be secrets you've never had. // Lie to yourself before you tell that truth. Expressing yourself is always a mistake. Be resolutely conscious: let expression, for you, be synonymous with lying" (trans. Richard Zenith). In this seminar, we will explore possible connections between lying in a Pessoan sense and Jacques Derrida's doctrine about lying, namely about the exteriority of writing in Grammatology (1967), to commemorate his seminal work's 50th anniversary. Another axis of research will investigate the topic of lying in the canon of Portuguese literature as understood by Pessoa.



POR 781.01. Queer Theory In/Out of Context: Contemporary Brazilian Fiction (3 credits)

Prof. Christopher Larkosh

Tue 4:00-6:30 pm. Room: LARTS 120

Abstract. This seminar will provide both a comprehensive introduction to seminal works of queer theory, from seminal texts by Sedgwick and Butler to more recent, yet no less influential, works by Halberstam, Love and Muñoz, among others. Our objective is to examine how discussions of gender and sexuality might unfold differently when placed into dialogue with the some of most important works of Brazilian queer fiction (Abreu, Santiago, Bueno, Noll).  How are intersectional questions posed differently, not to mention questions of inequality and marginality, whether societal, institutional, or transnational? Ultimately, we will ask: how can re-readings, taken 'out of context,' whether that of a particular US queer theoretical canon or of a broader (inter)cultural/linguistic milieu, inform or complicate representations of Brazilian queerness--or perhaps more importantly, vice versa?



POR 650.01. Comparative Studies in the Port-Speaking World - Portugal-Talk (3 credits)

Prof. Miguel Tamen - Visiting Professor, Lisbon

Wed 4:00-6:00 pm. Room: LARTS 103

Abstract: Can a country be described? How would you describe it to a native? To a child? To a foreigner? Are natives' descriptions better than other descriptions?  Can you claim knowledge of a country? If so, why? Questions such as these will be addressed through the particular concept: Portugal-talk.
In this class "Portugal-talk" will not be understood as a genre, but merely as descriptive talk referring to Portugal, the country. We will read and discuss a number of late 19th and 20th century texts by Portuguese writers, some of them important writers such as Raul Brandão, Miguel Esteves Cardoso, António Nobre and Fernando Pessoa: travel guides, textbooks, anthropological journalism, fiction, poetry, and essays. Additional philosophical and anthropological texts will be discussed. The perspective will thus be fully comparative.




 Course information and syllabi from previous semesters available online: