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TitleWomen's and gender studies in Portugal: An overview from an anglicist perspective
Author(s)Macedo, Ana Gabriela
Pereira, Margarida Esteves
Issue date23-Oct-2015
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Abstract(s)[Excerpt] The authors of this essay both teach and have been doing collaborative research within a Department of Anglo-American Studies (Faculty of Arts and Humanities) in a Portuguese University (Universidade do Minho, Braga, the north of the country), where the teaching of feminism and gender studies has an important role to play, both as a critical methodology indispensable amongst other recent critical and hermeneutical approaches to the text (be it strictly literary or otherwise visual, i.e., painting, film, performance, etc.), ← 27 | 28 → and as a way to anchor literature and art in general in social reality, inviting thus a situated engagement with the object of our study. It is not however ‘easy’ to teach feminist / gender studies in most places in the world (as it is not easy to be a feminist), and certainly Portugal is amongst these. You have to struggle to feed it into the curricula, you have to be prepared to argue your case when proposing a graduate or undergraduate course, or even a course within a specific degree, and it is not easy either to find a willing publisher for a monograph or a collection in the field, as the word ‘feminist’ is often thought of as unmarketable. Our aim in this essay is to offer as far as possible an overview of the situation of gender studies in the Portuguese academia, mainly in connection with the teaching and research activities of English Studies. It seemed to us natural that we should first refer to what is closest to our own sphere of action, that is, the contribution to the field at the University of Minho. We could thus trace the first teaching modules of feminism and gender studies at the English and American Studies Dept of the Universidade do Minho since the early 1990s, within a) English Literature courses, comprehending Contemporary Literature, Modernism, Victorian, Shakespeare and Elizabethan Studies, and b) seminars on Critical Theory and Theory of Literature, namely within postgraduate courses. A number of women were involved in the teaching of these courses, some of them had recently completed their PhDs in the UK, others were starting their master’s and doctoral degrees in the newly created programs in Portugal. The launching of projects arrived slightly later, in the mid-1990s, first on a rather informal basis, gathering researchers, male and female, with a focus on interdisciplinarity, under the umbrella of the Humanities Research Centre at UM, CEHUM (Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho), supported by the Portuguese research council FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia). Only later were some of these projects made financially competitive through the possibility of grants, namely towards the organization of conferences and ensuing publications. Amongst these it is worth mentioning three volumes which came out of those earlier projects and produced a strong impact in local academic terms, due to the novelty of their focus and for directly addressing feminism as an ‘out of the closet’ issue in Portugal: A Mulher, O Louco e a Máquina (Woman, Madness and the Machine; 1998), Re-presentaçõnes do Corpo / Re-presenting the Body ← 28 | 29 → (2003), Poéticas Inter-artes: do Texto à Imagem, ao Palco, ao Écran / Interart Poetics: Text to Image, Stage, Screen and beyond (2006). [...]
TypeBook part
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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