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PGA3: Introduction to Lusophone literature

The ab initio course in Lusophone Literature covers a selection of four carefully chosen literary texts: one from Portugal, one from Brazil and two from Lusophone Africa (Mozambique and Angola).
The course is available to MML and HML students.


Aims and objectives: 

PGA3 is designed to develop your reading skills in Portuguese, to introduce you to the wealth of creative writing in the Portuguese-speaking world, and to give you a taster of texts you can study in more depth in Part IB and subsequently.  The aims are reflected in the examination, which has three sections:

  • a translation into English of a passage from one of the texts;
  • a commentary of a passage taken from one of the texts;
  • an essay question on a literature topic relating to any one of the four texts not used as the commentary.
Course materials: 

Course materials: 

The set texts in the order they will be covered in Lent Term are as follows, please note that it is essential that you read these texts in Portuguese and that the lecturers will confirm the titles of any poems or short stories to be studied this year:

Miguel Torga (Selected short stories, to be announced)​ [Portugal], Lecturer: Prof. Manucha Lisboa.

Paula Rego (Sexuality, Politics and Religion: paintings, prints, pastels and (paintings, pastels, prints and drawings) [Portugal], Lecturer: Prof. Manucha Lisboa.

Margarida Cardoso A costa dos murmúrios (film) [Portugal/Mozambique], Lecturer: Prof. Manucha Lisboa.

Domestic Labour in Brazil and Brazilian Cinema: Anna Mylert's Que horas ela volta? (film), Lecturer: Dr. Maite Conde. 

Revolution and defining a Mozambican literature and identity in José Craveirinha, Xigubo (1964) Mozambique, Lecturer: Dr. Maite Conde. 

Contemporary Angolan Politics through the gaze of a Child: Ondjaki’s Bom dia camaradas (2003) Angola, Lecturer: Ms Hazel Robins

(*Lecturers will confirm the titles of any poems or short stories to be studied this year.) 

Further Reading:

  • Marinho, Maria de Fátima (ed.) - Actas do colóquio comemorativo do nascimento de Miguel Torga.
  • Ferreira, Ana Paula, ‘Lídia Jorge's “A costa dos murmúrios”: History and the Postmodern She-Wolf Author(s): Source: Revista Hispánica Moderna, Año 45, No. 2 (Dec., 1992), pp. 268-278
  • Hamilton, Russell, Voices from an Empire
  • Chabal, Patrick, The Postcolonial Literature of Lusophone Africa
  • Chabal, Patrick and Birminghsm, David, A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa
  • Olaniyan, Tejumola and Quayson, Ato, African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism 


Literature/Culture/Language and other Portuguese resources.

Teaching and learning: 

Teaching will take the form of 4 lectures in Lent Term focusing on these literary texts (presented by Professor Manucha Lisboa and Dr Maite Conde). To accompany these, students will also have fortnightly supervisions in Lent Term. In the Easter term, PGA3 students will have two lectures and two supervisions to focus on the commentary part of the exam with Dr Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá. 

Please see PGA3's Moodle page.


As noted above, the exam involves three questions:

  • a translation into English of an excerpt from one of the authors studied;
  • a commentary on a passage or poem from one of the authors studied;
  • an essay on one of the authors studied.

There will be no essay title on whichever author is selected for the commentary.

The examination for this paper lasts three hours.

Course Contacts: 
Prof Manucha Lisboa (paper co-ordinator)
Dr Maite Conde
Dr Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá