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Exploring the Crossroads and Perspectives of Lusophone Studies

Conference Delves into the Development of Lusophone Studies

Exploring the Crossroads and Perspectives of Lusophone Studies

October 29th to November 1st, 2013 – York University, Toronto, Canada

LSA and Conference Website, YouTube video, and YFile. For more information please contact Professor Robert Kenedy @ rkenedy@yorku.ca

Please RSVP for the conference. Please return the completed sheet to lsa@yorku.ca by Friday, October 11th, 2013 or through Machforms.

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We are very excited about the upcoming Exploring the Crossroads and Perspectives of Lusophone Studies conference on October 29th to November 1st, 2013 at both Winters and Founders College. This conference delves into the development of Lusophone and Portuguese identities, history, sociology, and language as it relates Lusophone world.

The conference is a continuation of the Identity, Civic Engagement, Multiculturalism and Transnationalism: Portuguese-Canadian Immigrant Descendants in Canada Symposium held at Winters College from October 11-12, 2011. The success of the symposium has led to this conference and the continued involvement of Winters College.

The conference acknowledges the reality that there are approximately 250 million speakers of Portuguese in the world today, in nations and territories such as Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Macau, East Timor, Goa, Daman and Diu. Immigrants from these nations are also scattered in large communities throughout the world, with major concentrations in the United States, Canada, France and other European destinations. Lusophone Studies (the study of this Portuguese-speaking world) is a broad interdisciplinary area that includes the many crossroads, perspectives, and contexts, which have contributed to this diaspora and to the Portuguese language being the 6th most spoken in the world and the 3rd most spoken in the western hemisphere. Both in terms of historical past and contemporary settings, Lusophone lives have been molded by many factors that range from historical, social, political and economic circumstances, to established and new migration patterns between Lusophone and non-Lusophone countries. The outcome is visible in both geographical and ethnocultural development of many Lusophone identities that intersect in many countries. Lusophone studies focuses on these perspectives and intersections in interdisciplinary ways in order to create an inclusive study of current issues and viewpoints which relate to this historical legacy. Until recently, this body of scholarship had been largely ignored in Canada. In order to address this omission, the newly created Lusophone Studies Association – the first of its kind in this country – is holding its inaugural conference at York University in the fall of 2013. 

The conference seeks to gather all those interested in Lusophone Studies by offering a forum to encourage current and new debates in this emerging area of scholarship. This conference will take place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2013 in Founders College and Winters College. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event. Refreshments will be served.

The keynote speaker is Professor Onesimo T. Almeida, of Browns University who will deliver the keynote address: “Lusofonia - On Language and What it Does and Cannot Do.” He is a highly respected scholar in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and is well known internationally throughout the Lusophone world.

A Decanal representative of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Marie Rickard Master of York’s Winters College, and Mauro Bucchari, Master of Founders College will be on hand for to welcome participants. The first day of the conference is scheduled for October 29 at 18:30 at Founders College (305) for a reception followed by the keynote speaker. Diplomatic representation from the Lusophone world will give the introductions and welcome address Tuesday evening. The Colleges play a vital part in the cultural and intellectual enrichment of York’s communities. This event, primarily sponsored by both Winters and Founders Colleges, is another example of supporting intellectual and cultural activities at the university in order to enhance the opportunities for students at York to participate in academic events. It should be noted that the Portuguese Association of York University club, located at Winters College, will be participating in the conference as well as other students. There will also be entertainment by well knowledge Lusophone musicians such as Nuno Cristo and Helder Pereira as well as a film launch of Azulejos: A Ceramic Utopia.