There are approximately 250 million speakers of Portuguese in the world today, living in nations and territories such as Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé, East Timor and other countries. 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 that have contributed to this diaspora. Lusophone lives have been molded by many factors, which 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 to create an inclusive study of current issues and viewpoints that relate to this historical legacy. Until recently, this body of scholarship had been largely ignored in Canada. To address this omission, the newly created Lusophone Studies Association – the first of its kind in this country – is holding its inaugural conference, “Exploring the Crossroads and Perspectives of Lusophone Studies“, at York University from Tuesday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Nov. 1 at venues in Founders College and Winters College on the Keele campus. The conference seeks to gather all individuals who are interested in Lusophone studies by offering a forum to encourage current and new debates in this emerging area of scholarship.
To learn more about the conference, see the original story posted in the Oct. 1 issue of YFile.