Engaging In Portuguese Culture

Founded in 2013, with generous gift from the Saab Family Fund, the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies promotes the multidisciplinary study of the language, literature and culture of the vast and varied Portuguese speaking world comprised of over 250 million people in eight countries on four continents and its diaspora.

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.

Register Online for Back Central

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.

Study Abroad in Lisbon, Portugal Summer 2022

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

May 23 - June 14, 2022

Panorâmica da cidade de Lisboa, Portugal. A Panoramic of the city of Lisbon, Portugal. Image by Alexander De Leon Battista

Enjoy a unique international experience in Lisbon, the largest city and capital of Portugal (member 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. Take advantage of the rich architectural history of Romanesque and Gothic churches, a medieval castle, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A street in Old town in Lisbon, Portugal with a yellow Tram in the foreground and a cathedral looming in the background and buildings on both sides. Image by © Rrrainbow / Shutterstock

Revel in a diverse music scene, with the soulful melodies of Portuguese fado, varieties of Cape Verdean and Brazilian music, cutting-edge jazz, and classical music. Take strolls through the bairros of this beautiful, safe and historic city, or get around in a first-rate public transport system.

There will be side-trips to picturesque towns, including Sintra, also a World Heritage Site.

Spend two weeks exploring everything Lisbon has to offer, while earning 3 college credits.

Open To All University Majors.

  • May 23 - June 14, 2022
  • Required UMass Lowell On-Site Course: Special Topics: in Portuguese Studies - Lisbon in Film and Culture (see below)
  • Financial aid may be applicable.
  • Scholarships available up to $1,500
Diana Gomes Simoes

Diana Gomes Simões

Special Topics in Portuguese Studies - Lisbon in Film and Culture

By Diana Gomes Simões, Ph.D.

Across the centuries, Lisbon has been a source of inspiration for writers and film directors. This course will study films (Portuguese and foreign) and cultural artifacts that tell the story of the capital city of Portugal from the Middle Ages to the present. We will discuss the city in the classroom and go out and about to explore sites that are the setting for the films under consideration. Taught in English.

Diana Gomes Simões teaches Portuguese at UMass Lowell. Her research focuses on literature and cinema. She has published on Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone African literatures and cultures.

More Information

For more Information and to apply, please contact the UMass Lowell Study Abroad office via email: studyabroad@uml.edu or contact Diana Gomes Simoes via email: Diana_GomesSimoes@uml.edu.

The 2022 UMass Lowell Summer Program in Lisbon, Portugal, 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.

Bi-weekly Portuguese Conversation Table


Are you a Portuguese Speaker or Learner? Do you want to practice your Portuguese in a relaxed atmosphere? Bring a friend!

  • When: Mondays from noon - 1 p.m.
    • September 27, 2021
    • October 4, 18, 2021
    • November 1, 15, 29, 2021
  • Where: Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, O'Leary Library, 5th floor, room 528.

More Information

For more information please email Diana Gomes Simoes at: diana_gomessimoes@uml.edu or visit the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, O'Leary Library 528.

Community & Change In The Mill City's Portuguese Community Exhibit Opening

More Photos!

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