Launched in 1975, CLEPUL’s original designation proved itself conceptually inaccurate, over time, as it included “Expressão Portuguesa” (Portuguese expression or character/feature) instead of “Língua Portuguesa” (Portuguese language), a phrasal construction implying a false perspective of several Lusophone communities under a single and unified character. In fact, during the 1970’s, it was indeed a controversial matter as it raised enormous division amongst the scholar community, as a new academic field emerged amidst the self determination process of the former Portuguese colonies in Africa, that of the African Literatures and Cultures. Emblematic events were fundamental to show how conceptually inadequate the wording “expressão” (feature, character) became, considering that currently the concept of “língua” (language) does not change over space or time its system identity. Here are a few examples of several circumstances that caused this theoretical shift: African Studies conceptual development; East-Timor, Macau and other territories detachment process from Portugal; a strong will to culturally reunite multiple Lusophone communities as would be the mission of what became the Community of Lusophone Countries (CPLP); the establishment of multiple studies researching traces of the Portuguese language (written and spoken) worldwide; and an intense Linguistics development, as its essential concepts became more detailed, concepts such as “human language”, “national language”, “speech”, “linguistic variation”, “creole”, “pidgin”, or “expression”.

In recent years, CLEPUL has developed scientific work within its main subject matter (Portuguese Language Literatures), as a more profound study and understanding would be expected. This development was largely aided by the flourishing of other contiguous scientific areas (Comparative Literary Studies, History, Classic Studies and Cultural Studies), and also by the expansion of the centre itself (former members were able to show more availability, guidance and dedication, and the number of researchers in these areas expanded). This reflection effort, along with the increase of CLEPUL’s “critical mass”, have placed the European Literatures and Cultures at the centre of a more national perspective, literary and culturally speaking, in order to better understand authors and their work. Otherness and national background became fundamental for understanding identity. In these circumstances, CLEPUL was able to develop projects, in light of this new spirit, welcoming national and international partnerships organising workgroups and several actions. An example for these activities is the creation of the 4th Multi-annual Project – “European Literatures and Cultures” –, a project suggested and accepted by FCT, and very much praised and encouraged during the last International Evaluation.

For these reasons, the original name became outdated, as it lost its accuracy; in terms of concept, “expressão” (character) gave place to “língua” (language), in terms of object, “literatures” gave way to “literatures and culture”, and “Portuguese” became “Portuguese speaking and European”.

Keeping the acronym CLEPUL, the name “Centre for Lusophone and European Literatures and Cultures” reflects both scientific accuracy and the actual work currently developed at the centre. This new name highlights all the work being developed at the centre, which did not happen under the original name, and allows for a broader institutional proximity between the European and the Lusophone communities.


Statutes approved on February 6, 2010 and officially recognised as of February 22, 2010, including changes approved upon the Scientific Committee’s meeting dated March 10, 2012.






Fundamental Principles

Article 1

Description and institutional framework

1 – The Centre for Lusophone and European Literatures and Cultures of the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, commonly named CLEPUL, is a research unit belonging to the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, where its head office is located. It is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), and is authorised to receive funding from other sources.

2 – CLEPUL operates under these statutes and those of the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, as determined by law (Article 1(4) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes), without prejudice to CLEPUL’s independent capacity in cultural, scientific, and educational (didactics and pedagogy) areas.

3 –The research work developed at CLEPUL is directly connected to the teaching and research of language, culture, literature, art and history within the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon. It is also connected to the projects of our full members and associate members within other national and international universities and institutions.

4 – CLEPUL is therefore a research unit “subject to independent evaluation, supporting or engaging in research and development projects” (Article 8 of the Faculty of Letters Statutes), namely through its researchers, institutions and universities exchange policy, nation and worldwide.

Article 2

Duties and obligations

CLEPUL is committed to:

1 – Encouraging research within its own knowledge field, keeping a strong lookout for new fields of interest. CLEPUL keeps its methods and perspectives updated, which allows for a wider and more international scientific point of view.

2 – Disclosing its scientific results through various means, whether through scientific gatherings or through publishing, be it paper-based or in digital format. This has an educational purpose and allows for a much more sustained network research.  

3 – Organising scientific and cultural events, projects, meetings, courses, and programmes whose synergies promote specific knowledge fields belonging to the host institution and other associated institutions. Such events also benefit the training needs of the community which CLEPUL’s researchers are part of.

4 – Supporting and providing training for new researchers, guiding them through the scientific research best practices.


Internal organisation

Article 3


CLEPUL is organised in Research Groups (with their own main centres and internal disposition) and Projects.

Article 4

Research groups

CLEPUL’s Research Groups “work under a flexibility and adjustment spirit” for the purposes of coordination and scientific guidance, which are compatible with the Research Unit activities (Article 9 (2) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes).

Article 5

Independent projects

Independent projects are coordinated by a CLEPUL’s Senior Researcher. These projects are funded by an independent institution. 

Article 6

Research Group coordination

Research Group coordination members are:

a) Senior researchers for multiannual projects, FCT funded. Projects can be multiple and diverse in their nature;

b) Senior researchers, whose assignment is to outline annual activities, are accounted for carrying them out in full and are compelled to provide a final report.

Article 7

Project coordination

Project coordination members are PhD holders in charge of work groups of at least three people. These work groups have a specific research plan, legally obligated to provide results within the established time frame by FCT or other fund providers.

Article 8

CLEPUL’s working group

1 – CLEPUL’s working group is made of PhD teachers and researchers, master’s and university degree holders, national or international citizens, whose expertise fits CLEPUL’s Research Groups spirit. The team members are actively engaged inactivities developed at the research unit and aim to produce quality research projects.

2 – CLEPUL’s team members have specific roles and duties, as defined by FCT’s regulation and within the Faculty of Letters legal framework.

2.1 – CLEPUL’s full members are researchers who are not members of any other research unit and have a residence and work permit.

2.2 – CLEPUL’s associate members are researchers who are part of other research units and also researchers living abroad.

3 – To become a CLEPUL’s member, a current member should bring forward a formal proposal to the Director, and it should be approved by the Coordination Committee.


CLEPUL’s bodies

General Provisions

Article 9

CLEPUL’s bodies

CLEPUL’s bodies are:

a) The Director;

b) The Coordination Committee;

c) The Scientific Committee;

d) The External Advisory Committee for Science.

Article 10



1 – The Director of the research unit is its government and representative body (Article 47 of the Faculty of Letters Statutes).

2 – The Director is responsible forthe direction, management, administration, implementation and embodiment of the unit’s scientific policy, and for its financial management.

Article 11

Support to the Director

1 – The Director is aided by two Deputy Directors that should be PhD holders and be chosen among CLEPUL’s full members. The Director is also aided by one Registrar and two Councillors.

2 – The Director is aided by CLEPUL’s Secretariat in order to fulfil the centre’s administrative tasks.

Article 12

Legal competence

The Director must:

a) Direct the research unit, representing it before the Faculty’s internal and external bodies;

b) Ensure the liaison with FCT is kept;

c) Freely choose, appoint and discharge the Deputy Directors, the Registrar and the two Councillors;

d) Represent the research unit before its respective Scientific Committee;

e) Summon and chair CLEPUL’s Coordination Committee;

f) Summon and chair the Scientific Committee plenary sessions;

g) Cooperate with the Directors of courses where CLEPUL actively participates;

h) Request official opinions from the External Advisory Committee for Science

i) Organise the election process for the position of Director appointing an electoral committee of three full members, and oversee the establishment of the remaining bodies;

j) Coordinate CLEPUL’s activities and ensure CLEPUL’s research groups have their strategic plan, annual and multiannual reports duly formulated;

k) Encourage the debate for already established program choices;

l) Oversee the negotiation of agreements or arrangements between CLEPUL and other institutions, and be responsible for signing them;

m) Request a call for tender for new researchers,upon consultation of the Coordination Committee;

n) Ratify the admission of new members, upon the Coordination Committee’s formal opinion.

2 – The Director’s signature or, in his/her absence, the joint signatures of both Deputy Directors or of one of them combined with the Registrar’s signature, officially bind CLEPUL.

Article 13


1 – If otherwise determined by special legislation, when the Director is absent, away or unable to perform his/her duties, it is up to one of the Deputy Directors, or in their absence a substitute member, to replace the Director.

2 – Performing official duties, under replacement conditions, shall comprise delegated or subdelegated powers originally invested in the member being replaced.

Article 14


1 – The research unit’s Director is elected, by simple majority, by CLEPUL’s Scientific Committee, as foreseen in the fundamental principles (Article 2) of the Faculty of Letters Electoral Regulations.

2 – The Director’s term of office lasts two years and may be renewed twice.

3 – The Director can be exonerated by CLEPUL’s Scientific Committee, by qualified majority of two thirds of the members effectively in office (Article 47 (3) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes), allowing legal appeal, not having suspensive effect.

4 – The Director will be deprived of office under the following circumstances (Article 13 (3) (a), (b) and (c) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes):

a) if he or she no longer has a legal binding to the University of Lisbon or if he or she is no longer a member of the body that has elected him/her;

b) if, without valid justification, is absent from three meetings in a row or four non consecutive meetings;

c) if found guilty, following a disciplinary action, as long as it has the authority of a final decision and occurs during the Director’s term of office.

5 – The electoral procedure comprehends:

a) A call for tenders for applications;

b) The submission of applications;

c) The Scientific Committee final vote.

6 – Any professor or CLEPUL’s PhD full member, effectively working as a University of Lisbon professor or researcher, can become Director.

Article 15


1 – The Director is elected by CLEPUL’s full members, professors and researchers.

2 – In terms of voting turnout, all CLEPUL’s full members, professors and researchers, regardless of their time in office, are allowed to vote.

3 – Retired PhD researchers still developing ongoing research work, as long as they are full members, are allowed to vote.

4 – Voting shall be personal and done by secret ballot, and can also be accepted by registered post, within the established deadline decided by the Electoral Committee.

5 – In the event of the Director’s exoneration, voting shall occur as defined in number 4.


Coordination Committee

Article 16


The Coordination Committee, conducted by the Director, comprehends the Deputy Directors, the Registrar, the research groups’Coordinators and a Senior Researcher for the independent projects, acting as their representation member.

a) Having heard the Director, project Coordinators can be grouped together, if the nature of the projects demands it, and as long as the research groups’ Coordinators and the representation member for the independent projects agree to it.

b) Research group Coordinators are allowed to vote according to the number of elements of their own group.

c) The independent projects’ representative is allowed one vote per project.

Article 17

Legal competence

1 – The Coordination Committee comes together when needed and upon being summoned by the Director or as per request of one third of its members formally presented to the Director.

2 – The Coordination Committee has responsibilities of an advisory and/or decision-making nature, supervising and carrying out CLEPUL’s scientific policy in cooperation with the Director.

3 – The Coordination Committee must:

a) Contribute to producing CLEPUL’s activities annual and multi-annual strategic plan;

b) Produce a formal opinion on CLEPUL’s budget management in relation to FCT’s resource allocation criteria and the implicit overhead for the Faculty of Letters;

c) Produce a formal opinion on the annual share to be accredited to the Organic Unit by the Research Groups;

d) Produce a formal opinion on the independent projects’ financial contribution to the Organic Unit;

e) Produce a formal opinion on CLEPUL’s activities report (coordinated by the Director), upon the Research Groups Senior Researchers own report, to be sent annually to FCT (Article 6 (b));

f) Produce a formal opinion on the structure of each Research Group project;

g) Produce a formal opinion on the call for applications for independent projects within CLEPUL’s scope;

h) Suggest a call for tenders to fulfil the need for researchers;

i) Produce a formal opinion on the new researchers admission, as foreseen in Article 8 (3);

j) Propose the External Advisory Committee structure, which will be approved by the Scientific Committee;

k) Appoint therepresentative for non-PhD members for each research group, including independent projects, as an observer at the Scientific Committee;

l) Suggest specialised workgroups to work on specific tasks outlined according to CLEPUL’s agenda.

4 – In the event of a tied vote at the Coordination Committee, the Director, as its chairman, shall have the casting vote.


The Scientific Committee

Article 18


The Scientific Committee, chaired by the research unit’s Director, is CLEPUL’s supreme scientific organ.

Article 19


1 – The Scientific Committee comprises the Director, its chairman, and CLEPUL’s PhD full members (Article 49 (2) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes and Vice-Chancellor Decision no. R/93/2009).

2 – The Scientific Committee will also accommodate as observers the non-PhD holders’ representatives appointed by the Coordination Committee.

Article 20

Legal competence

1 – The Scientific Committee shall:

a) Examine CLEPUL’s scientific policy;

b) Approve proposals for merging or extinguishing the research Unit altogether;

c) Discuss and approve by a simple majority future proposals for changing CLEPUL’s statutes, upon thorough examination and ulterior type-approval;

d) Elect and exonerate the Director, as foreseen in Article 13 and 14;

e) Approve the structure of the External Advisory Committee for Science.

2 – The Scientific Committee will get together once a year, on a plenary session, upon being summoned by the Director or as per extraordinary request of one third of its members.

3 – In the event of a tied vote at the Scientific Committee, the Director, as its chairman, shall have the casting vote.

Article 21

Summoning and voting

1 – The official summoning for the Scientific Committee’s meetings must occur at least 15 days prior to the event, and must include all items on the agenda.

2 – Regarding the election or exoneration of the Director, approval or revision of the statutes, voting shall be personal and done by secret ballot, and can also be accepted by registered post.


External Advisory Committee for Science

Article 22

Purpose and legal competence

The purpose of the External Advisory Committee for Science is to monitor and assess CLEPUL’s research strategy, comment on its application and produce official opinions that deems appropriate.

Article 23


1 – The number of elements part of the External Advisory Committee for Science must be adequate in size and nature to the research unit, and it shall be defined by the Coordination Committee.

2 – The External Advisory Committee for Science has specialists or personalities external to the Institution, of renowned merit in the fields to which CLEPUL is dedicated.

3 – It falls under the authority of the Scientific Committee to approve the structure of the External Advisory Committee, as foreseen in Article 20 (1) (e).

Article 24

Type-approval and entry into force

1 – These statutes will be approved by CLEPUL’s PhD full members, in a plenary session, in line with Paragraph 9 of the Guidelines (“Orientações”) of the Vice-Chancellor Decision n.º R/93/2009.

2 – Voting shall be personal and done by secret ballot, and can also be accepted by registered post, within the established deadline decided by the Statutory Revision Committee.

3 – These statutes, and their future changes, will enter into force upon official approval by the Director of the Faculty of Letters and five days after its publication in the Portuguese Official Journal.

Article 25

Transitional provisions

CLEPUL’s bodies will be in office until nomination of the office holders as foreseen in these statutes (Article 59 (4) of the Faculty of Letters Statutes).

Article 26

First Election

Fifteen days upon these statutes entry into force, CLEPUL’s Scientific Committee will be summoned. If the Scientific Committee agrees, CLEPUL’s Director first election will take place. This election will happen when the Scientific Committee decides and within the spirit of the regulations declared in Article 1 and 59 of the Faculty of Letters Statutes.


Final and Transitional Provisions

Article 27

Changing the Statutes

1 – These statutes can be reviewed by:

a) Two years after they have been type approved or reviewed, by an absolute majority of the PhD researchers CLEPUL’s full members;

b) Upon two years, at any time, by decision of two thirds of the PhD researchers CLEPUL’s full members.

2 – Changes to CLEPUL’s statutes can be suggested by:

a) The Director;

b) The Scientific Committee.

3 – All changes must be discussed by all CLEPUL’s PhD full members, according to Article 20 (1) (c).


There are currently eight Research Groups at CLEPUL, and they are:

Group 1 – Portuguese Literatures and Cultures;

Group 2 – African Portuguese-speaking Literatures and Cultures;

Group 3 – Multiculturalism and Lusophone cultures;

Group 4 – Literature and Culture in InterArts;

Group 5 – Iberian-Slavonic Interculturalism;

Group 6 – Brazil-Portugal: Literature, Culture and Memory;

Group 7 – Cultural Heritage Metamorphoses.

Group 8 – Portuguese Folk Traditions Professor Manuel Viegas Guerreiro

Please note that the Portuguese version is the original one. In case there are discrepancies in the English language version, the text of the Portuguese version prevails.