The Program

What the Program Is

The Program in Literary Theory is one of the oldest and largest graduate programs in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon.  It offers an M.A. and a PhD, as well as a basic certificate and post-doctoral programs. It was established in 1991, and has a current enrolment of about 60 students and postdoctoral fellows.   The Program features a core faculty of eight, including two regular visiting professors.  It is chaired by Miguel Tamen; João Figueiredo serves as Director of Graduate Studies.   All inquiries should be addressed to him ( Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.).

Who Is in the Program

Most of our students have some previous background in Literature or Philosophy.  However, there are no prerequisites for admission to the Program. The absence of such prerequisites, as the absence of what is usually called “a policy” are, in our opinion, of great advantage.  Even though the assessment and grading of M.A. and PhD students is conducted in a differentiated way, most of our seminars are open to all students in the Program.   We believe that differences between students are an important intellectual asset.  Our faculty, resident and visiting alike, also have very different interests and often very different theoretical and practical inclinations. Conflict is therefore both inevitable and welcome. 

What Is Done (and What Is Not Done) in the Program

The Program is to a great extent a program in Philosophy and Literature.   In the Program, the issues discussed are often part of current debates in departments of Literature or Philosophy, and even sometimes in fields such as the arts, the law, theology, and the so-called social sciences.  In the Program there is no recommended intellectual approach and so no recommended type of dissertation. Disciplinary boundaries count for less than the possibility of establishing relationships between different problems.

Unlike most of our European counterparts, we do not believe the debate in the Humanities ought to take place within research centers or clusters organized around disciplinary or thematic guidelines, or so-called projects; nor in our view should the research there be conducted within large, laboratory-like, teams. Instead, we favor a model of seminarial and tutorial teaching that gives a primary role to the intellectual interests and inclinations of our students. 

Since its being established, the Program has granted almost one hundred and fifty degrees (MA and PhD).   The Program pursues an open policy of publication.  Thus, all dissertations defended (except those that have been published in book format) are freely available online.   The Program takes honest work and academic integrity very seriously.   There is a no-tolerance policy for fraud and plagiarism.   For further information  (in Portuguese) please refer to the School of Arts and Humanities' by-laws applying to Student Grading and Evaluation.


The Program runs the Philosophy and Literature Network, which sponsors the Philosophy and Literature Workshop, whose sessions are all open to the public.  This network also provides a home for partnerships open to our PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.   Such was the case of Intention, Action, and the Philosophy of Art: New Boundaries in a Theory of Action and of  Estranging Pessoa  (both funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation [FCT], and recently completed).
The Program also publishes the online journal Forma de Vida [Form of Life] (mostly, though not always, in Portuguese), which includes an independent book review section, updated regularly, and a facebook news page updated daily here.   Our news page has currently over 4,000 followers.
The Program is a party to the Fulbright Scholar in the Humanities/University of Lisbon program, which assures one annual Fulbright visiting professorship in the Program through 2020 (further information on faculty applications may be found here.)  The Program is also party to an agreement with INCM press concerning the publication of the Pessoana series, featuring essays about, and editions of, Fernando Pessoa.


Programa em Teoria da Literatura
Faculdade de Letras
Universidade de Lisboa
Alameda da Universidade
1600-214 Lisboa
Tel: +351-21-792-0068
Fax: +351-21-796-0063
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