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Professor Phillip Rothwell
King John II Professor of Portuguese

Director, European Humanities Research Centre



Phillip specializes in the literatures and cultures of Portugal and Lusophone Africa. He favours psychoanalytic theory as a tool to furthering our understanding of Portuguese culture and its imperial aftermaths. An authority on the Mozambican writer Mia Couto and the Angolan author Pepetela, his current research focuses on disavowal as a structuring discourse in Portuguese colonialism.


Phillip lectures on Lusophone African and Portuguese authors with a particular focus on the twentiteth and twenty-first centuries. He leads undergraduate seminars on Angolan and Mozambican culture. He aso regularly teaches translation classes. At the graduate level, he oversees the Portuguese methodology seminar, the Portuguese Research Seminar and co-teaches modules of the Women's Studies MSt with Professor Claudia Pazos Alonso.


Monographs and Edited Volumes:

  1. Leituras de Mia Couto: aspetos de um pós-modernismo moçambicano (Coimbra: CES Almedina, 2015) with a preface by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro.
  2. A Canon of Empty Fathers: Paternity in Portuguese Narrative (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2007).
  3. A Postmodern Nationalist: Truth, Orality and Gender in the Work of Mia Couto (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004).
  4. Lusophone Regional Editor of A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh University Press, 2008). General Editors Prem Poddar, Rajeev Patke and Lars Jensen.
  5. With Hilary Owen, Sexual/Textual Empires: Gender and Marginality in Lusophone African Literature (Bristol University HIPLA Lusophone Studies Series, 2004). General Editor David Brookshaw.
  6. With Margarida Ribeiro, Teresa Cristina Cerdeira and Juliet Perkins, A Primavera Toda para Ti (Lisbon: Presença, 2004).

Selected Articles, Introductions and Book Chapters:

  1. "Jesusalém: Empty Fathers and Women’s Texts.” A Companion to Mia Couto. Edited by Grant Hamilton and David Huddart. (Suffolk: James Currey, 2016).
  2. "Camões Ainda Conta: Cópias em Busca de Originais." Colóquio Letras 189 (Maio/Agosto 2015) separata with introduction by T.F. Earle.
  3. “The Poet and the Engineer: Forty Years of Angolan Independence.” Los Angeles Review of Books May 10 2015.
  4. "Literary Legacies and Postcolonial Reconciliations." Introduction to Helder Macedo, Parts of Africa (Dartmouth MA: Luso-asio-afro-brazilian Studies, 2015).
  5. "Introduction" (with Anna M. Klobucka) to Isabela Figueiredo, Notebook of Colonial Memories (Dartmouth MA: Luso-asio-afro-brazilian Studies, 2015).
  6. “Nouvelles trajectoires de la littérature angolaise.” Études Littéraires Africaines 37 (2014): 29-41.
  7. “Nostalgia and Misrepresenting Jagas: Pepetela’s Strategies for Dealing with Failure in Crónicas com Fundo de Guerra and O Sul. O Sombreiro.” Luso-Brazilian Review 50.2 (2013): 118-134
  8. “Angolan Gazes on the USA: The Southern Epistemology of Pepetela’s O terrorista de Berkeley, Califórnia.” Lusophone Studies 8 (2012). Edited by João Cosme. 203-217.
  9. “Unfinished Revolutions: Gaps and Conjunctions.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 37.2 (Winter 2012): 271-274.
  10. “Legados luso-tropicais em Eva, de Germano Almeida.” Literaturas insulares: Leituras e escritas Cabo Verde e S. Tomé e Príncipe. Edited by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro and Sílvio Renato (Porto: Afrontamento, 2011): 129-138.
  11. “The Demise of Paternal Meaning in Explicação dos pássaros.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies. 19-20 (2011): 89-96.
  12. “Lacanian Desire and the Absent Sexual Relation in Jorge de Sena’s O físico prodigioso.” Journal of Romance Studies 11.3 (Winter 2011): 53-63.
  13. “Nearly Ending the World the African Way: Pepetela’s Suspension of Capital’s Frontiers and Flows in O quase fim do mundo.” Negotiating Afropolitanism: Essays on Borders and Spaces in Contemporary African Literature and Folklore. Edited by J. K. S. Makokha and Jennifer Wawrzinek (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011): 129-140.
  14. “A Woman who does not exist in Helder Macedo’s Vicios e virtudes.” A cultura portuguesa no divã. Edited by Isabel Capeloa Gil and Adriana Martins (Lisbon: Universidade Catolica Editora, 2011): 195-204.
  15. “Voices in Shades of Grey.” Europe in Black and White. Edited by Manuela Ribeiro Sanches and Fernando Clara et al. (Bristol: Intellect, 2011): 231-238.
  16. “O Papel da Carta.” África, escritas literárias. Edited by Carmen Tindó Secco, Maria Teresa Salgado and Silvio Renato Jorge (Rio/Luanda: Editora EFRJ/União dos Escritores Angolanos, 2010): 95-105.
  17. “Jack Bauer, La Femme Nikita and the Perverse Body of Capitalism.” Cadernos de literatura comparada 20 (2010): 12-25.
  18. “Perverse Prosperos and Cruel Calibans.” From Here to Diversity: Globalization and Intercultural Dialogues. Edited by Clara Sarmento (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Series: 2010): 307-322.
  19. “Never Again? Remembering Angola.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 15/16 (2010): xiii-xxiii.
  20. Lusotropical Legacies in Germano Almeida's Eva, or Cruelty as a Staged Performance." Forum for Modern Language Studies 2009; doi: 10.1093/fmls/cqp111.  
  21. “Narrative and Drama during the Dictatorship.” Companion to Portuguese Literature. Edited by Thomas Earle, Claudia Pazos-Alonso and Stephen Parkinson (London: Tamesis, 2009): 157-67.
  22. “Os Jogos do Género em Três Contos de Mia Couto.” Moçambique: das palavras escritas. Edited by Margarida Calafate Ribeiro and Paula Meneses (Porto: Afrontamento, 2008): 111-27.
  23. “The Myths and Realities of Portuguese (Post)colonial Society” in A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh University Press, 2008): 427-35.
  24. “Dom Sebastião” in A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh University Press, 2008): 491-94.
  25. “Historiography” in A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh University Press, 2008): 456-60.
  26. “Teaching Desire: The Aleatory in Ethics and the Aesthetic Experience” in Producing Presences: Branching Out from Gumbrecht’s Work. Edited by Victor K. Mendes and João Cezar de Castro Rocha (Dartmouth: Adamastor Books, 2007): 331-38.
  27. “Subaltern Rankings and the Death of Community in Buchi Emecheta’s In the Ditch.” in A mulher em África: Vozes de uma margem sempre presente. Edited by Inocência Mata and Laura Cavalcante Padilha (Lisboa: Colibri, 2007): 293 -308.
  28. “Introduction to Mia Couto.” With Claudia Pazos-Alonso. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 84.4 (2007): 431-434.
  29. “Between Politics and Truth: Time to Think through the Other in Couto’s Pensatempos.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 84.4 (2007): 453-61.
  30. “Vodafone Portugal: Postcolonial Ethics in a Mobile Age.” Utrecht Portuguese Studies: Postcolonial Theory and Lusophone Literatures. Edited by Paulo de Medeiros. 1 (2007): 119-28.
  31. “Inventing a Lusotropical Father, or The Neurotic Legacy in Germano Almeida’s O Testamento do Senhor Napumoceno.” Research in African Literatures 38.1 (Spring 2007): 95-105.
  32. “A Different Kind of Other Choice: Ethics at the End of Maternity in Lília Momplé’s Neighbours.” Revista da Universidade de Aveiro 23 (2006): 169-83.
  33. “Portugal e Moçambique no século XX: Língua, pátria, e pânico.” Prelo 3 (Winter 2006): 114-27.
  34. “O poder de uma mulher: Uma leitura de Lueji: O nascimento dum império.” Metamorphoses 7 (2006): 57-64.
  35. “Postcolonial Contemporaneity: An Anglophone Menace Returns to Lusophone Africa in Pepetela’s Jaime Bunda e a Morte do Americano.” Edited by Antony Soares. Lusophone Studies 4 (2006): 91-110.
  36. “The Authenticity of Smell: Contenting Civilization in the Angola of Ondjaki’s Bom dia, camaradas.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 83 (2006): 83-90.
  37. “Shit, Shrimps, and Shifting Soubriquets: Iracema and the Lesson in Lost Authority” [Republication by request]. Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism 157 (2006): 55-60.
  38. “Rereading Pepetela’s O desejo de Kianda after September 11, 2001: Signs and Distractions.” Portuguese Studies 20 (2004): 195-207.
  39. “Sexing the Differences.” With Hilary Owen. In Sexual/Textual Empires: Gender and Marginality in Lusophone African Literature. Edited by Phillip Rothwell and Hilary Owen (Bristol University HIPLA Series, 2004): v-xvi.
  40. “Placing Women’s Time and in a Colonial Space: Abdulai Sila’s A última tragédia.” In Sexual/Textual Empire: Gender and Marginality in Lusophone African Literature (2004): 65-82.
  41. “Nota dos Organizadores.” With Margarida Ribeiro, Teresa Cristina Cerdeira and Juliet Perkins. In A Primavera Toda para Ti. Edited by Margarida Ribeiro, Teresa Cristina Cerdeira, Juliet Perkins and Phillip Rothwell (Lisbon: Presença, 2004): 25-26.
  42. “Onions and English Blondes: Or the Profane Defragmentation of A Brasileira de Prazins.” In A Primavera Toda para Ti (2004): 147-50.
  43. “An Unbecoming Lady of the Camellias: Luiza’s Desire for Recognition in O Primo Bazilio.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 80 (2003): 399-408.
  44. “Re-evaluating Mozambique.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 10 (Spring 2003): xi-xx.
  45. “Galeria de Sombras.” In Fantasmas e fantasias imperiais no imaginário português contemporâneo. Edited by Ana Paula Ferreira and Margarida Ribeiro (Lisbon: Campo das Letras, 2003): 179-86.
  46. “Between the Lines: Elision and Paternity in Helder Macedo’s Partes de África.” Acts of the 23rd Louisiana Conference on Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Edited by Alejandro Cortazar and Christian Fernández (Baton Rouge: LSU, 2003): 163-68.
  47. “Unmasking Structures: The Dynamics of Power in Pepetela’s Mayombe.” Luso Brazilian Review 39.1 (2002): 121-128.
  48. “Momplé’s Melancholia: Mourning for Mozambique.” Portuguese Studies Review 10.1 (2002): 185-193.
  49. “In Search of a Phallus: Jacinto’s True Quest in A Cidade e As Serras.” Portuguese Studies 18 (2002): 64-70.
  50. “Mirroring Imperial Endings: Recognizing the Unknown in Lusophone Texts.” Hispania 85.3 (2002): 486-493.
  51. “The Problem of the Portuguese Pátria: Languagehood’s Dialogic Double-Agency.” Bulletin of Spanish Studies LXXIX (2002): 465-485.
  52. “Entre metáfora e metonímia: Outra leitura de Partes de África.” In A experiência das fronteiras. Edited by Teresa Cristina Cerdeira (Niterói: EDUFF, 2002). 105-12.
  53. “The Phylomorphic Linguistic Tradition: Or, The Siege of (the) Portuguese in Mozambique.” Hispanic Research Journal 2.2 (2001): 169-180.
  54. “Shit, Shrimps, and Shifting Soubriquets: Iracema and the Lesson in Lost Authority.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 6 (2001): 285-296.
  55. “A Tale of Two Tensions: Synthesis and Separation in Portuguese National Identity.” Forum for Modern Language Studies XXXVI.3 (2000): 322-330.
  56. “Fuzzy Frontiers - Mozambique: False Borders, Mia Couto: False Margins.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 1 (1998): 55-65.


  1. Portuguese Editor MLO (Liverpool University Press) (2013-)
  2. Guest Editor of Journal of Lusophone Studies 1.1 (2016) with Ana Maria Martinho
  3. Guest Editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 37.2 (Winter 2012) on Unfinished Revolutions (2012). General Editor Mary Hawkesworth.
  4. Guest Editor of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 15/16 on Remembering Angola (2010). General Editor Victor K. Mendes.
  5. Guest Editor of Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 84.4 on Mia Couto (2007) with Claudia Pazos-Alonso. General Editor Dorothy Severin.
  6. Executive Editor of ellipsis: Journal of American Portuguese Studies Association (2005-2010).
  7. Guest Editor of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 10 on Re-evaluating Mozambique (2003). General Editor Victor K. Mendes.


  1. Parts of Africa. Novel by Helder Macedo (UMass Dartmouth: LAABST, 2016).
  2. Notebook of Colonial Memories. With Anna Klobucka. Novella by Isabel Figueiredo (UMass Dartmouth: LAABST, 2015).