Texts, contexts, and Intertexts

Research Projects:

Post-colonial writings

Description We aim to study the Portuguese contemporary literature that revisits the colonial war and the end of Salazarism.

Professor in charge: Aparecida de Fátima Bueno (fabueno@usp.br)


Pessoa and Pirandello: irony and humour

Description: This research, which concerns the period of studies at Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, is part of a wider project titled ‘Fernando Pessoa as an ironist.’ In this particular stage, we propose the development of a conceptual analysis of humour according to Luigi Pirandello in the organisation and constitution of his work, and of its parallels with the concept of irony in the work of Fernando Pessoa. Thus, we consider the hypothesis of reading these authors together as modern ironists. For this, we will address, in this particular step, the critical works produced about Pirandellian humour, almost completely restricted to local consultation in the mentioned University.

Professor in charge: Caio Marcio Poletti Lui Gagliardi (caiogagliardi@usp.br)



Description: This research aims to analyse the trajectory of three novels: ‘The City and the Dogs’ by Mario Vargas Llosa, ‘Submersed Morning’ by Vergílio Ferreira, and ‘The Ateneu’ by Raul Pompéia,  gathered here for presenting a common thematic core that approaches the oppression suffered by their protagonists inside boarding schools. The objective is to examine how these environments are configured as a total institution (meaning defined by Goffman), i.e., a confining institution based on disciplinary and coercive mechanisms that forcibly engender mortifications and degradations in the moral formation of their students. Moreover, this project will explore the process of transformation of these protagonists, which, at the expense of their clash with the environment and the others, can achieve a critical conscience of reality very similar to the literary sign of the heroes of Bildungsromane (formation novels).

Professor in charge: Caio Marcio Poletti Lui Gagliardi (caiogagliardi@usp.br)


Author by author: Portuguese literature and history in the light of theatre II

Description This is a long-term project,subjected to the research line Texts, Contexts, Intertexts from the Graduate program in Portuguese Literature of the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences of the University of São Paulo under the guidance of Doctor and Professor Francisco Maciel Silveira and coordinated by the Doctor and Professor Flavia Maria Corradin. The project Author by Author: Portuguese Literature and History in the light of theatre aims to: a) analyse theatrical texts (or of strong dramatic imprint) whose theme and/or  motive are the life and/or work of Portuguese authors; b) analyse theatrical texts (or of strong dramatic imprint) whose theme and/or motive  are characteristics, facts or characters in Portuguese history; c) use theatrical techniques and resources in the teaching of Literature and History. Therefore, we develop the project in two ways: a) reviewing the life and work of Portuguese authors and/or of historical episodes and characters created by other authors, especially playwrights. Our aim is to review the critical concepts in the critical bibliography of authors, works, themes, besides disseminating the Portuguese contemporary dramaturgy; b)  contributing in a didactic and methodological way for the teaching of literature and history in Portugal, creatively featuring the life and work of authors or historical characters. For this purpose, the project created the Group of Theatrical Studies ‘Gambiarra,’ under the guidance of Professor Dr. Francisco Maciel Silveira and coordination of the Doctor and Professor Flavia Maria Corradin. As designed, and thanks to its intertextual foundation, the project has five purposes: a) to study Portuguese literature and history from theatre plays (or fictional texts) focusing on authors, works, themes, episodes; b) to study the life and/or work of a given author based on different dramatic texts; c) to study a literary or historical theme, very common in the Portuguese imaginary,  which was the focus of different times, theatrical texts or strong dramatic imprints; d) to show in workshops and presentations at educational institutions how the teaching of literature and history can be carried out using theatrical techniques and resources; e) to collect interviews and/or reports of contemporary authors whose works are listed in the project and from which there is little bibliography or lack of bibliography. Covering the period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, the project aims to lead students to think about Portuguese literature and history in a critical way from the point of view of language development through time as they are presented to authors, literary movements, themes, episodes, facts. Therefore, the corpus is constantly growing, which justifies its new edition.

Professor in charge: Flavia Maria Ferraz Sampaio Corradin (corradin@usp.br), and Francisco Maciel Silveira (fmsilveira@usp.br)


Eça de Queirós: a chronological reading of his work

Description The aim of this project is to conduct a chronological reading of the works of Eça de Queirós  from his first texts published in ‘Gazeta de Portugal’ to his so-called semi-posthumous (partially published during his lifetime) and posthumous texts. The purpose is not to focus on the reading genres of his works (novels, short stories, press texts, letters etc.), but rather try to chronologically relate these texts in order to identify common aesthetic, political, and social concerns among them. Although we employ the biography of the author to identify the chronological line of the texts, we do not intend to deal with biographical issues, but only with issues that put in the foreground the writer’s ideas regarding literature, art, and the social and political reality in which he lived.

Professor in charge: Helder Garmes (helder@usp.br)


Portuguese and Brazilian literature and Hispanic America: dialogic horizons (16th-21st centuries)

Description Studies on the interrelations between Portuguese, Brazilian literature, and Hispanic-American, from the colonial period to the present moment. The Ibero-American baroque in literature, architecture, and arts. Reviewing Ibero-American poetic tradition during baroque, avant-garde, and experimentalist experiences. Comparative studies on the canon of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Hispanic-American poetry. Literary canon and studies on gender and sexual diversity in this context. José Saramago, an author between two continents.

Professor in charge: José Horácio de Almeida Nascimento Costa (horaciocosta23@hotmail.com)


Literature and ethics - module II

Description Project developed within the NELLPE research group (Study Centre on Portuguese Literature and Ethics), founded in 2007, whose overall objective has been the discussion of lusophone literary texts from a theoretical perspective on ethics. We are interested in questions regarding the ethical constitution of the subject, authorship, and alterity in Portuguese literature of the 20th and 21st centuries. Our emphasis is on contemporary Portuguese literature, although we also embrace research projects that work with Brazilian and African literary productions comparatively. In module II, the project focuses on interpretive communities that deal with the senses within the universe of fiction. In the year of 2012, the NELLPE became part of the LEPEM (Laboratory of Modern Poetic and Ethical Studies). Since then, the study group’s proposal goes along the Laboratory’s goals concerning events, courses, and programmed publications.

Professor in charge: Lilian Jacoto (lilianjacoto@usp.br)


The story of Don Sebastian’s parents according to encomia and lamentations from the 16th century

Description: By the reading of poetic and oral texts produced to celebrate the marriage of Joanna of Austria, Princess of Portugal, to mourn the early death of Prince Don João Manuel, and to greet the birth of Don Sebastian, it is possible to hear the tragic story of the parents of this mythical King of Portugal. Those weretexts produced in the heat of the moment in new Renaissance and Italianist forms, as well as from ancient models , such as eulogies, greetings, sonnets, odes, letters, eclogues, elegies in triplets, madrigals, tragedies etc. The set of greetings and elegies produced in three languages of literate culture (Latin, Castilian, and Portuguese), reveals the dynamics of textual production in the 16th century as a civic and official act promoted by the Portuguese crown, which, like other typical court societies, associated letters with power. This textual set allows us to write the story of the Portuguese productions of the 16th century, without ignoring the political commitment with its time nor the discourse analysis of its genres and forms as circumstantial, civic, and educational speech acts. The contest carried out by King John III to choose the first love letter sent by the Prince, his son, to the Princess, reported on the famous 16th century anecdote, presents aspects of the coeva poetic practice as the non-authorial condition of writer’s work and the participation of poetry in the political history of the 16th century by public contests. The basis of the analysis and interpretation of the corpus will be the peculiarities of the literate practice of the 16th century, from a cultural and historical point of view, examining the discursive character of texts and the materiality of the printed and handwritten documents in which they can be found.

Professor in charge: Marcia Maria de Arruda Franco (mmaf@usp.br)


Reviewing Courtly Poetry in Portuguese - New approaches to Literary History

Description: By understanding Portuguese poetry from the courts of the 15th-16th centuries as an institution of the Iberian society, we aim to develop the studies on oral performance focusing on small and big spectacles, acts by Gil Vicente, poems by Cancioneiro Geral, Garcia Resende, Bernardim Ribeiro, and Sá de Miranda, redondilhas by Camões etc. When considering courtly poems in the light of oral poetry and performance, it  is possible to know the functionality, the poetic concept, and the vitality of this artistic manifestation, even after the introduction of the imitatio and of the Italian (or Renaissancist) way, from a historical point of view, focusing on the Modern times during the reign of Don Afonso V and Don Sebastian. We aim to promote, by the guidance of various research projects, a review of the official literary history of courtly poetry in Portuguese, not only focusing on its humanist side (separated from music but not from performance) that produced poems to be recited without musical accompaniment, but also on its poetical-musical side, working as an institution of the courtly society that would promote the inclusion of the armed Portuguese nobility as members of the church, by making use of the letters and the arts. Thus, it is interesting to characterise the corpus of the Portuguese courtly poetry by considering its both poetic and rhetoric (discursive and dialogic) forms, the illustration of the Portuguese language from translations and glosses of ancient texts, such as the representation of the subjects that circulated in society, namely the troubadour, the courtier, the lady, the prince, the armed noble, the navigator, the Jew, the Arab, the cleric, the doctor, the devil, the angels, the  elderly, the child etc.

Professor in charge: Marcia Maria de Arruda Franco (mmaf@usp.br)


Identity issues in the aesthetic plan: female authors in Portuguese literature

Description: Gender and identity issues are closely associated, being the first ones a stronger version of the second since these are more comprehensive. On the other hand, when such issues aim to study and investigate how they get along in the aesthetic environment, regarding more specifically literary creations written by women, they become privileged objects of research as they show how these three dimensions (gender, identity, and aesthetic expression) are correlated and even part of a whole both regarding its similarities and differences within the general plan of literary creation of an era. Although the research is not limited to the period of contemporary Portuguese literature, it is more frequently focused on the production of the second half of the 20th century and of the early 21st century for being a period when literary productions written by women expanded, which is undoubtedly connected with social and historical conditions of contemporaneity.

Professor in charge: Marlise Vaz Bridi (marlise@usp.br)


Macao Literature I

Description: This project aims to gather, describe, and analyse literary works in Portuguese from Macao, as well as the reproduction of texts of restricted circulation about Macao’s literary critics in order to assess the Portuguese presence in Asia. In this first module, the work of the following seven authors will be studied, described, and analysed: José dos Santos Ferreira, Deolinda da Conceição, Henrique de Senna Fernandes, Luís Gonzaga Gomes (prose), Alberto Estima de Oliveira, Fernanda Dias, and Yao Jingming. This project is linked to the research of the Group (Pt. East) Portugal and the East: literatures, languages, and cultures, certified by CNPq and led by Monica Simas and Ho Yeh Chia.

Professor in charge: Monica Muniz de Sousa Simas (monicasimas@usp.br)


Portuguese literature and the present-day: voices and perspectives

Description: From the end of the 20th century to the present days, defining schools have ceased to exist in the literary field .Nowadays, plurality  encompasses some of the difficulties of literary scholars at the same time it gives life to social platforms and new perspectives of creation. This project aims to describe part of the plurality of voices and perspectives in contemporary Portuguese literature, identifying their social, ideological, and aesthetic links. This project interacts with the Research Group ‘Landscape studies on Portuguese Literature’, certified by CNPq and led by the Professors Ida Alves and Márcia Manir.

Professor in charge: Mônica Muniz de Sousa Simas (monicasimas@usp.br)


The other I: the fragmentation and the development of the subject in contemporary literature USP

Description: The CAPES research project ‘The other I: fragmentation and development of the subject in contemporary literature’ is included in the research line ‘Dialogism in literary discourse’ of the Postgraduate Program in Languages and Literature of the Mackenzie Presbyterian University. It aims to study the construction of the subject in contemporary literary texts by paying attention to the mechanisms by which it divides and multiplies. To do so, it will analyse the procedures of dissociation and enlargement of the I present in the ghost, in the mirror image, in the actor, in photographs, in the lookalike, in the twins, in the shadow, in the mask, in the clone etc., which correspond to the division and the consequent multiplication of the I. Its theoretical foundations are in accordance with theories based on the relationship between the I and the other, derived from the recognition of the I as a problematic fluid, transitory, elusive identity in its entirety.

Professor in charge: Lilian Lopondo (flc@usp.br)


The sublime style, the humble style, and other styles

Description: The humble or low style in rhetoric agreements in Antiquity was restricted to the comic genre, commercial texts, or legal backlogs. With the rise of Christianity and its expansion through the Roman Empire in the Hellenised East over the centuries, deep changes occurred in the values and ways of thinking, giving place to something new: the sublime in the humility. This project aims to study the changes of style in poetic, narrative, and dramatic texts of Portuguese and Brazilian literature until the contemporary era.

Professor in charge: Maria Helena Nery Garcez (helenaneri@terra.com.br)


Identity and its manifestations in time and space

Description: This project aims to study the personal and/or national identity as well as its crises, losses, and reconstructions from the different transformations that occurred in space and time. We will examine these elements and the relationships they establish with the language, with the historical, social, and cultural reality of each moment and space in which the subjects and objects interact. We still intend to study the different technical elements associated with the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the identities of different subjects (characters, narrators, readers, poetic subjects, nationalities) involved in artistic works based on different theoreticians. Among them we highlight the following: Bakhtin, Iser, Jauss, Debord, Baudrillard, Hutcheon, Lyotard, Spitzer, Maingueneau, Giddens, Auerbach, Bhabha, Hall. According to these and other authors, we intend to apply techniques of analysis and interpretation of recognised value, trying also to think about other ones, in order to reach a solution from the comparison with the peculiarities of each work and author. On the other hand, all the aspects studied individually and together with the other graduate students who participate in this project stimulate the reflection and produce effects on the teaching and learning of those involved and on their respective students and readers in the present moment and in the future. Our corpus will comprise texts of Portuguese literature from different times and spaces to be analysed individually or compared with others that belong to the same or other semiotic systems, particularly the visual ones. We might consider some of our previous projects on José Rodrigues Miguéis, José Saramago, Lídia Jorge, Lobo Antunes, Camões, Fernando Pessoa, and Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen according to the needs of this study. In addition to the works by Teolinda Gersão, Gonçalo M. Tavares, Valter Hugo Mãe and others that also seem relevant to the proposed study.

Professor in charge: Raquel de Sousa Ribeiro (mgrr@uol.com.br)