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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Lusophone Literatures & Cultures

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Courses: Lusophone Literatures & Cultures

Port 697I - Literary Analysis and Theory: Major Controversies This course will take a fresh look at the question of what literary theory is and what it does and/or claims to do. Paying attention, in particular, to the rhetoric of Theory, we will attempt to analyze what precisely the language of Theory has contributed to the current intellectual scene. We will explore the major strands of twentieth-century theory that need to be explicated from a critical perspective, examining both what is gained and what is lost by their adoption. By the beginning of the new millennium, Theory (with a capital T) had become a controversial issue in academic circles. As a result of several decades of challenges to the status of the author and of literary works, Theory and Theorists had themselves come to claim center stage, and the study of literature was transformed into theoretical debate. Today, post-structuralists and postmodernists still fight it out with proponents of politically-inspired "new thematics" (of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.), or with adherents to a by-now routine postmodernism, while interest in the creative process and in the understanding of literary texts themselves has been overshadowed by the reign of Theory. But there have also existed many important dissenters who have challenged and reappraised the critical fashions of the past few decades. These dissenting critics note that while Theory courses typically acquaint students with sometimes arcane critical vocabularies, they do not necessarily stimulate the ability to read literature carefully--sometimes to read it at all--or to question pronouncements made in the name of Theory. In addition to acquainting students with key figures and ideas, the course will provide students with a variety of intellectual tools that will enable them to participate in current discussions of Theory. At the same time, the course will chart the transformation of once-innovative approaches into orthodoxies over the past few decades. And, not least, it will help students reconsider the study of literature as an activity worth bothering about in its own right.

Portuguese 597M - Portuguese Island Literature
This course, open to graduate and undergraduate students, focuses on representative aspects of the literatures of the following Lusophone islands: Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde, São Tome and Príncipe, East Timor, and the "Tenth Island" (Immigrant and Ethnic literature in the US and Canada). Authors studied include Roberto Mesquita, Vitorino Nemsio, Pedro da Silveira, Joo de Melo, and lamo Oliveira (Azores); Helena Marques, Jos Antnio Gonalves, and Maria Aurora Homem (Madeira); Manuel Lopes, Aurlio Gonalves, Corsino Fortes, and Yoland Amarlis (Cape Verde); Francisco Jos Tenreiro, and Alda do Esprito Santo (So Tome and Prncipe); Onsimo Almeida, Jos Francisco Costa, Frank Gaspar, and Katherine Vaz ("Tenth Island"). Theoretical readings include studies on Nissology and immigrant/ethnic literature, as well as key works on post-colonialism, and more traditional approaches. Undergraduate students will be responsible for two take-home exams and a 7-10 page paper; graduate students will be responsible for a major research paper. Requirements include perfect or near-perfect attendance, class participation, and four 4-5 page papers for undergraduates, and a major paper (20-25 pages) for graduates.

Port 597PL - Literature of the Portuguese Diaspora in North America
This course, open to undergraduate and graduate students, focuses on Portuguese- and English-language literature by Portuguese immigrants and ethnics residing in the US and Canada, which at the present moment number more than one million and a half. This literary corpus of what has been called the Portuguese North American Diaspora starts with the publication in 1915 of Charles Peter's Autobiography and includes, among many other immigrant and ethnic names, those of Alfred Lewis (novel, poetry), Laurinda Andrade (autobiography), Onesimo Almeida (short story, essay, popular theater), Joao Teixeira de Medeiros (poetry), Marcolino Candeias (poetry), Vasco Pereira da Costa (poetry), Jose Francisco Costa (short story, poetry), Rose Peters Emery (autobiography), Eduardo Mayone Dias (cronica or essay), Eduardo Bettecourt Pinto (novel, poetry, short story), the names of renowned mainstream American and Canadian writers of Portuguese descent such as prize-winning authors Catherine Vaz (novel, short story) and Frank X. Gaspar (novel, poetry), as well as Thomas Braga (poetry), Erika de Vasconcellos (novel), Charles Felix (memoir, novel), Julian Silva (novel), and the latest Portuguese-Canadian literary sensation Anthony de Sa (novel). The course will dwell briefly on the history of the Portuguese in the US and Canada, and the theory of immigrant literature. Undergraduate students will be required to write brief book reports and one paper; graduate students will be responsible for a major paper. Prerequisites are an excellent knowledge of Portuguese and English. Discussions of Portuguese-language texts will be conducted in Portuguese, while those of English-language texts will be discussed in English.

Port 597HA - Lusophone African Literature
This course, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, focuses on some of the most representative authors and works of colonial and post-colonial Lusophone African literature (the literatures of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and So Tom and Prncipe). Authors studied include Luandino Vieira, Agostinho Neto, Pepetela, and Ondjaki (Angola); Jorge Barbosa, Manuel Lopes, Baltasar Lopes, Corsino Fortes, and Germano Almeida (Cape Verde); Amlcar Cabral, Hlder Proena, Eunice Borges (Guinea-Bissau); Lus Bernardo Honwana, Jos Craveirinha, Lus Carlos Patraquim, and Mia Couto (Mozambique); Costa Alegre, Francisco Jos Tenreiro, Alda Esprito Santo (So Tom and Prncipe). Theoretically, the course privileges a postcolonialist approach, although more traditional approaches will be utilized as well. Graduate students are expected to write a paper between 15 and 20 pages and a series or brief fichas or reviews. Undergraduate students will have two take-home exams. Prerequisite for the course is native or near native proficiency in Portuguese. Students who have taken at least one literature course before are most likely to do well in this course.

Port 597HB - Construction of Nation & Identity in Portuguese Narrative
The course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The course examines the ways in which cultural identities are configured, shaped and represented in Portuguese narrative. The course will also focus on different models of cultural construction, and will address questions about the destiny and the nature of the nation, as well as its identity, genesis and future. Readings from some of the following writers: Lus de Cames, Ferno Mendes Pinto, Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano, Ea de Queirs, Cardoso Pires, Jos Saramago, Ldia Jorge, Antnio Lobo Antunes, Teolinda Gerso, Armando Silva Carvalho, Mrio Cludio, and Joo de Melo. Requirements: undergraduates, two papers or exams (7-8 pages); graduates, one long paper. Prerequisites: a reading knowledge of Portuguese or consent of instructor.

Port 597PW - Women Writers of Portugal.

This course, open to both graduate and undergraduate students, focuses on female voices of contemporary Portugal as they explore through new discursive strategies issues related to gender construction and the ever-changing socio-historical space. The influence of women writers in shaping Portuguese literary canon. Readings by Agustina Bessa Luis, Fernanda Botelho, Lidia Jorge, Olga Goncalves, Teolinda Geraso, Clara Pinto Correia, Maria Velho da Costa, Maria Gabriels Llansol. Requirements: undergraudates, two papers (7-8 pages); graduates, two papers (10-12 pages). Prerequisites: A reading k nowledge of Portuguese or consent of instructor.

Portuguese 597D - Contemporary Portuguese Poetry
Open to graduates and undergraduates and taught in Portuguese, this course is an in-depth general introduction to the two most widely acclaimed Portuguese poets of the twentieth century: Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), and Jorge de Sena (1919-1978). Their thematically and formally wide-ranging poetry is representative of two broad tendencies in modern Portuguese and Western poetry: "dehumanization" (to use Ortega's term) and depersonalization, on the one hand, and humanism, on the other. Pessoa is the universally minded Modernist who created a series of writers, mostly poets (the total number is over forty, although only five produced volume-sized works), lending each of them a particular worldview. These poets, to whom he assigned biographies and a body of critical writings, cultivated poetry in many respects radically different from one another. Very often, their poetry is thematically largely focused on depersonalization, as though centrifugal Pessoa were a chain reaction breaking up into poets who in turn break themselves up into smaller entities in a move toward some kind of entropic state. Jorge de Sena, a centripetal humanist poet for whom human life and human experience are the center of his poetic universe, attempted in a way to "heal" modern (Portuguese) poetry from the "dehumanization" and depersonalization brought about by Pessoa (and other modern poets). Sena bears witness to life, not only life in his times and around him, but also the "life" embodied in works of art. That is why he is the poet of the interrelations of the arts: poetry and music, poetry and the visual arts, poetry and cinema, poetry and the poetries of the Western, and even Eastern, traditions. For Jorge de Sena is one of the most erudite poets of modern times, at the same time that he is one of the most earthy, humane, and accessible. Even people who are unfamiliar with poetry will appreciate and derive much insight from reading these two poetic giants. Undergraduate students will be required to do two take-home exams and a series of presentations in class. Graduate students will write a major research paper (in Portuguese, English, or Spanish) and do presentations in class. Pre-requisites: ability and willingness to read and discuss Portuguese-language poetry.

Port 597F - Short Story in the Portuguese-Speaking World

This course focuses on some representative authors and works from Portugal, Brazil, Lusophone Africa, and Lusophone United States. Writers represented are Sá-Carneido, Miguel Torga, Jorge de Sena, Rodrigues Miguéis, Sophia de Mello Bryner Andresen, Machado de Assis, Guimarães Rosa, Clarice Lispector, Moacyr Scliar, Baltasar Lopes, Manuel Lopes, Yolanda Amarilis, Luandino Vieira, Luís Bernardo Honwana, Mia Couto, Onésimo Almeida, José Francisco Costa, and Katherine Vaz. The course will begin with a brief survey of short story theory since Edgar Allan Poe. In the reading of texts, several approaches to the short story will be tested (genetic, mimetic, intertextual, affective, formalistic). Some key concepts attendant to the theory and criticism of short story theory will receive special attention: marginalized populations and loneliness; coming of age; foundational short story; experimentalism; the interrelations of the short story and other literary genres; the individual short story vs. heterogeneous collections vs. the integrated collections or cycles or sequences; and the short story of the Portuguese-American diaspora. Course is open to both graduates and undergraduates. Requirements: excellent knowledge of Portuguese; perfect attendance; class participation; and three 4-5 page papers for undergraduates, and a major research paper (20-25 pages) for graduates.

Port 597CN - Construction of Nation and Identity in Portuguese Narrative.

The course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. The course examines the ways in which cultural identities are configured, shaped and represented in Portuguese narrative. The course will also focus on different models of cultural construction, and will address questions about the destiny and the nature of the nation, as well as its identity, genesis and future. Readings from some of the following writers: Lus de Cames, Ferno Mendes Pinto, Almeida Garrett, Alexandre Herculano, Ea de Queirs, Cardoso Pires, Jos Saramago, Ldia Jorge, Antnio Lobo Antunes, Armando Silva Carvalho, Mrio Cludio, and Joo de Melo. Requirements: undergraduates, two papers or exams (7-8 pages); graduates, two papers (10 pages) or one long paper. Prerequisites: an excellent knowledge of Portuguese or consent of instructor.

Port 408 & 697 - Brazil in Film and Fiction
For Undergraduates and Graduate students.
The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to Brazilian culture through selected films and readings (fiction and scholarly articles). By focusing on how filmmakers and writers represent key aspects of Brazilian society past and present, the following major themes will be explored: the colonization process; culture contact between Europeans and native Brazilians; slavery and the resistance to it; economic and political development; immigration and internal migration; life in the backlands; the dictatorship and its aftermath; urban problems. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past sixty years, especially the movement known as cinema novo. A third aim is to develop analytical skills and writing abilities.

Portuguese 496A IS - Intensive Portuguese
The first half of the course will focus on the study of Portuguese with emphasis on the following skills: pronunciation, listening, reading, understanding, writing, and speaking. Since language is communication, oral proficiency will be specially stressed. In the second half of the course there will be readings from different Portuguese speaking countries in order to get a cultural, social, political and literary overview of these nations. Although the students will be required to go beyond the surface structure of the literary work or the chronicle (its aesthetic qualities), the course will still emphasize mainly language acquisition. In the second half, the course will also focus on conversation. Students pick a topic to be discussed in class, and they have the responsibility of leading the discussion. Students should use all available resources, including the web, to come up with topics. Graphics and use of technology to accompany the presentations make topic a lot more interesting. Purpose of conversation is to develop communicative skills in Portuguese and to get all students involved in discussing topics in Portuguese that they enjoy since they have personally chosen such topics.