Director of undergraduate studies: K. David Jackson, 82–90 Wall St., 432-1158, k.jackson@yale.edu; span-port.yale.edu

Portuguese is taught at Yale as part of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

The major in Portuguese is a liberal arts major intended to develop competence in the Portuguese language and to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the literatures and cultures of Portugal, Brazil, and African and Asian lands of Portuguese language or influence.


Students begin the study of Portuguese with PORT 110, 125, or S112. After two years of Portuguese language study, or equivalent, students have sufficient proficiency to take advanced courses in Luso-Brazilian literature and culture.

The prerequisite for the major is PORT 130 or the equivalent.

Placement Procedures

All students who have not yet taken Portuguese at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement test, with the exception of students who have no previous knowledge of Portuguese whatsoever. The departmental placement test covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The placement test will be given at the beginning of the fall and spring terms; see the departmental website for details.

Requirements of the Major

The requirements of the Portuguese major consist of ten term courses. Students must take at least five term courses in the literatures or cultures of the Portuguese world. In completing their programs, students may elect up to four courses in other languages and literatures, anthropology, history, or history of art, or from study abroad, that are related to their field of study and approved by the DUS. 

Senior Requirement 

All majors must present a senior essay. The essay is written in PORT 491 and/or 492. A maximum of two credits counts toward the major.


Juniors and seniors majoring in Portuguese may, with the permission of the instructor and the director of graduate studies, enroll in graduate courses in Portuguese.


Prerequisite PORT 130 or equivalent

Number of courses 10 term courses beyond prereq (incl senior essay course)

Distribution of courses At least five term course in literatures or cultures of the Portuguese world

Substitution permitted With DUS permission, up to 4 relevant courses from other depts or from study abroad

Senior requirement Senior essay (PORT 491 and/or 492)

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese provides instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian worlds. Courses are devoted to the language and literatures of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, and to the Portuguese language and its literatures and cultures from Portugal, Brazil, Africa, and other Portuguese-speaking areas. For information about the major and language placement in Spanish, please visit the departmental website.

The major in Portuguese develops proficiency in the Portuguese language and provides comprehensive knowledge of Portuguese, Brazilian, and related literatures and cultures. Today Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, with 200 million speakers in Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country. It is an official language of the African Union and East Timor, and it is spoken in parts of Asia, the United States, and Canada. The CPLP (Community of Countries of Portuguese Language) includes Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, and East Timor.

Majors in Portuguese may count up to four courses from complementary fields, including history, history of art, anthropology, area studies, and other languages and literatures, toward the major. Students may also select Portuguese as one of two majors and should consult with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) about a specialized course of study.

First-year students interested in Luso-Brazilian literature courses should consider the following offerings planned for 2018-2019:

PORT 355 Brazilian Modernist Poetry

PORT 356 Concrete Poetry

Yale Summer Session offers a four-credit summer study abroad program in Brazil in intensive beginning language and cultural history.


The departmental placement exam in Portuguese is offered prior to the beginning of the fall term. Information about the exam and how to preregister for courses can be found on the departmental website. All students who have not yet taken Portuguese at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement exam, with the exception of students who have no previous knowledge of Portuguese whatsoever.


Professors Rolena Adorno, Howard Bloch (Chair), Roberto González Echevarría, Aníbal González, K. David Jackson, Noël Valis

Associate Professor Leslie Harkema

Senior Lectors II Sybil Alexandrov, Margherita Tortora, Sonia Valle

Senior Lectors I María Pilar Asensio-Manrique, Mercedes Carreras, Ame Cividanes, Sebastián Díaz, María de la Paz García, María Jordán, Rosamaría León, Juliana Ramos-Ruano, Lissette Reymundi, Lourdes Sabé-Colom, Virginia Santos, Terry Seymour

Lectors Marina Henriques Gomes de Andrade, Carolina Baffi, Deborah K. Symons Roldán, Giseli Tordin, María M. Vázquez


PORT 110a, Elementary Portuguese IStaff

Basic vocabulary and fundamentals of grammar through practice in speaking, reading, and writing, with stress on audio-lingual proficiency. Introduces Brazilian and Portuguese culture and civilization.  L1RP1½ Course cr

PORT 120b, Elementary Portuguese IIStaff

Continuation of PORT 110. To be followed by PORT 130. Prerequisite: PORT 110. Qualifies students for summer study abroad.  L2RP1½ Course cr

PORT 130a, Intermediate Portuguese IMarina Henriques Gomes De Andrade

Contemporary and colloquial usage of Portuguese in the spoken and written language of Brazil. Grammar review and writing practice. Readings on Brazilian society and history are used to build vocabulary. Exercises develop students' oral command of the language.  L3RP1½ Course cr

PORT 140b, Intermediate Portuguese IIMarina Henriques Gomes De Andrade

Continuation of PORT 130. Grammar review, conversation, cultural topics, and readings from Brazilian literature. Prerequisite: PORT 130.  L4RP1½ Course cr

* PORT 150a or b, Advanced Practice in PortugueseMarina Henriques Gomes De Andrade

Advanced conversation and composition, with an introduction to Luso-Brazilian literature and culture. After PORT 140 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit.  L5RP

PORT 321a / ER&M 244a / JDST 373a / RLST 351a / WGSS 244a, Race, Religion, and Sex in the InquisitionIgor De Souza

The Inquisitions of Spain & Portugal were among the most notorious and secretive institutions in Western history. They have become known for secret trials, burnings at the stake, and fanaticism. We explore how the stereotype fits reality. We also ask other questions: Why were they established? Why did they survive for over three centuries? What purposes did they serve? The course focuses on three categories as case studies for Inquisitorial repression: how the Inquisition racialized individuals through their ancestry; why it created and persecuted “secret” Jews; and how it controlled the practice of sodomy, in Iberia and Latin America. Students explore the legacy of these categories in contemporary Jewish, Latin American, and Iberian contexts.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* PORT 354b / LITR 229b, History of Portuguese Literature Major Works & AuthorsK. David Jackson

Major authors and works of Portuguese literature from origins to the present. The medieval lyric, theater of Gil Vicente, Bernardim Ribeiro’s Menina e moça, Fernão Mendes Pinto’s Peregrinação, Camões and The Lusiads, baroque prose, poetry and historiography, Almeida Garrett, Cesário Verde and other poets, Eca de Queirós, Pessoa and modernism to Sena, Saramago, and authors active today. Readings of works, from histories of literature and selected essays on major authors. Prerequisite: Previous completion of L5 Portuguese course.  L5, HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PORT 355b / LAST 254b, Brazilian Modernist PoetryK. David Jackson

The generation of major poets who were part of Brazilian modernism, centered on the "Modern Art Week" of 1922. Poetry written to express the individuality and character of Brazil's language and culture at the onset of modernization, urbanization, and industrialization. Points of analysis include form, use of language, themes of memory and modernization, cultural characterization, humor, and ethical and existential concerns. Prerequisite: PORT 140 equivalent.  L5, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PORT 356a / LAST 252a / LITR 259a, Experimental, Visual, and Concrete Poetry in PerspectiveK. David Jackson

Brazilian concrete poetry in international perspective; production and theory of concrete poetry, translation, and criticism during the second half of the twentieth century. Brazilian concrete poets in the context of visual and concrete poetics. Representative works include 'Pilot Plan' and Theory of Concrete Poetry, graphic and spatial poems, and public expositions of works. Brazilian concrete poets were among the leaders of an international neo-vanguard movement in mid-twentieth century related to geometrical abstraction in painting. In the journals Noigandres and Invenção, and the Theory of Concrete Poetry the Brazilians link their poetics to Pound, Mallarmé, cummings and other inventive figures in world poetry, while relating poetry to graphic arts through reference to painting and to semiotics, including Fenollosa's essay on use of the Chinese character. The exhibit in S. Paulo's Museum of Modern Art in December 1956 was the beginning of the public exhibition of concrete poetry, now the topic of anthologies, websites, criticism, and museum retrospectives. Concrete poetics dominated the production of poetry in Brazil for half a century with a major effect on cultural and intellectual life. Prerequisite: PORT 140 or equivalent.  HUTr
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PORT 360a / EALL 286a / EAST 261 / HUMS 290a / LITR 285a, The Modern Novel in Brazil and JapanSeth Jacobowitz

Brazilian and Japanese novels from the late nineteenth century to the present. Representative texts from major authors are read in pairs to explore their commonalities and divergences. Topics include nineteenth-century realism and naturalism, the rise of mass culture and the avant-garde, and existentialism and postmodernism. No knowledge of Portuguese or Japanese required.  HUTr
MW 4pm-5:15pm

* PORT 385b / LAST 385b / LITR 260b, Brazilian Novel of the 21st CenturyK. David Jackson

Changing narratives, themes, styles, and aesthetic ideals in current Brazilian prose and poetry. The writers' attempts to express or define a personal, national, and global consciousness influenced by the return of political democracy to Brazil. Focus on readings published within the last five years. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Portuguese.  WR, HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* PORT 392a / LAST 392a / LITR 296a, Brazil's Modern Art MovementK. David Jackson

A study of Brazilian modernism in literature and the arts, centered on São Paulo's "Modern Art Week" of 1922 from the perspective of the European avant-gardes (cubism, futurism, surrealism). The Cannibal Manifesto and cultural independence from Europe; avant-garde practices in literature and the arts from the 1920s to the construction of Brasília. Reading knowledge of French and Portuguese helpful but not required.  WR, HUTr
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PORT 471a or b, Directed Reading or Directed ResearchK. David Jackson

Individual study for qualified students under the supervision of a faculty member selected by the student. Approval of the director of undergraduate studies is required.

* PORT 491a or b, The Senior EssayK. David Jackson

A research project designed under a faculty director, resulting in a substantial paper written in Portuguese, submitted to the DUS and a second designated reader.