WELCOME TO THE CENTER FOR PORTUGUESE STUDIES
University of California, Santa Barbara
Phelps Hall 3206
The Center for Portuguese Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara was founded with an endowment from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for the purpose of promoting and developing studies about the Portuguese speaking world in California and in the United States of America. The Center sponsors students and activities related to the Portuguese speaking world.
The Center also provides support for teaching and degree programs and promotes the study of the literatures, language and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Portuguese is spoken in Brazil (over 200 million speakers), Portugal (over 10 million speakers) and Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor and Macau (over 45 million speakers). Services and activities include awarding student scholarships and stipends; promoting Portuguese language classes; hosting colloquia; maintaining the Center library; and sponsoring publications.
The Center has also received support from various institutions, among which the Instituto Camões, the Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, the Junta Nacional de Investigação Científica e Tecnológica, the Fundação Oriente, The União Portuguesa do Estado da Califórnia, the Luso-American Education Foundation, and from individuals and alumni. The Center encourages donations from foundations and individuals interested in the continuation of its mission to promote the study and dissemination of the Portuguese speaking world in the United States and elsewhere.
Portuguese, as aforementioned, is spoken by more than 200 million speakers in the world. It encompasses a diverse and rich corpus of different cultures, literatures, art, cinema, music, architecture and so much more. However, it is considered a "Critical Language" by the United States Government - the only European language designated as such - meaning that Portuguese is understudied in the United States despite playing a key role in global commerce, politics and culture worldwide. It is the mission of the Center for Portuguese Studies to support students invested in learning the skills necessary to bridge this gap and to envision a future where Portuguese plays an important role in their future careers.