The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.


Garrett’s Travels & Its Descendants

A Transdisciplinary Colloquium on Travels in My Homeland on the Bicentennial of Almeida Garretts’s Birth (1799-1999)

October 22 - 23, 1999

Travels in My Homeland (1846), Almeida Garrett’s masterpiece, has, over the past century and a half, become part of the Portuguese literary canon. It is possible to identify a consensus of criticism in relation to the place of this work in the canon of modern Portuguese literature. Twentieth-century criticism has considered this hybrid work an inaugural milestone of literary and even linguistic modernity in Portugal. The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture orgainized an international conference on Travels in My Homeland in celebration of the bicentennial of the author’s birth.

The enormous critical fortune of Travels in My Homeland, the masterpiece of Portuguese Romanticism, has relevance beyond its literary period. Its relationship to the Portuguese epic poet Camões has been often documented as well as its influence on Eça de Queirós and other major Portuguese writers of the twentieth century some of whom will be joining us in Dartmouth. Much less explored has been Garrett’s relationship to other European literatures including the English, French, German, and Spanish. Travels also lends itself to studies from the perspec-tives of contemporary critical theory including genre, narratology, and reader-response criticism; furthermore, it also suggests insights on aesthetics of reception avant la letter. The conference was limited to literary exegesis, but will venture into other genres thereby highlighting the multifaceted character of Garrett’s work, given that his masterpiece is linked to problems associated with political science, history, linguistics, cultural theory, gender studies, and visual culture. This was the basis for the transdisciplinary spirit proposed for this meeting. Conference participants were asked to analyze Travels as a “machine to think with,” as defined by I.A. Richards, instead of primarily focusing on Garrett’s personality. The papers presented and discussed will be published in a book entitled Garrett’s Travels & Its Descendants (Adamastor Book Series), in what is hoped to be a refreshing volume of new critical readings which will inspire a revision of what is already available on Garrett’s masterpiece.

Please click here to view the program.