Portuguese 451: Lusophone African Literature
Prof. Luís Madureira TR 11:00-12.15
Neste estudo panorâmico procuraremos, numa primeira etapa, identificar os primórdios do que se virá a designar «a autêntica literatura de expressão portuguesa», que acusaria uma incipiente consciência anticolonialista ou seja, outra atitude que não fosse a de aceitação do regime colonial como consequência fatal da história. Na etapa seguinte, concentrar-nos-emos num corpus que condena duramente o regime colonial, manifestando abertamente um sentimento africano e nacionalista—negritude ou africanidade—e uma sensibilidade voltada já para os dados do mundo africano e para a «aurora» das independências. Os textos que analisaremos, por último, produzidos já depois da independência, abandonam a crítica antiimperialista, ocupando-se sobretudo da situação nacional.
Textos em formato p df em Learn@UW ou disponíveis na s ala d e r eservados da College Library:
Portuguese 642 Topics in Culture
Professor Ellen Sapega MWF 1:20
Portuguese Visual Culture, 1880-present
In this course, we will examine various aspects of Portuguese visual culture from the late nineteenth century to the revolution of 1974 and its aftermath. The course content will be divided in to units that include: commemoration and public art, cinema, advertising, photography, caricature, political posters, radio and television, and folklore. Theoretical readings will include essays by W. T. J. Mitchell, John Berger, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Tony Bennett and Marita Sturken. Students will write two short papers (3-4 pages) and will develop a longer final project. They will also be required to organize several oral presentations throughout the semester. The class will be taught in Portuguese.
Portuguese 772 Africa, Portugal and Postcolonial World History
Professor Luis Madureira T 3:30
Recent world-historical scholarship argues forcefuly for the need to reconsider western imperial expansion by reckoning with the fundamental role that multi-lateral global contests and alliances, as well as movements across state boundaries at multiple levels and dimensions (from migrant laborers to financial systems), play in shaping both past and contemporaneous imperial formations. This perspective calls for a rethinking of our accepted notions of the national and the international, underscoring the multilateral character of imperial as well as national geopolitics. It compels us to understand the emergence of nationstates in light of the ways in which confrontations and interactions between empires define not only national formations but often nationalist discourses as well. Whether located in the global south or the north, every nation can thus trace its genesis to either past or coeval empires, even though most may tend to privilege their links to a particular empire and occlude their indebtedness to others.
With respect to Portugal, which Boaventura de Sousa Santos and others have famously defined as a “semiperipheral” country in the modern capitalist world system at least since the seventeenth century, this world-historical perspective would elicit the following revision of Santos's dominant hypothesis. What if Portugal’s imperial liminality (or “decadence”), which had already become a recurrent topos in sixteenth and seventeenth discourses of the expansion, was not as much a seventeenth-century development, or the expression of its “semiperipheral” position in “the modern [i.e. European] capitalist world system,” as the consequence of its structural inability fundamentally to shift or destabilize the Asia-centered world economic system it sought violently, and ultimately unsuccessfully, to disrupt? If this were the case, then we would have to grasp Portugal’s place in relation to this “other” world-system as an earlier and more exacerbated instantiation of a marginality that also defined, in the main, western Europe’s later and considerably more disruptive (or “de-centering”) entrance into the world economy. Indeed, we could argue that this marginality indirectly produced what Santos (following Wallerstein and other world-system theorists) calls “the modern capitalist world system.”
This world-historical framework obliges us to interrogate in turn the concept of core and peripheries—a formulation which, while undergirding Portugal’s relegation to the “semi-periphery,” severely reduces the complexity of global dynamics. In effect, as recent world historiography suggests, it is highly improbable that the world was ever anchored upon a single axis or ‘core’ around which a cluster of peripheries and semi-peripheries orbited. Instead, we should conceptualize a political-economic field comprised of multiple empires functioning simultaneously in every epoch since the ancient period, and in relation to capitalist formations. This “poli-centered” perspective at once broadens and substantially alters the standard postcolonial critique of Eurocentric habits of perception, as well as the efforts of postcolonial scholarship over the last few decades to underscore the porosity between colony and nation and postulate plural and contestatory modernities. Our main goal in this seminar is therefore to reconsider a corpus of recent Portuguese and African narratives from this re-situated postcolonial (and world-historical) perspective.
Aside from brief oral presentations, students will be required to produce an article-quality paper, due at the end of the semester, in which they demonstrate their ability to carry out original research in areas related to the seminar's central topic. The secondary reading list will be varied, and geared, to a considerable degree, to each student's individual final project. The primary texts are: