The Graduate Program in Literature and Culture at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA’s PPGLitCult) is a result of the division of the former Graduate Program in Letters and Linguistics (PPGLL), which obtained the recommendation for keeping our previous grade of excellence (Grade 5.0) on the 112th Meeting of the Scientific and Technological Council (CTC – ES), on 02 October 2009. In view of the recommendations made to our Program by CAPES’ evaluating committee, the dismemberment of the old program was promoted, since the emergence of new paradigms in the context of language and literature studies imposed a more complex interdisciplinary reconfiguration in order to meet the growing demand for qualified human resources in the field of literary and cultural studies in a regional context.
In 2013, the Graduate Program in Literature and Culture completed its fourth year of operation and underwent initial evaluation by CAPES, having kept its grade of excellence 5.0 for the 2010-2012 period.
The program is characterized by a flexible and permeable structure in order to overcome the territorial discipline. This characteristic has allowed a fruitful interaction with both the Graduate Program in Language and Culture, also originated from PPGLL, and with other graduate programs in the area of Human Sciences at UFBA, as well as with other graduate programs both in the state of Bahia and in other states of Brazil.
In this suggested restructuring, we maintained the previous concentration area of Theory and Criticism of Literature and Culture, keeping the former two lines of research (Documents of Cultural Memory, and Studies of Theories and Literary and Cultural Representations), adding two new ones: Criticism and Creative Process in Several Languages, and Studies in Intersemiotic and Cultural Translation.
The program aims to contribute to the qualification of professionals to teach at college level, adopting the contemporary view that interprets the literary production in its articulation with the polyphonic space of culture, both nationally and internationally. The lines of research promote integration between the areas of Literary Theory, Cultural Studies, Literatures in Portuguese Language and Literatures in Foreign Languages, by developing projects that largely establish the transit between local, national and international literary and cultural productions, as well as the relationships between the various spheres of artistic and intermedia productions.
As a general goal, our program (PPGLitCult) also seeks to contribute to the development of basic education, since a significant part of our students already works or will work in public high schools. The interdisciplinary and multicultural character assumed by the program is intended to qualify students both for teaching and doing research work, guided by intellectual respect and critical appreciation of the different possibilities of symbolic manifestations. In addition, the socio-critical basis proportioned by the study of literature and culture targets the intellectual formation of our post-graduate students, enabling them to view school education and teaching as empowering and transformative in its social function in the constitution of autonomous and ethical subjects. The extent of its historical insertion in the Bahian scene, as a program derived from a tradition of language and literary studies over three decades, PPGLitCult also deals with the socio-cultural education in Bahia, with respect to our memory, registered in the documents and discourses circulating in the various space-time spheres that produce them.
The intersection between these three instances of action (transdisciplinary and transnational theoretical advance; potentiation of the school system; and intervention in local reality) aims to promote the education of professionally qualified human resources in order to deal with contemporary social issues through sophisticated and efficient theoretical reflection and praxis with social impact. In this sense, the actions that guide the PPGLitCult proposal seek to promote:
a) the integration of its levels, activities and components (between teaching and research, between advisor and advisee, between the graduate program and the undergraduate courses);
b) the improvement of its curriculum, aiming at the revision of the traditional and institutionalized disciplinarity, the growing inter and trans-disciplinary practice, and the open study of cultural and political dimensions of aesthetic productions;
c) research areas and disciplines directly derived from more productive research activities, undertaken by the permanent faculty of the Program and by our students;
d) incentives to the qualification, expansion, and more equitable distribution of bibliographic production;
e) settling, expansion and productivity of inter-institutional dialogues and academic and scientific exchanges.
PPGLitCult’s Lines of Research
a) Criticism and Creative Processes in Several Languages
This line of research focuses on two aspects: Modern Textual Criticism and Genetic Criticism. Modern Textual Criticism deals with the establishment of modern or contemporary authors of published or unpublished texts, seeking to investigate what would have been the last will of the author. The Genetic Criticism, in turn, focuses on the process of text creation (modern or contemporary), attempting to demonstrate what would have been the path taken by authors in the construction of their works.
b) Documents of Cultural Memory
This line integrates research that explore intersections between literature, history and political culture, encompassing different aspects of studies of identity expressions in national and transnational perspectives, or from minority segments, as well as the organization and critical reading of documentary and literary collections.
c) Studies in Cultural and Intersemiotic Translation
After Roman Jakobson identified three possible types of translation (intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic), studies in this area began to expand the borders beyond the usual practice of written translation from one language to another. From the 60's onwards, the interconnection in different art forms has been included within the studies in translation from different sign systems (intersemiotic translation), covering, for example, literary text translations into film, theater, and comics, among other possibilities. The translation process occurs within discursive perspectives, including interpretation games, appropriation, and the displacement of the idea of origin Translation is conceived as the rewriting of a text that is not identical to the one that originated it, since the rewritten text contains the marks of the translator. This fact generates the recognition that translators are not a tabula rasa and that they somehow leave their marks in the translated text. Thus, this line of research includes the analysis of intersemiotic and/or interlingual translations of literary texts, taking as a central vantage point issues related to culture.
d) Studies of Theories and Literary and Cultural Representations
This line of research undertakes a reflection on theoretical assumptions from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and analyzes poetry and fictional representations of both centuries. The contexts in which these representations operate are taken into account, as well as the interconnections of the diversity of artistic and cultural icons and the image games that circulate in the various representations of a culture, including those operated by literature.