This research group is defined by a commitment to forms of textual transit, cultural transfer, and intermediality. Temporally, it focuses on modern and contemporary literatures and cultures, with occasional extensions to other periods.

Its goals largely coincide with the following areas of academic inquiry:

1.  the cultures of Ireland and Britain, relations and representations: the priority given to Ireland in the group’s name is a foundational trait in which Relational Forms takes pride. Indeed, our focus on Irish texts and cultural forms makes us the only structured research venture in Portugal with a sustained and continuous Irish dimension since 2004. However, our inquiry extends to the textual dynamics that mark other cultures in the British Isles, considered from a doubly exogenous perspective – our Portuguese vantage point, and the critical perspective gained through the Irish bias;

2.  texts in transit 1, translations, appropriations, rewritings: the group understands translation as referring to more processes than interlingual transit. It also explores homologies between the culturally exogenous approach described under 1 above, and the relations between literature and other practices, verbal and non-verbal media;

3.  texts in transit 2, intermedial transfer; literature and the visual arts;

4.  texts in transit 3, time, space, experience: literature encounters biography, historiography, geography.

Relational Forms VIII

Love and Sex in Literature and the Arts since the 1960s

12-14 October 2023 

an international conference hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal and organised by CETAPS




Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Carol Chillington Rutter (University of Warwick)
  • Glenn Patterson (Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s Univ. Belfast)
  • Linda Troost (Washington & Jefferson College) and
  • Sayre Greenfield (Univ. Pittsburgh-Greensburg)

This conference will focus on how perceptions and representations of intimacy have impacted imaginative production, especially literature and the visual / performative arts, since the 1960s. It derives its pretext from the sixty years that have passed since the date (dubiously) celebrated in Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Annus Mirabilis’, with its sardonic opening: ‘Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three’.
Taking its cue from these memorable lines, our programme will privilege the non-linear and often perplexing ways in which love and sex have been addressed, troped and narrated by writers and artists over the past six decades, and the aesthetic, ethical and political challenges posed by their representations.
As indicated by the number in its title, this conference is the eighth in a series of academic events that reflect the ongoing concerns of the eponymous research group (Relational Forms), based at CETAPS (the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies). The group’s rationale and remit entail that our conferences centrally address the cultures of Ireland and Britain – but we warmly welcome contributions bearing on other literary and artistic cultures.

The organisers will welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to the above.

Suggested (merely indicative) topics include:

  • love and sex in literature and/or the arts – release and celebration;
  • love and sex in literature and/or the arts – oppression and pathos;
  • intimacy, creativity and repression: censorship;
  • the ethics and politics of intimacy: private and public in literature and/or the arts;
  • intimacy and the theatre: stage business;
  • intimacy on screen: evolving ethics and aesthetics;
  • intimacy and the politics of translation;
  • intimacy and the politics of adaptation;
  • intimacy and life writing;
  • love, sex and museum cultures: the ethics and politics of exposure;
  • love, sex and the evolving media: from print to digital platforms;


 Submissions should be sent by email to

Please include RF8 in the subject line of your email and organise your proposal into two separate files:

  • a file containing the full title and a 250-300 word description of your paper;
  • a file containing the author’s data: name, affiliation, contact address, paper title and author’s bio-note (150 words).

Please name these two documents as follows:

  • Surname_Name_Abstract_RF8
  • Surname_Name_AuthorInfo_RF8


Deadline for proposals: 4 June 2023

Notification of acceptance: 15 June 2023

Deadline for registration: 20 September 2023

Registration Fee: 90 Euros

Student fee: 70 Euros

Registration details will be posted online in July 2023


All delegates are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation.

More information available later at


Organised by the Relational Forms research area

 Executive Committee:

Rui Carvalho Homem (coord.) | Jorge Bastos da Silva | Miguel Ramalhete Gomes | Jorge Almeida e Pinho | Márcia Lemos | Katarzyna Pisarska | Mark Wakefield

For further queries please contact:

CETAPS – Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies – Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto – Via Panorâmica, s/n


 Supported by FCT through national funds on UIDB/04097/2020 project.



Close Relations – The CETAPS Lectures on Literature, Culture, Theatre and Translation

Recorded November 10th 2022

Professor Frances Dickey (University of Missouri)



Close Relations – The CETAPS Lectures on Literature, Culture, Theatre and Translation

11 November 2022 14:30 / 2:30 pm WEST

Professor Declan Kiberd (Université de Notre Dame)



Close Relations – The CETAPS Lectures on Literature, Culture, Theatre and Translation

14 October 2022 14:30 / 2:30 pm WEST

Professor Michael Cronin (Trinity College, Dublin)



    Close Relations – The CETAPS Lectures on Literature, Culture, Theatre and Translation

29 September 2022 18:00 / 6:00 pm WEST

Professor Claire Connolly (University College Cork)

                                                                                                                                   Live streaming at:

Relational Forms VII

Modernity and its Wake:

Remembering and Reimagining 1922

10-12 November 2022
an international conference hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal

and organised by CETAPS
in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Gualter Cunha (Univ. Porto)
Frances Dickey (Univ. Missouri)
Declan Kiberd (Univ. Notre Dame)
Fran O’Rourke (Univ. College Dublin)

Relational Forms VI

Imag(in)ing the Nation:

Literature, the Arts and Processes of National Construction

2 – 4 December 2021

an international conference hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Porto, Portugal







Close Relations – The CETAPS Lectures on Literature, Culture, Theatre and Translation

Close Relations is the title of a new annual lecture series that prompts major academics in the Humanities to interrogate strands in western imaginative production from early modernity to postmodernity. The initial impulse for this series came from two research areas, Relational Forms and Shakespeare and the English Canon, embedded in the Porto branch of CETAPS – the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies; but, in its deliberately broad range, the series will resonate with most of the Centre’s defining research concerns.
In its inaugural year, the series will feature the following lectures:


1 July 2021, 18.00 / 6.00pm WEST




Peter Holland  

(McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, University of Notre Dame;

Chair, The International Shakespeare Association)

When is King Lear not King Lear?’ (YouTube link





30 September 2021, 18.00 / 6.00pm WET



Lawrence Venuti 

(Professor Emeritus, College of Liberal Arts, Temple University) 

‘On a Universal Tendency to Debase Retranslations; or, 

The Instrumentalism of a Translation Fixation’ 






12 November 2021, 18.00 / 6.00pm WET



Maud Ellmann 

(Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago)

Borderation:  Fictions of the Northern Irish Border’ (YouTube link)







3 December 2021, 18.00 / 6.00pm WET

Roy Foster (Emeritus Professor of Irish History, University of Oxford; Professor of Irish history and Literature, Queen Mary University of London),

Writing in the Margins: partitioned identities in Irish literature” (YouTube link)



Close Relations – The CETAPS lectures

Literature and the Arts since the 1960s


World into Word. The fam Vision of Seamus Heaney

Relational Forms V. Capital and the Imagination: Literature, Arts and Moderns Finance

Relational Forms IV. Literature and the Arts since the 1960s: Protest, Identity and the Imagination


Atlantic communities: Translation, mobility, hospitality

2nd International Conference Atlantic Communities: Translation | Conflict | Belief | Ideology

English Literature and the Disciplines of Knowledge, Early Modern to Eighteenth Century – A Trade for Light

Exchanges Between Literature and Science from the 1800s to the 2000s: Converging Realms


Cultures of Commemoration 2016 lecture

Collaboration with the Irish Embassy and ULICES, the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies, in the programme for St. Patrick’s Festival Lisboa 2016.
This took the form of a lecture by Rui Carvalho Homem on ‘Cultures of Commemoration: the Case of Ireland’ –

Autumn 2016: an international conference on literature, rhetoric and legitimation – apropos the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme.

Relational Forms III Imagining Europe: Wars, Territories, Identities Representations in Literature and the Arts