Description of the Research Group
Anglo-Portuguese Studies is one of CETAPS’s founding research groups. 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 Group. As made clear by its title, the Group 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 Group’s members in the long-established annual peer-reviewed academic journal Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses(issues 1-23, 1990-2014). The Group 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 group comprises 16 integrated researchers from the areas of Literature, Culture and History, who conduct teaching activity at several Portuguese university and polytechnic institutions. A further 24 collaborators (some of whom PhDs) also conduct research, including PhD students. The group’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 group 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 group’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 , t he VAP Base (Viajantes Anglófonos em 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 Group will also provide continuity to both its VAP Base and the E-Dicionário de Termos Literários and will develop the new, recently created online databases. In 2014, a year of transition from the projects that are already under way to the preparation of the research projects designed by the team for the period 2015-2020, three new online databases were launched: the E-Dictionary of Portuguese Travel Writing, an online open access dictionary on Portuguese travel writing from the Middle Ages to the present; the E-Dictionary of Anglo-Portuguese Relations, an online dictionary to facilitate access to the data accumulated over several years regarding the centuries-long relation between Portugal and Britain; 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 Group in applied research in the near future.