LSA Inaugural Conference Keynote Speaker

Onésimo T. Almeida

Onésimo T. Almeida was born in S. Miguel, Azores, in 1946, and has been living in the United States since 1972. With a PhD in Philosophy from Brown University, he is Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown, where he also teaches in the Wayland Collegium for Liberal Learning. Author of two dozen books and hundreds of essays and articles, he writes regularly for Jornal de Letras and LER, two leading literary publications in Lisbon, Portugal. He is co-editor of three journals(Gávea-Brown, the e-Journal of Portuguese History, and Pessoa Plural. He was elected to the Academia Internacional de Cultura Portuguesa, as well as to the Academia da Marinha (History section).

Abstract:

Lusofonia – On Language and What it Does and Cannot Do

The term ‘Lusophone’ has been polemical in these days of sensitivity in our postcolonial times because, according to its critics, it still reflects a subtle form of colonialism. Such view lacks a modern understanding of how language works and what it can and cannot do. Important conceptual clarifications are needed before we can enter a constructive dialogue about the role of the Portuguese language in the nations historically affected by the presence of the Portuguese.

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