Portuguese Culture

Academic year
Subject Area
Portuguese Language Culture
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of Portuguese History.

Teaching Methods

Classes are based on selected texts from various periods and literary genres – from  the thirteenth century through twenty first century and comprising historiographic and didactic narrative, essays and poetry. These texts will be historically contextualized and critically discussed as representations of a certain idea of nationality. Work in the classroom will include short presentations by students (either synthesis/reviews or guided into the research of themes within the scope of the course). Multimedia techologies and online materials will be widely used.

Learning Outcomes

Regarding content and critical thought, students should be able to:

a) understand the importance of myth in the construction of Portuguese national identity;

b) question national identity as the mirror of a nation and a people, and put it in correlation with the successive historical settings that motivated its construction. 

Regarding skills, students should:

a) acquire and/or consolidate the concepts and the tools of analysis pertinent to engage in productive critical thought in the frame of studies on national cultures;

b) develop competencies of critical reading of primary and secondary sources.

Work Placement(s)



This course adresses the formation and unfolding of Portuguese mythography. The main structuring myths of portuguese national identity, understood as a historicaly constructed representation rather than the imanent ethos of a nation or a people, are criticaly approached and reappraised. The process of formation of these myths (their genesis, the alterations they suffered over time), as well as the idelogical implications of their appropriation by the instances of power will de studied with the aid off a set of testimonies from the early days of Portugal until our times. ((historiography, poetry, fiction, ensaistic writing, art, arquitecture, cinema, music).

The topics and operating concepts to be discussed include: reality, representation, truth, fiction, history, myth, past, memory, culture, identity, people, tradition, state, nation.

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria do Rosário Prata Ferreira dos Santos

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Periodic Assessment
Mini Tests: 25.0%
Other: 25.0%
Frequency: 50.0%



Calafate, P. (2016). Portugal, um Perfil Histórico. Lisboa: Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos.

Dias, J. (2004). O essencial sobre os elementos fundamentais da cultura portuguesa. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.

Hall, S. (2005). A Identidade Cultural na Pós-Modernidade. Rio de Janeiro: DP&A.

Geary, P. J. (2008). O Mito das Nações: A Invenção do Nacionalismo. Lisboa: Gradiva.

Lourenço, E. (2001).  O labirinto da saudade: psicanálise mítica do destino português. Lisboa: Gradiva.

Mattoso, J. (1995). Identificação de um País. Lisboa: Temas e debates (5ªed. rev. e act.).

Moura, V. G. (2005). Lusitana praia: ensaios e anotações. Porto: Asa.

Saraiva, A. J. (1950). História da Cultura em Portugal. Lisboa: Jornal do Foro. 2 vols.

Real, M. (2011). Introdução à cultura portuguesa: séculos XIII a XIX. Lisboa: Planeta.  

Ribeiro, O. (1987). A formação de Portugal. Lisboa: Instituto de Cultura e Língua e Portuguesa/Ministério da Educação.