R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Estudos Literários

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Literaturas de Expressão Portuguesa das Universidades de Lisboa - CLEPUL [LIT-LVT-Lisboa-77] visitada em 16/02/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade

The Centre has a long tradition in Portuguese Studies reaching back to 1975 and its foundation by one of the most distinguished Portuguese scholars, Prof. Jacinto do Prado Coelho. The Centre has continuously adapted its research foci from the original emphasis on sociological approaches to literature to the current broad view of Portuguese Studies encompassing the various literatures written in Portuguese, a move consolidated with an internal restructuring effected in 2005. The newly expanded mission of the Centre has meant both a greater coverage in time as well as in space and this is reflected in its greater number of specific research lines as well as in the greater number of associated members. At the moment (and since 2003 in the case of three of the lines, or 2007 in the case of the fourth) the Centre has consolidated various research goals under four main lines: Area 1 -Portuguese Literature and Culture; Area 2 -Literatures and Cultures within the CPLP; Area 3 -Brazilian Literature and Culture; Area 4 •European Literatures and Cultures. The Unit is one of the largest in Portugal. Its report lists a total of 55 members (including some foreign collaborators), 3 associated members and 22 junior (non PhD) members.


The Centre’s declared objectives are wide and ambitious as it sees as its area all of lusophone literatures. The Centre aims to serve as a reference point for Portuguese Studies worldwide and gives special relevance to projects that develop tools, in the form of critical editions, dictionaries, studies, and bibliographic sources that can be used by researchers everywhere.


The Centre has a general coordinator and is divided in four principal research lines, each headed by a principal investigator. Each one of these lines is further subdivided in several projects with specific aims. The managing style of this Unit is one that allows for great communication across the hierarchical levels with senior researchers serving as mentors for junior ones. It should be remarked that the dialogue thus created is one that takes advantage of the experience of senior members while allowing for the full participation of junior members. The four main lines are clearly separate, one focusing on Portuguese literature, another on Brazilian, with another one taking on other lusophone literatures and the fourth dedicated to the relationship between Portuguese and other, especially European, literatures.


The Centre has a very high level of productivity, both in terms of the publication of books in its own series as well as with other publishers, many of them works of reference in the field as well as works that serve as primary tools for other researchers in a way that is consistent with the declared objectives. Besides the publication of books the Centre’s researchers also have a very high level of publication in a great variety of periodicals including some international ones, even though, naturally, most of the publications are national. The Centre also continuously hosts a large number of national and international conferences and guest lectures on line with its objective of serving as a reference point for Portuguese Studies.


The number and quality of the books, editions and journal articles published by the Centre’s researchers is remarkable. These range widely in theme, approach and coverage, in a manner consistent with the Centre’s objectives. It should be noted that given the need for effective tools for research in Portuguese Studies, the emphasis placed on those types of publications has a wide repercussion in the whole field of Portuguese Studies.


The high number of MA and PhD projects successfully completed is on line with the Centre’s size and scope and attests well to the importance that is put on training future scholars and teachers. It should also be noted that among current Centre members about 50% are precisely scholars still in training.

ACADEMIC EVENTS The Centre organizes and hosts a great number of international and national conferences ranging across the field of Portuguese Studies that certainly make it one of the most active nationally and even in international terms.


One of the strong points of the Centre’s management strategy is the open dialogue that effectively takes place among different generations of scholars and that allows for a maximization of the experience of the most senior ones while allowing for the implementation of new ideas and projects by the younger ones. The great variety of projects under way attests for this open way of working. The Centre also has good lines of communication with other units both at the Universidade de Lisboa and other national universities. The pioneering role in starting collaborations with colleagues in Eastern Europe is also a sign of the open managerial style.


Many of the projects under way are of great importance for a large number of researchers in Portuguese Studies everywhere and continuity is crucial. The collaboration with Eastern Europe is important and should be reinforced, while greater attention on internationalization through the creation of an international advisory board, the establishment of formal protocols with key institutions in other countries, and achieving greater visibility in international organizations are areas to be developed.


The intellectual importance of the Centre’s results is of a high nature and the different research lines are clear and serve well as complements of each other. The newest line, that aims at relating Portuguese literature to other, especially European, literatures is a logical outcome of the Centre’s intellectual motivation. As an incipient line it has good promise but would need, even more than the other ones, to seek strategic partnerships and alliances, either within the host institution that already has an outstanding centre for comparative studies, or internationally. The Centre as a whole has a leading position in Portuguese Studies.


The four lines appear to be well balanced and their different areas provide for good coverage and distribution of tasks. The relationship between senior and junior scholars is a key factor in maintaining coherence. The newest line, however, at the moment only has senior researchers and this is an issue that needs to be addressed.


The Centre’s leadership should be recognized for its openness to dialogue, something that became very evident during the site visit, in which there were important and very frank discussions with the panel, supplemented by additional information promptly delivered. There is no doubt that the Centre is optimally positioned to effectively continue and renew its leadership.


The Centre not only is optimally positioned for exercising a leading role regionally but also has extensive collaborations with other institutions in the area and beyond.


Focusing as it does on Portuguese Studies the Centre has an obvious national importance. Its objectives also give it great significance in terms of the Portuguese-speaking world in general. In terms of productivity and visibility it occupies a leading position shared perhaps only with its counterpart at the University of Coimbra. The preparation of bibliographic and other resources give it importance for the development of Portuguese Studies globally. Its large scale of events and the high level of training of MA and PhD students also make it significant in terms of the continuation and future of scholarship in Portugal.


The Centre enjoys a clear international visibility derived from its important publications and the varied events it continually organizes. Its declared objectives give it a global dimension and its pioneering opening to Eastern Europe is important. Nonetheless the Centre’s international profile could be improved through strategic partnerships and greater participation in international organizations.


The Centre’s production of key reference works and other tools is of great relevance and should even be increased. The high level of training of future scholars is certainly of importance in terms of future developments in the field. The wide coverage on lusophone literatures is an important aspect for developing increased awareness of global aspects of Portuguese Studies.


Taking into consideration the high level of productivity of the Centre as well as its clear significance nationally and internationally, the Centre should be viewed as a Very Good Unit.


The panel recommends granting the FCT funding as requested by the Centre. The continuation of the Centre’s activities has a clear national importance and international reach. The implementation of the newest line needs careful and judicious observation and should be done in dialogue, or even possible collaboration, other already established comparative research units.
The Centre could benefit from greater international visibility and cooperation. To this effect it might consider establishing an international advisory board, forming strategic partnerships with recognized units abroad, pursue the participation in international organizations, increase the publication in international journals in the field of Portuguese Studies or related areas, and promote greater visibility outside Portugal of its publications.

Sobre os grupos de investigação
Area 1 - Portuguese Literature and Culture [RG-LIT-LVT-Lisboa-77-1480]
Área 2 - Literatures and Cultures within the CPLP [RG-LIT-LVT-Lisboa-77-1481]
Area 3 - Brazilian Literature and Culture [RG-LIT-LVT-Lisboa-77-1482]
Área 4 - European Literatures and Cultures [RG-LIT-LVT-Lisboa-77-1554]