Portuguese Cinema, Culture and Identity
Lecturer: Miguel Cardoso
This theoretical course examines the historical conditions for the emergence of the most widespread and tenacious representations of Portugal as an “imagined community”, and its place within a world system. It draws on Portuguese cinema, but also on a variety of cinematic and visual culture concepts to interrogate the ideas of coherence, continuity and closure that the idea of “Portugal” implies.
Rather than a linear progression through Portuguese history and cinema, lessons are organised thematically, offering multiple and interconnected entry-points, and allowing for a continuous crossing over between films and other discourses and objects, both within and beyond the cultural field.
Although they are interconnected, the course is divided between in-class lessons, where the main focus is on Portuguese culture, history and identity, and screenings at the national film archive (Cinemateca Portuguesa), followed by a discussion focused mainly on the selection of films just watched to approach their positioning in terms of aesthetical and period contexts and/or from cultural, sociological, political and historical perspectives.
The course matters should therefore provide a set of starting clues for students to follow and investigate deeper, both to develop their assigned work in this unit and to ground possible topics for the graduation projects that they will carry out locally in the final semester.