The University of Macau’s (UM) Department of Portuguese and Research Centre for Luso-Asian Studies (CIELA) will hold the International Conference on ‘Memorialist Discourses and the Building of History (Africa and Macau)’ from 25 October to 28 October. The conference will be focused on theoretical and epistemological questions related to memoirs, perceived as ‘sites of nation building’, of the political actors taking part in historical processes in Macao and in African Portuguese-speaking countries (during the colonial era and post-independence period).

Conference participants will discuss methodologies involved in the analysis of written memoirs (biographies, autobiographies, interviews, and notes) of political, social, and cultural actors, and examine how such memoirs work as (different) ‘sites of memory’. Particular relevance will be given to the ‘unusual place’ Macao occupies on the borders of the Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as to its political actors and memorialist writings, in order to map the production of ‘memory locations’.

The conference will also cover postcolonial topics related to cultural and literary interconnections within the Portuguese-speaking world, namely in Macao and Africa, such as memory and identity issues, historiographic discourse and official history, public and collective memoirs, and national ideology and writing the self.

Lectures to be delivered at the conference include ‘Memory, History and Fiction: The Meaning of Autobiographies’, by Prof Lourenço Rosário from the Polytechnic University of Mozambique; ‘Africa and the Africans: Paths of Brazilian Identity’, by Prof Valdemir Zamparoni from the Federal University of Bahia; ‘Representing Macau in Portuguese Literature’, by Prof Mário Lugarinho from the University of São Paulo; and ‘The Pioneer Role of Macau in the Cultural Sino-Western Relations: the First Museum (1829-34) and the English Library in China (1806-1834)’, by Prof Rogério Puga from Nova University of Lisbon.

Date: 25-28 October, 2016