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:
An Exhibition of Recent Work by Pedro Letria
September 10 - October 26, 2021 at the University Gallery in Mahoney Hall
Presented by the UMass Lowell Department of Art & Design in partnership with the UMass Lowell Saab Center for Portuguese Studies.
Free and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: By appointment Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed during school breaks.
Artist Talk and Reception
September 22, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.
Maskirovka is the Russian word for deception that has became known as a military strategy intended to confuse the enemy. In the project Maskirovka, a film and a series of photographs are juxtaposed and explored for their ability to question how we understand fact and fiction. The film makes use of well-known actors and the language of cinema to enact a truthful account. The pictures present unrelated, unstaged, and untitled occurrences. Maskirovka aims to posit the extent to which the reality of fiction, in images and words, may function as a surrogate for truth in times of assaulted facts.
About Pedro Letria
Pedro Letria is a Portuguese artist whose work reflects upon issues of displacement and belonging. His use of photography and text are a reflection on how image and language function alone, and, once combined, establish an alternate discourse. Pedro Letria is the author of seven books, including Mármore, from 2007, and The Club, from 2014. His work has been widely exhibited and is part of public and private collections. He holds a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he was a Fulbright scholar. He has taught at Escola Superior de Arte e Design, in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, since 2000. In 2017 he was awarded the António Quadros Prize. Letria will be the Fall 2021 Gulbenkian/ Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell.
For more information please contact the UMass Lowell Department of Art & Design by email at email@example.com or by phone at: 978-934-3494.
The University Gallery is accessible to all. Gallery events are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Wilder Metered Lot, located at the intersection of Wilder Street and Bachelder Street. The entrance to the lot is located on Bachelder Street. After 4 p.m. visitors may park in any open campus lot. As of August 16, 2021, all visitors, students, faculty, and staff are required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces.
A Conversation with Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital
moderated by Associate Prof. Jarrod Hayes
Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Presented by the UMass Lowell Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Department of Political Science and International Relations Club.
In this conversation, Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital will discuss his almost six years as the Portuguese Ambassador to US, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, accomplishments of Portugal in the EU, the future of NATO/transatlantic community in a presumed Pacific century, bi-lateral US-Portugal relations, the challenges and opportunities for the EU-Portugal in the next decade, and the role of the Portuguese in international organizations over the past two decades.
About Domingos Fezas Vital
Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital, a career diplomat in the Portuguese Foreign Service, has been Portugal’s Ambassador to the United States of America since 2015.
He served as Diplomatic Advisor to the last Portuguese Governor of Macau, as Portugal prepared to hand over the territory to China, in 1999.
From 2012 to 2015, he was Permanent Representative of Portugal to the European Union.
He was born in Luanda, Angola, and has a degree in social and legal sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, a Law degree from the University of Coimbra, and a graduate degree in International Trade from the Free University of Brussels.
In 2019, he was the recipient of the Diplomat of the Year Award from the Confederation of Portuguese Industry, for his role in promoting economic relations between Portugal and the USA.
About Jarrod Hayes
Before coming to UMass Lowell he was a tenured associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
His primary fields of study are international security, global environmental politics, and foreign policy.
Photographs Unhinged: Is there still a purpose to making pictures
Prize-winning Photographer Pedro Letria
Presented by the UMass Lowell Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Department of Art & Design.
- When: Tuesday, April 20 at 5 p.m.
- Where: Webinar via Zoom
Once registered you will receive access via email. The webinar is free and open to the public.
With the exponential ubiquity of images and the democratization of image making and sharing, photographs are drowning in their number.
Pictures have become unhinged, unmoored from the world that gave them substance, and are left floating, aimlessly.
Can there still be a purpose to making pictures beyond a vain gesture? The answer may well be in photography’s own backyard.
This webinar is incorporated into Prof. Jennifer Cadero-Gillete’s course Art Appreciation.
About Pedro Letria
Pedro Letria is a Portuguese artist whose work reflects upon issues of displacement and belonging.
His use of photography and text are a reflection on how image and language function alone and, once combined, establish an alternate discourse.
Pedro Letria is the author of seven books, including Mármore, from 2007, and The Club, from 2014.
His work has been widely exhibited and is part of public and private collections.
He holds a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he was a Fulbright scholar. He has taught at Escola Superior de Arte e Design, in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, since 2000.
In 2017 he was awarded the António Quadros Prize. Letria will be the Fall 2021 Gulbenkian/Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell.
Afro-Brazilian Capoeira: From Social Threat to Global Export:
A conversation with Prof. Katya Wesolowski, Duke University
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. (via Zoom)
Moderated by: Diana Gomes Simões, Visiting Lecturer in Portuguese
NEW Registration Link:
Afro-Brazilian Capoeira: From Social Threat to Global Export Online Registration
After registering you will receive access to the online lecture viewing via email.
Presented by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Department of World Language and Cultures.
This webinar is incorporated into Visiting Lecturer Diana Gomes Simões’ course Culture and Civilization of Brazil.
Capoeira—a dynamic combat game that melds play, fight, dance, acrobatics, music and ritual—was created by enslaved male Africans in Brazil several hundred years ago as a form of cultural and physical resistance.
Perceived as a social threat in the 19th century, celebrated as a part of brasilidade (national identity) in the early 20th century, today capoeira is a global export, played by men, women and children around the world.
Introducing the history, music and movement of capoeira, this talk explores the way in which the practice is deeply shaped by race and gender politics, and is also an arena for raising consciousness around structural inequalities and social justice.
Her monograph, Playing Capoeira: a memoir in motion (under contract with University Press of Florida), is a multi-sited ethnography that traces her thirty-year involvement as a practitioner, researcher and instructor of Afro-Brazilian capoeira.
She has published in the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology and Latin American Perspectives, and has forthcoming chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Black Dance Studies and the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Memory.
Portugal and the United States: Past Present and Future
Ambassador Robert A. Sherman — In Conversation with Neil Shortland
Thursday, March 25 at 5 p.m. (via Zoom)
The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies and the International Relations Club, announces a webinar, “Portugal and the United States: Past Present and Future - Ambassador Robert A. Sherman — In Conversation with Neil Shortland,” on Thursday, March 25 at 5 p.m. (via Zoom). Ambassador Sherman will be introduced by Chancellor Jaqueline Moloney.
United States-Portugal bilateral ties date from the earliest years of the United States, when Portugal recognized the United States in 1791 following the Revolutionary War. Since then the two countries have collaborated on a range of issues, from drugs to international security. In this conversation, Ambassador Sherman will discuss his time as the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal (under President Obama), the present and future of US-EU relations, the role of NATO in the 21st century, international security in a complex and interdependent world, the post-COVID economy, and the US-Portugal Bilateral Standing Committee. He will also focus on the revolutionary criminal justice reform in Portugal as international model for drug policy and recent innovations in the realms of cybersecurity. An audience question and answer session is also included.
The Honorable Robert A. Sherman served US Ambassador to Portugal 2014-17. As Ambassador, he engaged in innovative 21st century diplomacy focusing on international security issues and economic development. One of Ambassador Sherman’s main goals was to promote bilateral investment. He created expanded opportunities for American businesses by bringing executives and investors to Portugal to understand the high quality of Portuguese innovation and entrepreneurship. He also launched Connect to Success, a novel and award-winning State Department women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment initiative. For his distinguished work, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. Currently Ambassador Sherman serves as Senior Counsel at Greenberg Traurig, one of the largest international law firms in the U.S. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
Neil Shortland is the Director for the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Neil’s research focusses on military and police decision-making and countering violent extremism.
The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and Covid-19: World-Changing Events and Their Aftermaths
Thursday, February 25 at 5 p.m. via Zoom
Presented by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the UMass Lowell History Department
A lecture by Rui Tavares, Writer, historian and professor of Philosophy of History, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
After registering online you will receive access to the link via email.
What do Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States, and Maximilien Robespierre, leader of the Reign of Terror in the French Republic, have in common? The answer is that both were born shortly before or after the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Is it an accident that the generation born around the 1755 catastrophe became—although in quite different ways, in the two cases mentioned above—a revolutionary generation? There are events of such magnitude that they shape the worldview in which an entire generation will be formed, meaning they will no longer function under the same assumptions their parents lived by. This is why long-term consequences of a world-changing event can be somewhat delayed: after all, 21 years passed between the Great Earthquake and the American Revolution and 34 before the French Revolution. This talk concludes with some questions: can such dramatic changes happen again? And, if so, might the Covid-19 pandemic be the trigger event? Given the chequered history of revolutions and their aftermaths, what could follow?
Rui Tavares is a historian and a professor of Philosophy of History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He was the Gulbenkian / Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell in Spring 2020. Among his seven books is The Enlightened Censor, on censorship in the Portuguese Enlightenment regime of the Marquis de Pombal. He has also translated Giordano Bruno’s On Magic and Voltaire’s Candide. He was Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014). Among his publications on European Union affairs is The Irony of the European Project (2012). He is founder of the Portuguese political party Livre and a columnist at the leading daily newspaper Público.
For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-934-5199.
Webinar: My Hunt for King Sebastian - Katherine Vaz
How Fresh Cultural Perspectives Are Attracting New Audiences to Short Fiction
The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies’ Distinguished Writers Series, in partnership with the Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities, presents a webinar with: Prize-winning novelist and short-story author Katherine Vaz!
Monday, December 7, 2020 at 4 p.m. via Zoom
After registering you will be emailed directions on how to access the webinar.
Vaz will share insights on the art of short prose—including her one biggest secret for how to make stories work. Using one of her pieces, “My Hunt for King Sebastian”, as a springboard, she will discuss how she tapped her Portuguese-American background and how fresh cultural perspectives are attracting new audiences to short fiction.
This webinar is incorporated into Prof. Diana Gomes Simões’ course The Short Story in the Lusophone World, where students will discuss Vaz’s “My Hunt for King Sebastian,” from the collection Fado & Other Stories (1997).
About Katherine Vaz
Katherine Vaz is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels, Saudade (a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Mariana, published in six languages and picked by the Library of Congress as one of the Top 30 International Books of 1998. Her collection Fado & Other Stories won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and Our Lady of Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories the Prairie Schooner Award. Her latest book is The Love Life an Assistant Animator & Other Stories. The short story “Revenge in the Name of all Owls” is referenced in The Best American Short Stories 2020. Vaz has been a Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard and Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Readings and Conversations with Mozambican Author Mia Couto
The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies’ Distinguished Writers Series, in collaboration with the Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities and the Department of English and World Languages and Cultures, presents a webinar:
Readings and Conversations with Mozambican author Mia Couto
Monday, November 2, 2020 at 4 p.m., on Zoom
Moderated by Prof. Diana Gomes Simões
About Mia Couto
Mia Couto, born in Beira, Mozambique in 1955, is one of the leading Lusophone writers today. He is the bestselling author of eleven novels, many collections of short stories, three collections of poetry, and five children’s books. He was awarded the Camões Prize for Literature in 2013 and the Neustadt International Literature Prize in 2014, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2015 and shortlisted for International Dublin Literary Prize in 2017. His latest publication in the US is a short story in The Decameron Project just published by the New York Times. He has also worked as a journalist and is a professor of Biology at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. This webinar is incorporated into Prof. Diana Gomes Simões’ course The Short Story in the Lusophone World, where students will read and discuss Couto’s “The Bird Dreaming Baobab” (see attachment) from the collection Every Man is a Race (1989).
Webinar Presentation on Portuguese-American Political Activism
Thursday, October 15, 4 p.m.
The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies presents:
A Virtual Lecture / Book Talk with James McGlinchey, author of The Final Report: A History of the Portuguese-American Citizenship Project, 1999-2016
Please register online using the link below and you will receive access via email.
The Portuguese American Citizenship Project was established in 1999 with support from the Luso-American Foundation to encourage Portuguese-Americans to participate more fully in civic affairs and gain a stronger voice in governance. The Final Report: A History of the Portuguese American Citizenship Project, 1999-2016 is a study in civic engagement that documents the Project’s non-partisan, data-driven programs to promote U.S. citizenship, voter registration, and voting. From 1999 to 2009, James McGlinchey served as the coordinator of the Project, working with churches, clubs and social welfare organizations on grass-roots civic campaigns in communities ranging from post-industrial cities in New England to farming communities in California.
About The Author
James Martin McGlinchey was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State 1975-1999. His last overseas posting was as the Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, Lisbon. Mr. McGlinchey holds an MA in Economics from the University of Kansas a second MA in Public Administration from Harvard University. He was born in Fall River, MA, and traces his Portuguese roots back to his maternal grandparents who immigrated to the United States from the Azores Islands at the turn of the 20th century.
Utopia’s Generation: Thomas More, Erasmus, Damião de Góis and the End of a World
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
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.
ABOUT RUI TAVARES
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.
“All Over The Map” With Blue Thread Concert
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
- With special guests:
“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:
- Blue Thread - Ondas do mar de Vigo (Waves of the Sea of Vigo)
- Blue Thread - Mandad’Ey Comigo
- Blue Thread - Mia Irmana Fremosa - My Lovely Sister
- Blue Thread - Lonely in Vigo - Ay Deus Se Sab’Ora Meu Amigo
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
Exhibition Dates: January 20 - February 28, 2020
- Reception: Moloney Hall at University Crossing, Tuesday, February 18, 5:30 p.m.
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..
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: Natalia_Melo@uml.edu.
Free and open to the public.