LusoSphere Seminar

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MARCH 19, 2018
University of Pittsburgh

Program

Nine countries from all around the world have Portuguese as an official language, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese is also one of the official languages in Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Therefore, this seminar aims to explore the amazing diversity of culture and history in the Lusosphere. We will celebrate cultures, identities, and the many voices of the Portuguese-speaking world. The possibility of discussing the meanings of the Portuguese language in its diversity of sociolinguistic and cultural contexts is a way to promote intercultural dialogue for joint and meaningful construction of knowledge.

The goal is to create an environment where specialists can share the results of their research, along with undergraduate/graduate students who will have the chance to share their ideas about cultural practices, products, and perspectives in Portuguese. From a variety of perspectives, we intend to incorporate new avenues, new theoretical and methodological paradigms, and new advancements in the areas of language, literature, culture, and education. By contributing their work to the seminar these participants will serve to expand Lusophone interculturality.

The seminar will provide an opportunity to communicate informed views and suggestions to an audience seeking to gain new insights into the cultures of the Lusosphere. Attendees will be inspired to learn (or expand their knowledge of) Portuguese language and Lusophone communities. We aim to learn more about this exciting area, exchange stories of success and failure, socialize, and start new collaborations. The objectives of this conference are to put side-by-side scientific investigations and professional experiences, and to revisit cultural production in general in the Lusophone world. We also hope that this event will have an impact on language educators at all levels of teaching and help their students to succeed in their language learning process. This event offers insight into the current state of Portuguese language teaching practices and language teaching perceptions through the dialogue between students and educators.

The first edition of this conference occurred March 22, 2017 and gathered undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh as well as members of the community. We expect to expand this venue and reach a larger audience in the following events. The keynote speaker, Luis Gonçalves, from Princeton University presented a lecturer entitled “Defiant Voices in Mia Couto’s work: Carving a Space for Tradition in Contemporary Mozambique”. It was a great opportunity to become familiar with the diversity of the Lusosphere both linguistically and culturally.