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 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)

This conference will ponder the legacies of 1922, an annus mirabilis for the literatures of modernity – within the English language, but also, more broadly, in global cultures. It will discuss literary aesthetics, but also the complex social and political contours of such legacies.

1922 witnessed the publication of two of the greatest literary monuments of the past century. In Ulysses, James Joyce decanted a formidably wide scope of human experience in the narrative of a single day in the life of a small group of fairly undistinguished characters. T. S. Eliot’s broadly evocative The Waste Land may be held as the epitome of the modern/ist (anti-)epic. Both works acknowledged and challenged the impacts of myth, religion and literature on cultural memory, and did so with a vividness that combined with boldly experimental techniques to depict a world that no longer offered security and solace. Joyce and Eliot may therefore be taken as representative of an engagement with the past that fuels modernism’s approach to modernity just as it strives to define itself as a break, and often a violent break, with the intellectual legacies of former ages. Works like Ulysses and The Waste Land contributed to the constitution of a watershed moment in contemporary cultural history, as borne in the fortunes of the term “postmodernism” for the period that followed.

Relational Forms VII commemorates the centenary of Joyce’s Ulysses and Eliot’s The Waste Land by addressing their artistic, philosophical, and sociopolitical wake. It will encourage a focus on articulations of modernity as manifested in the imaginative production of the intervening century. The focus of the conference is accordingly broad and international, as well as intermedial, in keeping with the rationale that has been guiding the Relational Forms research group. The organisers will welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to the above. Suggested (merely indicative) topics include:
• modernism across boundaries: nations, styles, generations, disciplines
• modernism, modernity and philosophical traditions
• the modern as reverberation / reinvention / rejection of the past
• echoes of modernism: modernity and late/post-modernity
• domesticating the revolutionary: modernism canonized
• the politics of modern(ist) art
• modernism and spirituality
• modernism and the World Wars
• modernism and the city
• the many -isms of modernism: theory and creativity
• modernism and its others: Classicism, Romanticism, Victorianism, Naturalism…
• modernism in / and translation
• remediations of modernism: from literature to audiovisual to digital media
As indicated by the number in its title, this conference is the seventh 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). Submissions should be sent by email to Please include RF7 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:
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2022
Notification of acceptance: 15 July 2022
Deadline for registration: 15 October 2022
Registration Fee: 80 Euros
Student fee: 60 Euros
Registration details will be posted online in September 2022
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.) | José Meirinhos | 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
4150-564 PORTO


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

Confirmed keynote speakers:

(to watch lectures on Youtube, follow the links after each keynote’s name)


According to scholars, criteria for nationhood have typically involved a commonality of ethnicity, language or religion, historically prolonged occupation of a stretch of land, frequently linked to the existence of a state apparatus, collective experience, and shared memories. Literature and the other arts have often been mobilized to support (if not altogether participate in the construction of) this sense of belonging and identity, which they can also challenge and complicate. Nationalism may simply be described as the most extreme form of such engagements and allegiances. In his 1945 essay “Notes on Nationalism”, George Orwell denounces the characteristic aggressiveness and single-mindedness of the nationalist, as well as the peculiar indifference to reality such attitudes entail. Orwell’s essay betrays a sense of urgency derived both from the hazards of the Second World War and from the perceived political and ideological threats of the approaching Cold War – a term he would himself coin. More recently, adopting the more poised stance of the historian, Jeremy Black has observed that nationalism “is a feeling as much as a principle. It manifests powerful emotional elements as well as the interaction of the ‘deep histories’ of particular national, or would-be national, groups with the contexts and expressions of these ‘deep histories’ in specific circumstances” (2018). And a pervasive tension between accounts of the past and versions of an envisaged future often energises the historiographic process; as noted by Roy Foster, “The most illuminating history is often written to show how people acted in the expectation of a future that never happened” (2002).​

Such remarks emphasize the intersecting of ideologies and practices of memory, of emotional commitment and institutional constraints. It is at these crossroads that literature and the other arts have often played a role in presenting, critically assessing and reformulating discourses of nationhood that may be seen as either conservative, progressive or subversive. This conference is aimed at addressing this vast problematic. The conference marks the centenary of the partition of Ireland (1921), and, taking place at this time in history, inevitably intends to reflect on the meaning of the circumstances leading to and arising from Brexit. The focus of the conference is however intended to be broad and international, as well as intermedial, in keeping with the rationale that has been guiding the Relational Forms research group.​

The organisers will welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to the above. Suggested (merely indicative) topics include:

• literature, the arts, and the ideology/ies of nation

• culture and the nation-state
• nation, nostalgia, trauma, exaltation, utopia
• institutions of national memory: academies, museums, libraries, archives
• genres and practices of nation-building: historical fiction, historical painting, historiography
• rival discourses of patriotism and identity
• nation(alism), aggressiveness, prejudice and intolerance
• identity, peace and conflict
• nation and class, nation and gender
• the nation, the state and the education of the citizen
• remediating the political imagination: from literature to audiovisual to digital media

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 | 4150-564 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)



Relational Forms VI: Imagining the Nation: Literature, the Arts and Processes of National Construction

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