The Center, administered under the aegis of the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at UMass Lowell, organizes and co-organizes colloquia, workshops, exhibitions, visits by distinguished writers from the Lusophone world and Portuguese North America, lectures, theater and dance performances, concerts, and film screenings. It also sponsors and co-sponsors research on collections of documents related to the diaspora.
The Center fosters Luso-Afro-Brazilian studies across the UMass Lowell campus and functions as a liaison between the University of Massachusetts Lowell and other institutions involved in Portuguese and Lusophone studies in the United States and abroad.
The Center promotes outreach efforts in areas such as the arts, K-12 education, economic development, health and politics, and civic engagement related to the Portuguese speaking communities of the United States, while also sponsoring and co-sponsoring research on the Lusophone world, especially on the Portuguese-speaking communities in Massachusetts in general and the Merrimack Valley in particular.
Finally, the Center supports the efforts of the UMass Lowell Department of World Languages and Cultures to develop a Portuguese program, including new language and culture courses in Academic Year 2014-15.
Frank F. Sousa is Professor of Portuguese in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and founding director of the Saab Center for Portuguese Culture and Research at UMass Lowell. He is the author of O Segredo de Eça (Edições Cosmos, 1996), an often-cited book on Eça de Queirós, Portugal’s foremost 19th century writer. He is presently working on a critical edition of Eça’s A cidade e as serras, to be published by Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, Portugal’s leading academic publisher, and is under contract for a second single-author monograph on Eça de Queirós with É Realizações Editora, São Paulo.
He was founding director of Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth (1998-2014), a partner of the University Press of New England, where press he was also general editor of the Portuguese in the Americas Series (2003-2014), and the Adamastor Series (2011-2014). He has twice been a Fulbright Scholar at the National Library in Lisbon, Portugal.
Before coming to UMass Lowell in January 2014, he was at UMass Dartmouth, where he proposed and led the campaigns to create the Summer Program in Portuguese (1994), the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture (1996), the Department of Portuguese (2000), the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies (2001), the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives (2005-2009), and the Portuguese-American Newspaper Digitization Initiative (2007-2009). He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, now Mass Humanities (2003-2009), was designated a Comendador da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique by the Government of Portugal in 1997 and awarded the Medalha de Mérito by the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in 2010.