Lisbon in Film and Culture

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Lisbon in Film and Culture

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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

    Course Description
    Across the centuries, Lisbon has been a source of inspiration for writers and film directors, as well as a place of conflict, passion, drama. 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, reflecting on the society and its peoples. The films, the companion readings, and the field trips encompass, among others, the following themes: the reconquest of Moorish Lisbon in the Middle Ages; Portuguese expansion and empire, and Lisbon as global city in the 15th and 16th centuries; Fado and its importance in the national identity; the path from monarchy to democracy, focusing mainly on the Carnation Revolution of 1974. 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.

    Teaching and Learning Methods
    Lecture and discussion; visiting lectures by Lisbon writers and scholars; student presentation portfolios on particular topics; walking tours and visits to several museums, monuments, and sites of interest, including São Jorge Castle, Alfama, Baixa, Praça do Comércio, Bairro Alto, Belém, Sintra, etc. Class will meet in classroom three days a week, 2-hour sessions, for two weeks. Field trips will take place every day of the week (free weekends for exploration). Students will have two extra weeks after the end of the two-week program for research and presentation of their portfolios on a theme to be discussed with the instructor.

    Learning Outcomes:
    By the end of the course, students will demonstrate
    - a general knowledge of major films (fictional, fact-based, or documentary), and other cultural production by Portuguese artists on Lisbon;
    - an ability to critically analyze different styles of writing and filming;
    - a general understanding of the history of Lisbon (and Portugal);
    - an understanding of the relationship between historiography, culture, and national identity;
    - ability to articulate how cinema both reflects and helps shape culture, society and history;
    - a depth of understanding sufficient to explore the cultural landscape of Lisbon on their own.


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