History, Art, and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Portugal

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History, Art, and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Portugal

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    Art History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    From the Roman and Muslim roots to the Portuguese Empire, from Monarchy to Democracy, this course examines the impact of history in Portugal's cultural identity. In the course students will discuss how major cultural and historic events played a role in the development of the country, as well as observe the presence of multiple cultural voices in contemporary cultural productions. Students will experience and develop an in-depth perspective of the historical, social, ethnic, and cultural layers that make Portugal a vibrant and unique country. History, architecture, arts, and sports will provide an indepth perspective of this multicultural country, and the ways in which all these voices come together to make Portugal the center of the Lusophone world. Our course will also emphasize the struggles that the Portuguese society still faces, and the current discussions and solutions found to remediate such inequities. Conducted in English.

    Course Objectives
    At the end of the course students will have a deeper understanding of the many layers involved in the construction of a country that is known for its beauty, as well as for its fight for equal rights and for social inclusion. We will have the opportunity to reflect on Portuguese society through an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses diverse fields in Humanities and Social Sciences:
    • History: What are the marks of history in contemporary Portugal? How are the old and the new incorporated in Portuguese cultural identity?
    • Immigration Studies: How are new immigrants received and integrated in a new society? 
    What lessons can we learn from the recent immigration of Angolans, Brazilians, and Cape Verdeans in Portugal?
    • Race Studies: How did Portuguese culture influence former Portuguese colonies in South 
    America, Africa, and Asia? How does Portugal integrate people and communities who decided to immigrate to the country?
    • Gender Studies: What Portuguese policies contributed to fight gender inequality in the country?
    • Language and Culture: What is the impact of arts, music, and sport in contemporary Portugal? What do they tell us about the country's past and present? How does learning and understanding a foreign language contribute to the understanding of Portuguese society?
    All these questions will be answered while culturally immersed in some of the most diverse and dynamic cities in Portugal, amongst them in Lisbon and Oporto.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will learn about the main aspects that influenced the construction of a culturally diverse Portugal through bibliography on ancient history, as well as texts about the discoveries, the influence of Marquis the Pombal, the New State, and contemporary voices in Portuguese culture. We will visit sites for an expanded first-hand experience of our discussions in the classroom as well as to enhance the experience students have while in Portugal. It is expected that students become aware of the many cultures that cooperated to the construction of the country, the many struggles the Portuguese people endured throughout time, as well as the current cultural mosaic of Portuguese society. 



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