Ongoing Literary Modernity in the Lusophone Space: Interactions between World-Modernism and Peripheral Literary Modernity

Organisers: Marco Bucaioni (ULisbon) & Rui Sousa (ULisbon)

In recent years, as proposed by authors such as Huyssen (2005), Friedman (2015), and Jaillant and Martin (2018), the renewal of Modernist Studies underwent the recognition of issues such as the relation between regionalism, internationalism and transnationalism, related to a problematization of the processes of mutual exchange and contamination between European paradigms globally disseminated and the different local traditions who received and transformed these models, combining them with aspects of their own cultures. The semi-peripheral condition of Portugal, according to the concept proposed by Casanova (1999) and Moretti (2003) and the analysis of Boaventura Sousa Santos (1994), became particularly decisive in the constitution of the programmatic discourse assumed by the most representative authors of Portuguese Modernism, the poets and writers of Orpheu group (1915), especially Fernando Pessoa. Portuguese modernism deliberately questioned Portugal’s place in Western Modernity, considering the cultural marginalization to which the country had been subjected. The ambiguous relationship of Portuguese modernism with its European counterparts resides in a characteristic we consider the most evident manifestation of a semi-peripheral status: the programmatic proposal of the synthesis between the Portuguese cultural specificity and the different models developed within the framework of the European avant-gardes. The main purpose of this panel is to explore the repercussions of this problematic relationship with the models disseminated by European Modernism in the Portuguese literary movements of the second half of the 20th century. The late reception of some paradigmatic models of European modernism (Dadaism, Surrealism, the modernist novel) as well as the awareness of the country’s cultural and sociopolitical marginality, were decisive in the constitution of a singular literary canon that merged the European modernist heritage, the persistence of local paradigms and the obsessive questioning of the Portuguese identity within the framework of Western culture.


Marco Bucaioni (University of Lisbon) – The Years that Changed the Dominant Poetics. Literary Modernity in the Portuguese Novel 1963-1980

Rui Sousa (University of Lisbon) – Portuguese Surrealism as a Critical Semi-Peripheral Movement in Mário Cesariny’s Theoretical Proposals

Dênis Augusto da Silva (University of Lisbon) – Questioned Modernity in Abdulai Sila’s Works

Sofia Morabito (University of Pisa) – «Center» and «¨Periphery»: An Alternative Modernism in the Dialogue between Colonial and Postcolonial Portuguese Language Literature

Frederico van Erven Cabala (Federal Fluminense University) – Modern Brazilian Drama: Impacts of the play O rei da vela (The Candle King), by Oswald de Andrade

Mário Vítor Fernandes Arauijo Bastos (University of Lisbon) –  The Critique of Modernity in the Work of Mário Cesariny

Ana Isabel Santos (University of Porto) – Acts of Resistance: Towards a Portuguese identity in the International Surrealist Movement

Marisa Mourinha (University of Lisbon) – Rio de Janeiro, New York, Mindelo, Lourenço Marques–Transatlantic Crossings of Modernism Models into the Portuguese-Language African Literature

Fernando de Moraes Gebra (University of Lisbon) -Inside Orpheu: A Historiographical Review of the Portuguese Modernism