This research group focuses specifically on the area of American Studies, following a methodological approach based on intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue between discrete cultural subjects — literature and music, autobiography and painting, literature and photography, cinema and other arts, literature and history. The group’s research is also characterized by a strong emphasis on the relationship between the Portuguese and American cultures, as well as on the intercultural and intracultural dynamics of Portuguese American Culture.
A parallel project is in progress, arising from the realization that, in our time, the survival of the Humanities depends on their ability to enter into a sustained dialogue with other fields of study, including those of the so-called ‘hard sciences’, ‘exact sciences’ and technology. An examination will be carried out of the differences and similarities between fields of study, regarding both the methodologies used and the influences they have exerted on each other’s development. This is a long-term project, designed to associate the group with the predominant trends in contemporary American Studies.
In order to achieve these aims, the LI5 Research Group has been strengthening its ties of cooperation with scholars from American and Canadian universities (Georgetown University, Brown University, University of Central Arkansas, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Brock University, Ontario), as well as with the John F. Kennedy Institute (Free University, Berlin), and with other organizations, such as the Society for the Study of the Short Story. This policy is designed to broaden the scope of the group’s research activities, thus creating the conditions for joint supervision at graduate level, the co-organization of international conferences in Lisbon and the co-edition of the publications resulting therefrom.
A parallel research line is the “Mapping American Studies in Portugal” project, looking at past achievements and studying the present situation with a view to future developments. An archival format that allows for continuous updating is currently under consideration.
The LI5 Research Group takes part in a range of national and international academic meetings and conferences, inviting specialists of recognized merit to give lectures and seminars and doing its best to ensure that its own researchers can take part in similar activities organized by other institutions. It also encourages participation in American Studies Graduate Programs and in projects that are specifically geared towards the community.