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.

Events - 2011

Azorean identity in Brazil and the United States

March 24, 6:00 - 7:30 P.M.
Prince Henry Society Reading Room at the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives (parking lot 13)

Event free and open to the public

Dr. Ramon Tasat
Azorean identity in Brazil and the
United States
Click to see the poster/flyer

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives and the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture announce the launching of the book Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States: Arguments about History, Culture, and Transnational Connections, by João Leal, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New University of Lisbon. Prof. Leal will also deliver a talk titled "Imperadores and Queens: Travels of a Ritual across the North Atlantic" and will be on hand to sign copies of the book, a publication of Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, with distribution by the University Press of New England

The event—free and open to the public—will take place on Thursday, March 24, 6:00 - 7:30 P.M. in the Prince Henry Society Reading Room at the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, parking lot 13. Light refreshments will be served.

According to Professor Kimberley DaCosta Holton of Rutgers University, "Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States offers a rare, multi-sited portrayal of immigration and expressive culture focused on two hot spots of Azorean settlement," and provides a "fascinating comparative study and an important ethnography for scholars of Lusophone culture.” 

For Professor Caroline Brettell of Southern Methodist University, the book “offers an insightful and rich ethnographic comparison of how identities are formed and transformed among Azoreans in New England and Brazil" and "touches on a host of questions of critical concern in contemporary immigration studies [such as] transnationalism, the second generation, ethnicity, and the politics of culture.”

Dr. Leal's presentation at the launching of Azorean Identity in Brazil and the United States will explore the importance of transnational links between Azorean communities in the Azores and the USA in the maintenance and transformation of the Holy Ghost festas. Based on two case studies carried out in the islands of Pico and Santa Maria, he will show how the innovations introduced into the Holy Ghost festas in the U.S. have transformed these rituals in their place of origin—the Azores.

Dr. João Leal holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE) in Lisbon.  Currently, he is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a senior researcher at CRIA (Centre for Anthropological Research) in Lisbon. He has done extensive research on Holy Ghost Festivals in the Azores and among the Azorean diaspora in Brazil, the USA and Canada. His areas of interest also include the history of Portuguese anthropology and discourses on Portuguese national identity. He is the author of many academic articles and books, including As Festas do Espírito nos Açores. Um Estudo de Antropologia Social (Holy Ghost Festivals in the Azores: An Antropological Study), Cultura Popular e Identidade Nacional (Folk Culture and National Identity) and Antropologia em Portugal. Mestres, Percursos, Transições (Anthropology in Portugal: Authors, Trajectories,Transitions).

The entrance to the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives is located on the campus side of the Claire T. Carney Library. For access during library construction as you approach from Lot 13, enter the library basement and proceed to the first floor, exit the building, and proceed to the right to the Archives entrance. 

For further information, contact 508-999-8684 or email