This PhD program follows the latest transnational developments in American Studies, providing the critical questioning of the limits of the discipline in bringing the concept of ‘America’ face-to-face with those of ‘the Americas,’ the North and the South. The study and research fostered by the program are vindicated and useful for shaping a critical perspective on the United States’ place in the world, our own place in the world (as Portuguese and European), the roles and effects of globalization, as well as the conflicts between identities and differences (sexual, racial, ethnic, class) within the permeable borders and the heterogeneous populations of our contemporary societies. Taking a historical and cultural stance from a location such as Portugal can lead American Studies theoretical perspectives in innovative directions, stimulating new transatlantic and diasporic readings, and bringing together the cultural, linguistic, and literary exchanges between Portugal, Africa, the West Indies and Brazil.

With a view to analyzing the multiple perspectives and identities at work in the multicultural dynamics of United States society, the cooperation with the Center for Social Studies works towards the strengthening and diversification of this PhD program. It extends the program into new areas, thus reinforcing two of American Studies methodological, interdisciplinarity, and comparativism.



Since its establishment as a discipline, American Studies has privileged an interdisciplinary approach - hence the intention of the program to broaden its scope by means of an association with the Center for Social Studies. This partnership enriches the interdisciplinary component of the program, while also covering the hemispheric dimension of the Americas. Its goal is not only to deepen a critical understanding of the United States as the most influent superpower in cultural terms in the global world, but also to confront the United States with the study of other realities in the American continent, with an emphasis on inter-American studies, as well as with other transatlantic perspectives.

This degree provides for specialized research in an area of indisputable current interest on both cultural and political grounds. Besides being able to attract candidates with prior training in the area, it can also capture the interest of other specialists from different fields, who want to engage in advanced research in this field of study.