Call for Papers – German-Language Artists Exiled in Portugal


German-language artists in Portuguese exile
A conference at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto
24-25 November 2016

It has been mostly in the last two decades that, in the context of growing interest in studies of the Holocaust, systematic reflections have appeared among us on a great number of refugees who either moved to or travelled through Portugal fleeing National Socialism.

Thanks to such studies – based both on the analysis of archival documents and legislation concerning refugees, the conditions of their refuge and the role therein of national and international assistance associations, and on the gathering of personal testimonies, written as well as oral, of many people involved – it is possible today to understand the role played by Portugal in the routes of escape from Hitler’s regime and as a country of refuge. There are also important studies, mostly academic and published in specialized journals, of autobiographical and fictional works by German or German-language writers and intellectuals who spent their exile in Portugal. Many such studies mention the fact that their authors were much more interested in their own conditions of life and escape than in the country of transit or refuge. Their texts are therefore lacking in a true aesthetic and documentary dimension.

It appears to us, however, that the growing interest in texts of cultural memory at present, as well as the new multi- and interdisciplinary approaches privileging a transnational and transcultural outlook, amount to an invitation to return to the works of the German-language artists who either spent their exile in or travelled through Portugal. We would like to bring knowledge together and give visibility to the largest possible number of artists, of the many who were among us, and their works.

We invite you to revisit or discover not only the literary texts but also other artistic forms of authors who had Portugal as their destination or route to exile (see, e.g., a non-exhaustive list at, by searching in their works for direct and indirect traces of that experience and highlighting, among others, topics like:

• The way into exile to Portugal, and the Portuguese experience.
• The image of Portugal reflected in the works.
• Reflections on exile and the condition of the exile, both in works which deal directly with the stay in Portugal and in those which are somehow connected with the experience of exile.
• Correspondence between the experience of Portuguese exile and its artistic treatment and other experiences of exile and their reflection in the arts.

20-minute papers.
Conference languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, German.
Deadline for submission of title of paper and indication of thematic strand and/or author (submission through on-line digital platform): 31 May 2016.
Deadline for submission of abstract: 15 July 2016.
Digital platform:
The list of authors presented on the platform is not meant to be exclusive. Suggestions for expanding it will be appreciated. Confidentiality of choices is guaranteed, as well as a limited number of papers per author / artist.

Organizing Committee
Teresa Martins de Oliveira (FLUP/ILC)
Maria Antónia Gaspar Teixeira (FLUP/ILC)
Gonçalo Vilas-Boas (FLUP/ILC)