UMass Dartmouth’s Dr. Anna M. Klobucka Receives Prestigious Fulbright Fellowship for Portuguese Studies
DARTMOUTH – In the 1980s, Anna M. Klobucka, a Polish-born UMass Dartmouth faculty member, then a student at the University of Warsaw, took a vacation trip to Portugal that ended up changing her trajectory of life.
She decided to immerse herself in the language and became a recognizable and respected name in Portuguese studies as a teacher and researcher on Portuguese and Lusophone African literatures and culture.
“It was a somewhat arbitrary choice at first,” Dr Klobucka told O Jornal. “But after my first year of learning Portuguese language, history, etc., I was fortunate enough to benefit from a temporary relaxation of international travel restrictions in 1981 and traveled to Portugal this summer, on a shoestring, with two of my classmates. I fell in love with the country and after that I never really looked back.
She has just won a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research related to the literary and cultural history of women in Portugal. Sponsored by the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Scholar Award program is one of the most prestigious research scholarships in the world.
“As a naturalized citizen of the United States whose work has addressed Portuguese-language literatures and Portuguese-speaking cultural history, I am proud and delighted to be able to represent American academia as a Fulbright Fellow in Portugal,” said Dr. Klobucka. “With this project I seek to tell a different story from Portuguese modernism, a story that globally witnesses the unprecedented flourishing of the participation of women in the cultural and literary sphere dominated by the men of the country in the first decades of the 20th century. century.
During her sabbatical from UMass Dartmouth in winter and spring 2022, she will explore the subject “Among Women: Cultural Agency, Sociability and Sexuality on the Margins of Portuguese Modernism”.
She will pay particular attention to Portuguese lesbians who were active during the period of Portuguese canonical modernism at the beginning of the 20th century by focusing on the structures of collaboration and sociability between them.
“My research does not focus exclusively on modernist period lesbian and bisexual writers, artists and intellectuals in Portugal, although I do plan to highlight their existence and achievements,” said Dr Klobucka.
She found that many of these women are little known despite having led extraordinary lives and that part of her research will be directed towards biographical recovery.
“Regarding the broader issue of limited visibility, this is certainly true, although the number of published research is increasing,” said Dr Klobucka, citing the 2019 book published by researcher Raquel Afonso on the homosexuality and resistance under Estado Novo based on his talks. with several lesbian women (as well as homosexuals) who lived under the Portuguese dictatorship.
“From 2009 to 2016, a Portuguese journal devoted exclusively to lesbian studies was even published, and slowly but surely the knowledge base is growing, especially in the social sciences,” said Dr Klobucka.
But the Portuguese modernist literature studied in schools and universities is almost exclusively male, she said.
“Long aware of the richness of women’s literary and artistic output in the first decades of the 20th century, I decided to tell her story in the form of a book-length study,” said the Dr Klobucka. “At the same time, I gradually realized that many of the exceptional women of this period were unmarried and, in several cases, had lifelong and / or multiple relationships with women.
These women included: Virgínia Quaresma, Portugal’s first fully professional journalist; Azorean writer, activist and entrepreneur Alice Moderno; the best-selling Portuguese poet of the 1920s, Virgínia Vitorino.
“I want to explore how their life and work have been shaped in so many ways by their gender and sexuality,” said Dr Klobucka. “It took a while to put together my ‘character cast’ (which at this point is still somewhat tentative) and it was mostly ‘one thing (or one woman) leads to another.’ ‘
It will examine a wide variety of primary sources, such as periodicals and unpublished correspondence, held in public and private collections in Portugal. Its results should be published in an English book with a Portuguese translation.
Dr Klobucka hopes that bringing attention to these women will lead to fruitful conversations about modernist women in general.
“My main interest lies in exploring forms of sociability and collaboration between modernist women, whether lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual, who were often excluded or marginalized in predominantly male cultural circles, and had to develop their skills. own ways of achieving their art or intellectual. ambition, ”she said. “Single women, although suffering from many disadvantages in patriarchal society, had greater freedom to pursue their careers and independent interests, which in part explains the concentration of adjacent lesbian or lesbian women (as’ resistant to the marriage ”particularly committed, to use Adrienne Rich’s expression) in the field of intellectual achievement during these decades.
She holds an MA in Iberian Studies from the University of Warsaw (Poland) and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.
She joined UMass Dartmouth in 2001. She teaches mainly Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking African literature and holds a joint position in the Department of Women and Gender Studies.
Author or publisher of books and articles on various cultural and historical issues in Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world, his writings have been presented in several countries.
In addition, she was Vice-President (2003-04) and President (2005-06) of the American Portuguese Studies Association. She is currently editor-in-chief of the Portuguese-language textbook series and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, both published by Tagus Press / Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at UMass Dartmouth, and co-editor from the Journal of Feminist. Stock Exchange.