Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, will host a lecture by Fátima Marinho. The lecture—titled “Saramago and History: The Destruction of Myths”—is on Feb. 27, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at SEC C 201A, Ateneo de Manila University. The event, which is in partnership with the Department of English and Department of Modern Languages, is open to the public. Prof. Marinho’s lecture is made possible by the Erasmus Merging Voices Program.

About the lecture

Following the rewriting of history that literature in the late twentieth century has accustomed us to, Saramago uses and abuses historical material to signify the present and ironize it in a systematic and contextualized way. There are several ways used by Saramago to re-balance the discourse of History: family novel, different point of view, alternative history.

The family novel is represented by Raised from the Ground (1980). In this novel, the appropriation of History aims to focus, not the events themselves, with the more or less clear intention of making the reader more familiar with them, but to draw attention to the distance that exists between the official version of History and the History of a social group, which may be symbolised by a typical family.

In Baltasar and Blimunda (1982) we can see a different point of view. Saramago reconstructs the court of D. João V (a Portuguese king of the 18th century), and at the same time the daily lives of the working classes, where the central figures are Baltasar Sete-Sóis and Blimunda Sete-Luas, a couple who represent the collective imagination of a society dominated by stubborn obscurantism.

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984), The History of the Siege of Lisbon (1989), and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991) are some examples of alternative history. The author modifies the past and the reader is attracted by this other History, in which the modification of a detail has unimaginable consequences.

About the lecturer

Fátima Marinho is Full Professor in the University of Porto. She has been Vice-President of the University of Porto (June 2014 – June 2018) and Dean and President of the Scientific Board of the Faculdade de Letras [Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences] (2010 – 2014). She is Member of the IAU (International Association of Universities) Administration Board (2016 – 2020), expert of the Haut Conseil de l’Évaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur, France (2017) and of the Evaluation and Accreditation Agency for Higher Education, Portugal (2018). The French Government decorated her with the title of «Officier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques» on Nov. 2015. Her field of interest is Portuguese Literature (Historical Novel and Portuguese 20th century Poetry). She has delivered papers in many conferences in several countries and has many publications in books, books chapters, and academic journals.

About Kritika Kultura

Kritika Kultura is acknowledged by a host of Asian and Asian American Studies libraries and scholarly networks, and indexed in the MLA International Bibliography, Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Clarivate), Scopus, EBSCO, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP). For inquiries about submission guidelines and future events, visit http://journals.ateneo.edu/ojs/kk or email kk.soh@ateneo.edu.