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 - 2012

"African-Brazilian History, Past and Present"

Lecture by Dr. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro

May 7, 2012 at 5:00 p.m., Board of Trustees Conference Room located on the third floor of the
Foster Administration Building - UMass Dartmouth

Event free and open to the public

Stewart Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture and Department of Portuguese announce a lecture, “African-Brazilian History, Past and Present,” by Dr. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, Professor of Brazilian History and Director of the Center for Brazilian Studies and the South Atlantic at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and the Spring 2012 Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies at UMass Dartmouth. The event - free and open to the public - will take place on Monday, May 7, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of Trustees Conference Room located on the third floor of the Foster Administration Building.

Brazil has extensive historical and social connections with Africa. From the mid 16th century until the mid 19th century, commercial and maritime exchanges connected Brazilian slaving regions to African trading ports. Brazil and Angola formed a South Atlantic system sustained by bilateral trade. Movements of merchants, militiamen, royal servants and missionaries fostered relations between the Portuguese enclaves on either side of the South Atlantic. In the end of the 17th Century, the Gulf of Guinea region was also linked to Brazilian trade. Finally, in the beginning of the 1800s Mozambique was equally incorporated into Brazil’s maritime network. Often in contradictory fashion, that intercolonial trade complemented exchanges between Brazil and Portugal and, following Brazilian independence (1822), between Rio de Janeiro and Liverpool.

In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the independence of the former Portuguese colonies in Africa reopened the links within the South Atlantic. Today, Brazil has diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with most of the African nations. Also, the Brazilian Census of 2010 showed that the majority of Brazilian population is of African descent. Therefore, Brazil is becoming much more a South Atlantic rather than a South American country.

Luiz Felipe de Alencastro is author or editor of several books, including O Tratado dos Viventes: Formação do Brasil no Atlântico Sul, Séculos XVI-XVII, to be published in translation by the University of Texas Press, and História da Vida Privada no Brasil (volume 2). He has published numerous scholarly articles on Brazilian colonial history and the South Atlantic and is a respected public intellectual who regularly writes for major Brazilian newspapers, including Folha de São Paulo. He is a member of the prestigious Academia Europaea.

The lecture will be immediately followed by an initiation ceremony for new members of the Alpha Delta chapter of Phi Lambda Beta, the Portuguese Honor Society. The primary purposes of this honor society, an auxiliary of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, are to stimulate greater interest in the advanced study of the Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures and literatures, to reward outstanding academic achievement in the field, and to recognize individuals who have demonstrated their support for the growth and development of Lusophone Studies in the United States.

For further information, please contact 508.999.8255 or e-mail