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 - 2017

UMassD Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture
Director's Friday Message

September 1, 2017

Miguel Tamen

Welcome Professor Miguel Tamen to Massachusetts and UMass Dartmouth! 

We are proud and honored to have the distinguished Professor Miguel Tamen, a leading Portuguese scholar in the humanities, working between Lisbon and the United States, as our Hélio and Amélia Pedroso / Luso American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies. Prof. Tamen will teach a PhD seminar in Fall 2017 (see course descriptions for our PhD in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory below). Prof. Tamen's PhD course will be a Wednesday seminar  at 4:00-6:30pm.


Can a country be described? How would you describe it to a native? To a child? To a foreigner? Are natives' descriptions better than other descriptions?  Can you claim knowledge of a country? If so, why? Questions such as these will be addressed through the particular concept: Portugal-talk.

In this class "Portugal-talk" will not be understood as a genre, but merely as descriptive talk referring to Portugal, the country. We will read and discuss a number of late 19th and 20th century texts by Portuguese writers, some of them important writers such as Raul Brandão, Miguel Esteves Cardoso, António Nobre and Fernando Pessoa: travel guides, textbooks, anthropological journalism, fiction, poetry, and essays. Additional philosophical and anthropological texts will be discussed. The perspective will thus be fully comparative.


Other seminars of our PhD in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory for Fall 2017

POR 581/781 Special Topics
Prof. Christopher Larkosh
Tuesdays 4-6:30pm, LARTS 120
"Queer Theory In/Out of Context: Contemporary Brazilian Fiction"

This seminar will provide both a comprehensive introduction to seminal works of queer theory, from seminal texts by Sedgwick and Butler to more recent, yet no less influential, works by Halberstam, Love and Muñoz, among others. Our objective is to examine how discussions of gender and sexuality might unfold differently when placed into dialogue with the some of most important works of Brazilian queer fiction (Abreu, Santiago, Bueno, Noll).  How are intersectional questions posed differently, not to mention questions of inequality and marginality, whether societal, institutional, or transnational? Ultimately, we will ask: how can re-readings, taken 'out of context,' whether that of a particular US queer theoretical canon or of a broader (inter)cultural/linguistic milieu, inform or complicate representations of Brazilian queerness--or perhaps more importantly, vice versa?

Lying in Portuguese, PhD research seminar
Prof. Victor K. Mendes
Mondays, 4-6:30pm

Fernando Pessoa wrote in The Book of Disquiet [1913-1934]: "The most abject of all needs is to confide, to confess. It's the soul's need to externalize. // Go ahead and confess, but confess what you don't feel. Go ahead and tell your secrets to get their weight out of your soul, but let the secrets you tell be secrets you've never had. // Lie to yourself before you tell that truth. Expressing yourself is always a mistake. Be resolutely conscious: let expression, for you, be synonymous with lying" (trans. Richard Zenith). In this seminar, we will explore possible connections between lying in a Pessoan sense and Jacques Derrida's doctrine about lying, namely about the exteriority of writing in Grammatology (1967), to commemorate his seminal work's 50th anniversary. Another axis of research will investigate the topic of lying in the canon of Portuguese literature as understood by Pessoa

For more information on the PhD Program, please consult


Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities Abroad, José Luís Carneiro, visit to UMass Dartmouth


Secretary of State Carneiro, who is the head of a Portuguese delegation, visited UMass Dartmouth on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 8:30 AM. The new Consul of Portugal in New Bedford, Shelley Pires Tracy, and the Camões IP Coordinator for Portuguese in the United States, João Caixinha, were also in Secretary Carneiro's party. UMassD Chancellor Robert Johnson hosted a light breakfast with Portuguese pastries in his office, with College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Amy Shapiro, Department of Portuguese Chair Gláucia Silva, Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives Faculty Director Gloria de Sá, and Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture Director Victor K. Mendes. The Portuguese delegation also visited the Center, the Department, and the Archives. A small group of faculty and students joined us for coffee and a photo op with our distinguished guests. The Portuguese government has supported UMass Dartmouth's programs in Portuguese, the largest and most comprehensive in the United States, with contributions totalling more than $3,000,000 over the past decades.


victor mendes

After the November 11, 2016 election of a new CPSC leadership, the two key developments have been the approval of the Center's revised bylaws and the announcement of the CPSC Advisory Council. 

Grateful for your understanding and support,

Victor K. Mendes
Director, Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture (CPSC)
Director, PhD in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory (LABST)