Introduction to the Lusophone World (MLP1002)

StaffDr Susana Pinto Cavadas Afonso - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Co-requisitesMLP1052 for MLC-based students of Portuguese. None for all other students.
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to:

  • Introduce you to the Lusophone world, enabling you to identify the complex historical interconnectedness that exists between the countries as well as their specificity.
  • Introduce you to key historical and cultural moments of the Portuguese-speaking world (Portugal, Brazil and Lusophone Africa) while unpacking relevant concepts such as Nationalism, Colonialism, Hybridity, among others.
  • Enable you to analyse critically cultural objects (text, film), relating them to the key historical moments.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding the history of continuity and discontinuity of the Lusophone world from the Middle Ages to the present day
  • 2. Understand key critical concepts relevant to the Lusophone world (e.g. Colonialism, Hybridity, Nationalism)
  • 3. Engage with a range of cultural objects (literature, film, etc.) and analyse them relating them to their historical and cultural contexts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate the competence to analyse cultural objects in historical and geographical context, through the use of related critical writings
  • 5. Demonstrate an understanding of, and an ability to apply, critical terminology

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Work effectively with other students in groups and sustain arguments coherently
  • 7. Present information and arguments on a defined topic
  • 8. Think critically and independently

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary, it is envisaged that the course will include some of the following topics:

  • The formation of Portugal as an independent nation
  • The Portuguese empire: colonisation, migration and displacement
  • Slavery
  • Independence and Brazil’s First Republic (1889-1930)
  • Portuguese republic and the rise of the dictatorship – Estado Novo (1933-1974)
  • Lusotropicalism and African territories under Portuguese rule
  • Brazil’s dictatorships: Estado Novo (1930-45) and Military Dictatorship (1964-1985)
  • Africa and Portugal after 1975: from independence of Portuguese-speaking Africa to the formation of the CPLP

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Semiars
Guided Independent Study134Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay500 words1-8Individual written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination100Exam1-8Generic group feedback posted on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationTake-home examination 1-8Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Anderson, B. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.
  • Disney, A. 2009. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. From the Beginnings to 1807. Volume 1. Cambridge: CUP
  • Fausto, B. 1999. A Concise History of Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • McClintock, Anne. 1994. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Context. London: Routledge.
  • Mitchell, W.J. T. 1987. Iconology: Image, Text and Ideology. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • Newitt, M. 2009. Portugal in Europe and World History. London : Reaktion Books
  • Newitt, M. 1995. A History of Mozambique. London: C. Hurst & Co.
  • Owen, Hilary. 2007. Mother Africa, Father Marx: Women’s Writing of Mozambique 1948 – 2002. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.
  • Vale de Almeida, M. 2008. Portugal’s Colonial Complex: From Colonial Lusotropicalism to Postcolonial Lusophony
  • Sousa Santos, B. 2002. “Between Prospero and Caliban: Colonialism, Post-*Colonialism and Inter-Identity”. Luso-Brazilian Review, 39(2): 9-43

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Portuguese-speaking world, colonialism, slavery, decolonisation