PRESENTATION OF IJPDS – InterDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF PORTUGUESE DIASPORA STUDIES
Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott’s opening note to the inaugural volume of the InterDISCIPLINARY Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies alerts to the nature of the editors’ endeavor – “to provide an interdisciplinary and polyphonic forum that encompasses the Portuguese Diaspora communities across borders.” The editors aim high and this first volume utterly fulfills their goal by including Research Papers on a variety of subjects ranging from the 17th century Shabati Zvi movement in Hamburg and Glückstadt and the messianic work of Moshe Gideon Abudiente to a last essay on the 1953 Ghandian Seminar attended by a group of nine delegates, among which was the Brazilian Poet, Cecília Meireles whose politics and lyrical impressions fuel the main argument and shed new light on the ways emerging countries such as India and Brazil cope with racism, war, hunger and violence. The thematic and temporal diversity as announced by these two pieces is utterly paralleled by the following ones, focusing on Portuguese American Entrepeneurship organized by a predominantly qualitative methodology which includes interviews and case studies; next comes the analysis of commercial and symbolic signs as described in “Semiotic Landscapes and Discourses of Place within a Portuguese Speaking Neighbourhood”; which, in turn, gives place to a piece on the literary representations of the emigration experience as portayed in Ferreira de Castro’s Emigrantes and in Rodigues Miguéis’s Gente da Terceira Classe. Finally, a paper about the Portuguese writer and women’s rights advocate, Ana de Castro Osório (1872-1935) shows the intimate relationship between education and national identity, her agenda not limited to Portugal but extended to new Portuguese immigrant communities established in Brazil in the beginning of the twentieth century. If the two editors were chiefly intent on promoting a broader dialogue involving Portuguese and non-Portuguese scholars spread around the globe , they fully succeeded for the volume fosters the dialogue among scholars from as different institutions as Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Universidade dos Açores – Florbela Veiga Frade; SOCIUS – ISEG/Technical University of Lisbon – Carolina Marçalo and João Peixoto; University of Berne, Switzerland – Kellie Gonçalves; University of Macau – Dora Nunes Gago; University of Texas at Austin – Célia Carmen Cordeiro; University of Glasgow – Karen Peña. As a forum for dialogue, IJPDS also includes a Document titled “Jorge de Sena’s advice to His Fellow Exiles”, an excerpt from a famous interview published in the journal O Tempo e o Modo in 1968. It is a jewell engraved by Sena’s wit and irony. It has been translated by that seminal figure in Portuguese Diaspora Studies, my Dear Friend, Emeritus Professor George Monteiro whom I take this opportunity to salute. It is followed by a Memorate, Julian Silva’s “The Dryer”, which adds a wistful note that only an autobiographical piece may render and, in a sense, establishes the mood for the section on Poetry. In their very different styles, the three poets featured in this section, George Monteiro, , António Ladeira, Millicent Accardi have been able to harness images and themes to the rhythm of their emotions. And the editors were very wise in the sequence created by presenting first Monteiro’s terse but almost pyrotechnic “Hologram” followed by the elegiac “I was Eight and I was There”, then by ending the section with Millicent Accardi’s equally terse and rhythmically framed “We’re All Optimists Here” and “Here Lies the Thing I most Desire”. Between these poems written in English, Ladeira’s poems written in Portuguese ,”Um Lugar na Terra”, “Sonhos de Fama”, “A Casa Rodeada de Leões”, “A Casa Negra” e “A Tristeza Infinita” ebb and flow in oceanic emotional quiescence. The Volume ends on a succession of Book Reviews that are similarly organized by interdisciplinary criteria. The Jewish Communities in West Africa, the History of the Portuguese in Japan, Critical Essays on John dos Passos, Julian Silva’s latest novella and other writings; finally, the anthologized Luso-American Literature. Writings by Portuguese-Speaking Authors in North America, edited by Robert Moser and António Luciano de Andrade Tosta have been respectively introduced by Aviva Ben-Ur (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst), Reinier H. Hesselink (University of Northern Iowa), George Monteiro (Brown University), Vamberto Freitas (Universidade dos Açores), Steven Walter Gonzagowski (Rutgers University-New Brunswick).
University of Lisbon