Back Central - A Visual Presentation by Pedro Letria

Fall 2021 Gulbenkian / Saab Visiting Professor in Portuguese Studies UMass Lowell
Professor of Photography at Escola Superior de Arte e Design, in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. via Zoom

Picture of the outside / entrance to Lowell home with a for sale sign and the realtor's information as well as a statue of Mary. Image by Pedro Letria

Presented by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Department of Art & Design.

A visual exploration of the Lowell neighborhood that has been home to much of the city’s Portuguese immigrant population since the late nineteenth century. Through community associations, regional celebrations, urban signs, and, most importantly, personal encounters with its inhabitants past and present, Back Central serves as an invitation to enter a conversation on memory and the preservation of cultural identity.

Read more in the UMass Lowell News story: Portuguese Photographer Documents Lowell’s Luso-American Community.

After registering you will receive access to online viewing via email.

Pedro Letria is a Portuguese artist whose work reflects upon issues of displacement and belonging.

Pedro Letria

About Pedro Letria

Pedro Letria is the author of seven books, including Mármore (2007) and The Club (2014). His work has been widely exhibited and is part of public and private collections. He holds a BFA 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.

Learn more on Pedro Letria's website.

More Information

For more information, please contact the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.



Contemporary Angolan Film Directors: Maria João Ganga’s Na Cidade Vazia (Hollow City)

A Lecture By Prof. Katheryn M. Sanchez, University of Wisconsin

Monday, November 8 at 5 p.m. via Zoom

Presented by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Watch a recording of Contemporary Angolan Film Directors: Maria João Ganga’s Na Cidade Vazia (Hollow City) by Katheryn M. Sanchez.

The first part of the lecture focuses on the 2004 film Na Cidade Vazia (Hollow City) by Maria João Ganga in order to explore the concepts of home, belonging, and urban space. The second part will look at recent film production through the work of Geração 80, in particular the dystopian film Ar Condicionado (Fradique, 2019) and the documentary Para lá dos meus passos (Kamy Lara, 2019). This presentation aims to explore the legacy of colonialism and civil war in current film production as well as the vibrant, new directions of contemporary Angolan film.

Kathryn M. Sanchez is Professor of Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Katheryn M. Sanchez

Kathryn M. Sanchez is Professor of Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her interests include Luso-Brazilian narrative, women and performativity, film studies, and the cultural representation of indigeneity and race. Among her books is Creating Carmen Miranda: Race, Camp and International Stardom (Vanderbilt UP, 2016). She is Executive Editor for the Luso-Brazilian Review and the Series Editor for Performing “Performing Latin-American and Caribbean Identities” at Vanderbilt UP. Among her current areas of research are performance and film of Angola in international dialogue.

For those interested in watching the movie Na Cidade Vazia (Hollow City) before the lecture it is available online.

This webinar is incorporated into Prof. Diana Gomes Simões’s course on Lusophone Cinema.

More Information

For more information, please contact email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.

Maskirovka

Image of a man smiling and dressed up as a clown with face paint and a big red nose.

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.

Pedro Letria is a Portuguese artist whose work reflects upon issues of displacement and belonging.

Pedro Letria

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.

More Information

For more information please contact the UMass Lowell Department of Art & Design by email at art@uml.edu 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.

The Pandemic of 2020-21 in Portugal: Did the Politics of Geringonça help with the National Response?

A Lecture By Paul Christopher Manuel, American University

Tuesday, October 19 at 5 p.m. via Zoom

Presented by the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, in partnership with the Political Science Department and the International Relations Club.

Watch The Pandemic of 2020-21 in Portugal Video Zoom Recording

Paul Christopher Manuel is distinguished scholar in residence at the School of Public Service at American University, research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and a local affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

Paul Christopher Manuel

The COVID-19 pandemic placed new and unforeseen stresses on the political system, as the national leadership in Portugal attempted to balance the rights and freedoms of their citizens with the required and sometimes draconian public health measures required to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including the first declaration of a national emergency in 45 years. This presentation briefly examines the political background of the successful national response to the pandemic of 2020–2021 and asks if the political lessons of the geringonça experience from 2015 to 2019 helped to facilitate policy consensus and cooperation among opposing ideological views during the crisis.

Paul Christopher Manuel is distinguished scholar in residence at the School of Public Service at American University, research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and a local affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He is also the director of the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program at American University. Manuel’s scholarship has contributed to the democratization literature in Portugal, with a focus on religion and politics. He has authored or co-authored ten books and numerous scholarly articles, including Voices of the Revolution: Revisiting the Portuguese Revolution of 25 April 1974 (2019).

More Information

For more information, please contact email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.

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.

Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital, is a career diplomat in the Portuguese Foreign Service, and has been Portugal’s Ambassador to the United States of America since 2015.

Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital

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

Jarrod Hayes is an associate professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science.

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.

More Information

For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.

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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.

An egg on a white background, casting a slight shadow. The Instagram egg is a photo of an egg posted by the account @world_record_egg on the social media platform Instagram, notable for becoming a global phenomenon and an internet meme within days of its creation. It has over 55 million likes, making it both the most-liked Instagram post and most liked online post on any website in history.

@world_record_egg on Instagram

  • 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.

Pedro Letria is a Portuguese artist whose work reflects upon issues of displacement and belonging.

Pedro Letria

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.

More Information

For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.

See more of our News and Events.

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

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.

Two people demonstrating Capoeira—a dynamic combat game that melds play, fight, dance, acrobatics, music and ritual as others watch around them and another plays a drum.

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.

Biography

Katya Wesolowski is a Lecturing Fellow in Cultural Anthropology and Dance at Duke University.

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.

More Information

For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call: 978-934-5199.

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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.

Robert A. Sherman served US Ambassador to Portugal 2014-17

Robert A. Sherman

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.

Neil Shortland

Neil Shortland

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.

More Information

For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call 978-934-5199.

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The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and Covid-19: World-Changing Events and Their Aftermaths

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.

Rui Tavares

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.

More Information

For more information, write to Natália Melo by email: natalia_melo@uml.edu or call 978-934-5199.