Spring 2012 Courses

POR 522, Introduction to Portuguese Linguistics (3 credits)

Professor Gláucia Silva

Tue 3:30-6:00 pm

This course is an introduction to the study of linguistics as it applies to the Portuguese language. The main goal of the course is to describe and explain certain features (phonological, syntactic, morphological) of the Portuguese language. We will also consider aspects of the interaction between language and society. Class time will be divided between lecture and group work. This course is intended to speakers and advanced learners of Portuguese and will facilitate the understanding (and the teaching) of language mechanisms. Portuguese is the primary language of instruction and discussion.


POR 620/720, Seminar in Portuguese Literature and Culture; topic: Revisiting Portuguese Literature through Fernando Pessoa (3 credits)

Professor Victor Mendes

Wed 3:30-6:00 pm

This seminar focuses on Portuguese (and some non-Portuguese) literature as represented in the work of the Fernando Pessoa. How can we describe his specific responses to the Portuguese and Western literary traditions? How did Pessoa respond to Camões, Vieira, Cesário, Pessanha, Shakespeare, Keats, Nietzsche, and to his contemporaries Sá-Carneiro and Botto? Were Pessoa’s interpretations of tradition misreadings? Is there a successor of Pessoa? Amongst the main texts to be analyzed are Pessoa’s prose works, including his Livro do Desassossego (ed. Richard Zenith). The approach to this and other works will be informed by the study of our contemporary schools of thought and analysis in the humanities from POR 610/710. The main item of student evaluation will be the term paper (25 pages for the PhD level; 20 pages for the MA level).


POR 650/750, Comparative Studies in the Portuguese-Speaking World; topic: South Atlantic Culture and History (3 credits)

Professor Luiz Felipe Alencastro

Mon 3:30-6 pm

This is a survey course on South Atlantic culture and history from the 16th to the 21th century. Topics will focus on the differences and similarities in North Atlantic and South Atlantic history, societies, and cultures; the connections linking Brazil to Angola, Senegambia, the gulf of Guinea, Mozambique and Buenos Aires; the Luso-Brazilian slave trade and the transformation of the Brazilian territory, culture and society in the 18th century; the Indian policy, literature and ideology in Brazil in 18th and 19th century; comparison between the slavery in Brazil, Cuba and the United States in 19th century; the colonial question in Portugal and Angola and the political and cultural controversies on slavery, Afro-Brazilians and European and Asian immigration in Brazil during the 19th and 20th centuries (discussion on the writings of Gonçalves Dias, Gonçalves de Magalhães, Alexandre Herculano e Oliveira Martins); the Portuguese colonial policy, Luso-tropicalism and the Brazilian diplomacy after the Second World War; the relationship between Brazil and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa after 1974; the presence of Brazilians in independent Angola and Mozambique; the Afro-Brazilian and Amerindian population, quotas and affirmative action in present-day Brazil. We will discuss Portuguese, Brazilian and Angolan historiography and literary works and movies pertaining to these subjects (for instance, Carlos Diegues’ “Ganga Zumba”, 1963, or/and “Quilombo”, 1984, and Manoel de Oliveira’s “Non, ou a vã glória de mandar”, 1990, and/or “Palavra e Utopia”, 2000).