From the introduction to volume VOL 4, NO 2 (2015)- InterDISCIPLINARY Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies
SPECIAL ISSUE – NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, YET BOTH: THE LUSO-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
By Margarida Vale de Gato
In relation to scholarly attention, while for decades the foremost organized effort to consolidate the field was the courageous work of the Portuguese Studies Program at Brown University, the Portuguese-American condition is now an asset in many other Departments and Research Centers in North America: the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with its Research Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, the opening of the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, the creation of Tagus Press; Anderson University’s (Indiana) hosting of this very journal, IJPDS, also endorsed by Brock University in Canada. In Portugal, academic institutions have extended the scope of Luso-American research in the heritage culture. The joint venture in July 2013 of the first conference in continental Portugal exclusively dedicated to the Portuguese-American experience spread throughout the campus of the two public academic institutions devoted to the Humanities in Lisbon, the “Classic” and the “New” universities of Lisbon. The incentive to research on the area by the American Studies Group of ULICES (University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies) expanded nationally to other institutions, particularly via the partnership with CETAPS (Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies), and was boosted internationally by the affiliation with a “sister” conference held later in the same month of July, at Butler University, Indianapolis, “Exploring the Portuguese Diaspora in InterDISCIPLINARY and Comparative Perspectives,” which also counted a significant number of papers devoted to Portuguese-American matters.
This volume is representative of the event held in Lisbon, “Neither Here Nor There, Yet Both: International Conference on the Luso-American Experience,” as well as of the ongoing inter-institutional collaboration outlined above. It is not a conference proceedings collection, but rather a peer-reviewed volume. Moreover, it features thought-over arguments, creative writing, and criticism by some of the most assiduous contributors to this field, both emerging researchers and writers, and scholars of related areas who have decided to venture into Portuguese and North-American relations. This collection concerns the legacy of European Portuguese —the essays compiled here follow an encompassing understanding of dispersal and harvesting of culture(s) within other culture(s). This is reflected in the choice of the expression, “Luso-American experience,” opening up avenues of research to bi-directional and transnational exchanges.