Instituto Camões Centre
for Portuguese Language

Oxford’s Instituto Camões Centre for Portuguese Language dates back to October 2001. The Vice-Chancellor and the President of the Instituto Camões, which is an agency of the Portuguese Government, have recently agreed a new constitution for the Centre, by a protocol signed in September 2010. The Centre will function as a polyvalent space which allows teachers and students of the University of Oxford, and other interested persons, the means to deepen their knowledge of, and to participate in activities in the areas of Portuguese language, history and culture.

The Centre now has two co-directors, Prof. Tom Earle and Ms Ana Teresa Marques dos Santos. In the coming months the Centre will host a number of activities relating to the Portuguese Renaissance, the time of the Discoveries when Portuguese ships dominated the trade routes between Africa, Asia and Europe and when in Portugal itself literary, musical and material culture reached unprecedented heights. The Centre will also continue to give importance to the recent history and politics of Portugal, as it has done ever since its beginnings in 2001.

Though the Centre was founded in that year, the study of Portuguese at Oxford goes back much further, to 1933. Since then the number of University staff and students teaching and studying Portuguese has grown immensely, and has now reached record levels. The Centre offers students the means to improve their knowledge of the Portuguese language, but also seeks to implement the wider role described above. So it welcomes all members of the University and others who have an interest in the achievements of Britain’s oldest ally.

Recent events

Portugal in the Concert of Europe

The Centre for Portuguese Language / Instituto Camões of Oxford had the pleasure of listening to a lecture given by Dr José Cutileiro held in the Social Sciences Faculty, Manor Road Building Seminar Room C. Dr Cutileiro (D. Phil., St Antony’s), is a Special Adviser to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. 1 December 2011.

Fernando Pessoa Workshop

A prolific afternoon in the Taylor Institution. Prof. Paulo de Medeiros, Dr Rui Gonçalves Miranda, Suzette Macedo, Prof António M. Feijó and Mariana Gray de Castro, chaired by Dra Cláudia Pazos-Alonso, Prof Thomas Earle and Prof Helder Macedo, presented and discussed recent and enlightening analysis on various subjects related to Pessoa's work. These presentations were followed by the film screening of the play Turismo Infinito. 4 November 2011.

European Theatre in the Sixteenth Century: the Latin and Vernacular Traditions

A two-day conference held in the Research Centre, St John’s College. Speakers included Vanda Anastácio (University of Lisbon), José Augusto Cardoso Bernardes (University of Coimbra), Lisa Sampson (University of Reading), José Camões (University of Lisbon), Hélio Alves (University of Évora) and various academics from the University of Oxford. 1-2 October

Let the mountains speak: the roles of rural landscape in the short stories of Miguel Torga and Han Shaogong

Talk by Mr Gustavo Infante, Bristol, Room T.11, 47 Wellington Square, Tuesday 7th June, 2.15 p.m.

Holding an audience: form and reception in Novas Cartas Portuguesas

Talk by Dr Ana Margarida Dias Martins, University of Cambridge, Room T.11, 47 Wellington Square, Tuesday 31th May, 2.15 p.m.

Camões: Prince of Poets - Book Launch

In an enlighten event, Professor Willis, Emeritus Professor of Portuguese at the University of Manchester, introduced his book Camões: Prince of Poets, which was the result of many years of research and reflection. Taylor Institution, room 3, Friday 13th May, 5 p.m.

Reconquest vs Crusade: The politics of historical memory in twelfth-century Portugal

Talk by Dr Stephen Lay, University of Oxford, Room T.11, 47 Wellington Square, Tuesday 24th May, 2.15 p.m.

A representividade de escritoras brasileiras na era colonial

Talk by Dr Edilene Ribeiro, Universidade Federal de Ceará, on Tuesday 3rd May, 2.15 p.m., T.11, 47 Wellington Square

Os Estudos Literários na Universidade Portuguesa: situação actual e perspectivas de futuro

On 24th February Prof. José Augusto Cardoso Bernardes, from the University of Coimbra, expert on Portuguese Literature and Culture, gave an insightful talk about the current situation of literary studies in Portugal.