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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The Cultural Conditions of Learning: Popular Art and Official Knowledge

Clara Sarmento.

Using both our teaching experience and on-going research in the field of Cultural Studies, we will try to prove that Portuguese authorities developed a long lasting (1933-1974) process of supervision, censorship and manipulation, using the school system, and especially primary school, in order to create an ideal identity that would match the "invented tradition" (see Eric Hobsbawn) of the good Portuguese people, naïve, humble and resigned.

Some Portuguese forms of popular painting echoed that national mythology, suffering the influence from institutional channels of instruction and propaganda. School manuals condensed both "poetics and politics" (see Clifford and Marcus), in order to build and preserve the allegory of tradition as the guardian of true national identity, the myth of origins and several other manipulated truths, often still repeated in the present.


Clara Sarmento  (Portugal)
Senior Lecturer in English
Department of Languages and Cultures
Institute of Accountancy and Administration of Oporto

Born in 1970, Clara Sarmento has an M.A. degree in Anglo-American Studies from the University of Oporto, where she is conducting her doctoral work in Cultural Studies. The 1993 recipient of the American Club of Lisbon Award for Academic Merit, she has studied at Cambridge University's Girton College and was a Visiting Scholar at Brown University. She teaches at the Polytechnic Institute of Oporto.

  • Politics
  • Learning Conditions
  • Popular Art
  • Official Rhetoric
  • Ideology

(30 min Conference Paper, English)