Date: February 26, 2010
Rui Chancerelle de Machete is President of the Luso-American Foundation of Lisbon, whose major mission is to foster economic, educational, and cultural relations with the United States. Dr. Machete, who is retiring this year, has led the Foundation since 1988. He has also been professor of constitutional and administrative law at the Portuguese Catholic University and at the University of Lisbon. He was a member of the Portuguese Parliament and over the years held the following leadership positions in different administrations of the Government of Portugal: Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of Justice, Minister of Social Affairs, and Secretary of State for Emigration. He was also on the Board of the Bank of Portugal. He has received many awards, including the Grand Cross of the British Empire, Grã-Cruz da Ordem Militar de Cristo, and the Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell'Órdine al Merito della Republica Italiana. In 1997 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The Luso-American Foundation, under the leadership of Dr. Machete, has played a significant role in the development of Portuguese Studies at UMD, from the establishment of the Summer Program in Portuguese to the creation of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, the Department of Portuguese, the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies, the M.A and Ph.D. Programs in Portuguese, and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives.
Dr. Machete's lecture will be followed by a brief presentation of a 300-page volume, Remembering Angola, the latest issue of the academic journal Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies (Victor K. Mendes, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org). Remembering Angola--guest-edited by Phillip Rothwell of Rutgers University and made possible in part by a generous grant from the Luso-American Foundation--is a groundbreaking work that brings together articles by leading scholars from around the world. From a range of disciplines, they reflect on the role Angolan culture has played in reformulating the torn fabric of a nation historically beset by strife and oppression. The volume includes a revealing interview (one of very few published in English) with the reclusive José Luandino Vieira, one of the Portuguese-speaking world's literary titans, as well as original poetry by Angola's leading female poet, Ana Paula Tavares.