Description of the Research Area
Anglo-Portuguese Studies is one of CETAPS’s founding research areas. It was launched in 1981 under the coordination of Maria Leonor Machado de Sousa. In October 2013 Maria Zulmira Castanheira took over as coordinator of the Area. As made clear by its title, the research team focuses mainly on the study of historical, literary and cultural relations between Portugal and Great Britain from an inter- and multidisciplinary perspective, undertaking in particular the study of mutual national representations, image studies and comparative literary studies. Its work, developed over more than thirty years, is informed by the methods proper to cultural imagology studies, reception studies, comparativism and translation studies, as particularly attested to by the articles published by the team’s members in the long-established annual peer-reviewed academic journal Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses, issues 1-27, 1990-2018 (MIAR, LATINDEX and SCOPUS). The team has particularly developed pioneering work in the study of British travel writing on Portugal and the reception of British culture in the Portuguese periodical press, two extremely fertile fields for imagology studies, and will continue its research in these two areas in the future.
The team comprises 14 integrated researchers from the areas of Literature, Culture and History, who conduct teaching activity at several Portuguese university and polytechnic institutions. A further 17 collaborators (some of whom PhDs) also conduct research, including PhD students. The team’s IP holds a PhD in Anglo-Portuguese Studies, as do a further 9 members of the group, which attests to the team’s wide-ranging experience in this research area. The remaining members hold PhDs in Hispanic Studies, Portuguese Studies, English Literature and History of Political Ideas. The diversity of these backgrounds brings added value to the group, which privileges the interdisciplinary approaches necessary for the analysis and understanding of the complex phenomena it researches. Such variety gives the members of the team the opportunity to familiarize themselves with methods of research outside their field of expertise and promotes a more fruitful approach to the investigation by providing different critical insights into how questions can be explored.
During 2008-2012, two research projects were concluded which reflect the team’s interest in also furthering in-depth knowledge of episodes and influential figures in Anglo-Portuguese relations: Portrayals of the Peninsular War: from the Novel to the Screen (a project focused on the literary and cinematographic portrayal of the Peninsular War in Portugal and which created an inventory of narratives and films set in Portugal between 1807 and 1812) and The Marquis of Pombal and his Time As Seen by British Eyes (a project focused on how Pombal was considered by British authors and Pombal’s tense relations with the British community in Portugal).
At present three research projects are active, namely Anglophone Travellers in Portugal, Great Britain in the Portuguese Periodical Press and Portugal: Abroad – Images from British and North American Contemporary Fiction about Portugal, the latter studying novels published in English referring to Portugal as fictional scenery.
The first was launched in 1981 and remains open-ended. After having carried out in-depth studies of travel narratives produced by British authors on the subject of Portugal during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, research work which has already produced a significant number of dissertations and a vast number of articles, in the past few years researchers have begun to treat twentieth century British and North American travel accounts on Portugal. This trend opens up new prospects for this project in coming years. At the same time , the VAP Base (Viajantes Anglófonos em Portugal/ Anglophone Travellers in Portugal), an online database which brings together the bibliographic and thematic findings obtained during the course of this project and which can be accessed at no cost to the user, will continue to be updated. It has attracted interest on the part of researchers in different areas (literature, history, music, architecture, gender studies).
The project Great Britain in the Portuguese Periodical Press , which emerged from two doctoral dissertations on the reception of British culture in the Portuguese periodical press up to 1890 by two of the Group’s integrated researchers, will also have a significant boost in the coming years. The aim is now to compile a record of findings and the study of the penetration of British culture in Portugal as displayed in the periodical press from the 1890 Ultimatum until 1974. Given the vast volume of material to study, and which will be confronted with news of Portugal published in the British periodical press of the same time, this project will need to be developed in planned stages, starting with the period 1890-1918.
In the coming years the team will provide continuity to both its VAP Base and the E-Dicionário de Termos Literários and will develop two new, recently created online databases: the E-Dictionary of Portuguese Travel Writing, an online open access dictionary on Portuguese travel writing from the Middle Ages to the present; and the E-Bibliography of Anglo-Portuguese Studies, a thematic bibliography directed at the general public and researchers interested in the relations between Anglophone and Lusophone countries. These databases represent a greater investment of the team in applied research in the near future.
Team’s goals for 2019-2022:
From 2019 to 2022 the research team’s purpose will remain the study of cultural relations between Portugal and the English-speaking world, with an emphasis on narrative cross-relations and mutual representations in English and Portuguese texts, and applying in such analysis the conceptual tools of image studies, comparative literary studies, reception studies and postcolonial studies. The work to be developed will interrogate, analyse and theorize a variety of phenomena related to identity constructs, representations of space in their relation to culture and intercultural mobility and mediation. Issues of European identity and memory will be addressed, as well as Europe’s relations with the East, thus contributing towards the aim of fostering a greater understanding of Europe.
The team will carry out basic research mainly in 5 fields:
- Literary representations of Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world in 19th, 20th and 21st century British and North-American travel writing and fiction / Representations of the Anglophone world in Portuguese literature;
- Portrayals of British communities residing in Portugal at present, with particular incidence in the Algarve region (partnerships with local secondary schools and municipal councils to be established);
- The British propaganda at the time of World War II, its diffusion to the Portuguese public and reaction of the Portuguese authorities to the entrance of this material in national territory;
- Portuguese and British periodical press (cross-referencing Portuguese and British press discourse with a view to studying mutual perceptions and different representational strategies and analysing the centre-periphery relation);
- Literature and Comparative Postcolonial Studies (Macau and Goa): partnerships with University of Macau, ILMR and King’s College, London, and Sorbonne Nouvelle.
Planned international conferences, with specially invited overseas speakers:
- International Conference on Travel Writing (to mark the 3rd centenary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe) (2019);
- International Conference “Historical Fiction, Fictional History and Historical Reality”(6-8 March 2020, partnership with CHAM);
- International Conference to mark the 2nd centenary of the Portuguese Liberal Revolution of 1820 (2020) (possible partnerships with other research units);
- 3rd International Conference on Anglo-Portuguese Studies (2021);
- International Conference related either to the research project on the British communities currently established in Portugal or the British propaganda at the time of the Second World War and its diffusion in Portugal (2022).