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News & Events

Throughout the year, we promote various aspects of the Portuguese culture through these unique and engaging programs and events. To learn more please follow these links below:

Utopia’s Generation: Thomas More, Erasmus, Damião de Góis and the End of a World

Rui Tavares

The UMass Lowell Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and History Department present a virtual lecture.

  • When: April 29, 2020 at 11 a.m.
  • Where: Virtual
  • Who: Rui Tavares, Gulbenkian / Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies in Spring 2020

Register Online for Utopia’s Generation: Thomas More, Erasmus, Damião de Góis and the End of a World

After registering you'll receive access to online viewing by email.

Today, millions of young Europeans enroll in an academic exchange program called the Erasmus Program, named after the humanist Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam. Back in the 1500s, the Erasmus “program” consisted of finding out where Erasmus himself was staying in Europe, and dropping by to visit or even stay at his home in Basel, Leuven or Antwerp. Thomas More visited Erasmus in Antwerp, and it was there that he met a young Portuguese sailor who inspired him to write Utopia. Years later, a young Portuguese humanist, diplomat and businessman went to visit Erasmus. In this lecture we will follow the trajectory of Damião de Góis, from the year of the death of Thomas More in 1535 to his imprisonment by the Portuguese Inquisition in the 1570s, in order to understand how an intellectual world ended by the middle of the 16th century but, nonetheless, bequeath to us a certain idea of Europe and even globalization.

Rui Tavares is a Portuguese writer and historian and the Spring 2020 Gulbenkian/Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell. Photo by SAPO 24


Rui Tavares is a Portuguese writer and historian and the Spring 2020 Gulbenkian/Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell. He studied Art History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Social Sciences at the Universidade de Lisboa, and earned a PhD in History and Civilizations from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris. He has been visiting distinguished lecturer at Brown University and NYU. Among his seven books is The Enlightened Censor, published in 2018, on censorship in the Portuguese Enlightenment regime of the Marquis de Pombal. He has also translated, into Portuguese, Giordano Bruno’s On Magic and Voltaire’s Candide. He was Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014). Among his publications/reports on European Union affairs is The Irony of the European Project (2012). He is founder of the Portuguese political party Livre, a major cultural critic in Portugal and a columnist at the leading daily newspaper Público.


For more information, contact Natalia Melo of the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies by email:

“All Over The Map” With Blue Thread Concert

Group photo of musical group Blue Thread:  Yaniv Yacoby, strings Cristi Catt, soprano Nikola Radan, flutes standing side by side against a wall.

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at  7 p.m.
Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center
240 Central St., Lowell, MA 01854
Parking at: Early Garage, 135 Middlesex Street

The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and Middlesex Community College, in partnership with the UMass Lowell departments of Music and World Languages and Cultures and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, present a concert: “All over the Map” With Blue Thread.

All over the Map” showcases global ballads migrating through centuries and cultures featuring medieval Galician-Portuguese Love Songs, Renaissance Villancicos, and Folk Ballads from Portugal, Greece, Scandinavia and the US.

Blue Thread is:

  • Yaniv Yacoby, strings
  • Cristi Catt, soprano
  • Nikola Radan, flutes
    • With special guests:
      • Shira Kammen, vielle, and Hui Weng, guzheng

“Blue Thread revealed a vibrant and playful music that transported us to the rich and varied musical experience of medieval times without abandoning the present.” (Évora News)

Watch videos of Blue Thread via YouTube:

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Seeing the Archipelago: A Student Exhibition of Photographs of the Azores Islands

Image showing rocks with water and a lighthouse with these words across it in a banner: Seeing the Archipelago: A Student Exhibition of Photographs of the Azores Islands Photo by Dan Junta

Exhibition Dates: January 20 - February 28, 2020

The Art & Design Department and the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell announce a show of selected student artworks from the Spring 2019 study abroad trip to the Azorean Islands. The works are from the Documentary Image course organized by Anna Isaak-Ross and Pavel Romaniko. The course explored Lowell’s Azorean diaspora's origins, heritage, experience and culture. The course served as a springboard for photographic exploration of three islands in archipelago. Readings, discussions, engagement with the community, and technical instruction conveyed the concepts of objectivity and the documentary image, and how to tell other people’s stories. The thirty-one photographs in this exhibition are the result of that exploration.

The exhibition is made possible by generous support from UMass Lowell’s Saab Center of Portuguese Studies, the Saab Endowment for Portuguese Studies, the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Office and the Art & Design Department..

Featured Artists:

Hayley Andrade, Cameron Blanchard, Morgan Clarke, Sebastian Diaz, Andrew Fournier, Chelsea Gray, Anna Isaak-Ross, Daniel Junta, Lindsey Napolitano, Julia Renaghan, Chummeng Soun

For more information, contact the Saab Center at 978-934-5199 or email Natalia Melo at:

Free and open to the public.

Study Abroad in Lisbon, Portugal Summer 2020

Portugal Study Abroad poster with picture of Lisbon, Portugal as the background and this text overlayed: The Saab center for Portuguese Studies presents: 2020 UMass Lowell summer program in Lisbon, Portugal, May 31-June 13.

Travel to Lisbon, Portugal with UMass Lowell during the Summer for an Immersive Experience!

Enjoy a unique international experience in Lisbon, the largest city and capital of Portugal, one of the countries of the European Union. Immerse yourself in this at once ancient and modern waterfront city characterized by a thrilling culture, delicious cuisine, and booming nightlife. Spend two weeks exploring everything Lisbon has to offer while earning 3 UMass Lowell credits.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2020.


  • May 31 - June 13, 2020
  • Special Topics: in Portuguese Studies, the required 3-credit course, can be used towards the Core Curriculum Arts & Humanities Perspective requirement, the World Ready: Portuguese Option, the Minor in Portuguese Studies
  • Financial aid may be applicable.
  • Scholarships available up to $1,500

More Information

For more Information and to apply, please contact the UMass Lowell Study Abroad office via email: or contact Diana Gomes Simoes via email:

UMass Lowell 2020 Summer Program in Lisbon is sponsored by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Program undertaken in partnership with the Study in Portugal Network (SIPN).

More Photos!

To see many more photos from our News and Events please visit our Photo Galleries webpage.