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The Female Lyric “I” of Male Poets in Medieval Galician-Portuguese Cantigas de Amigo

  • 2019.11.08
  • Event
      Early Galician-Portuguese lyric known as cantiga (c. 1200-1350), being one of the main traditions of medieval European lyric poetry, has set some of the foundational tones and themes for Portuguese poetry and music. Through scansion and close reading of selected poems (accompanied with English translation), this talk will discuss its various cultural and literary sources, three major genres (“Song of Love,” “Song of a Friend,” and “Song of Satire and Slander”), as well as its most distinct metric and rhetorical features, from which the characteristics of Occitan or Provençal troubadour lyric may also be glimpsed. Then we will look at the most original and peculiar genre “Songs of a Friend” composed by male poets in the voice of an innocent female waiting for her absent crush. Famous songs by Dom Dinis, Martim Codax, and Mendinho will be analyzed to approach the quintessential Portuguese themes of female love, sea, longing, and fate. In probing the strange act of writing in a female voice, we will bring in its modern inheritors, from the arguably best Portuguese poet Herberto Helder to the legendary Brazilian musician Chico Buarque. During the talk, we will also get to appreciate several musical pieces from modern rendition and fado interpretation of cantigas to contemporary Brazilian music.

Topic: The Female Lyric “I” of Male Poets in Medieval Galician-Portuguese Cantigas de Amigo

Time & Date: 16:00-17:30. November 8, 2019 (Friday).

Venue: Zhixin 111.

Speaker: Dr. Xingyue (Inez) Zhou. Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts,

                Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech)

Moderator: Dr. Kuan-yen Liu. The School of Humanities and Social Science, CUHK-Shenzhen.

Language: Chinese

Speaker Biography:

      Dr. Xingyue (Inez) Zhou is currently a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech). She obtained her B.A. in English Language and Literature and M.A. in Comparative and World Literature from Peking University, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

      Dr. Zhou specializes in modern poetry and poetics in English and Portuguese, with wider interests in poetry in Romance languages and Sino-Western comparative poetics. With the support of the Gulbenkian Fellowship in Portugal and the Haroldo de Campos Scholarship in Brazil, she has conducted archival research in Lisbon and São Paulo.

      Dr. Zhou’s three articles and two book reviews have been published on the prestigious Portuguese journal Colóquio-Letras, the Brazilian poetry journal CIRCULADÔ, and an essay collection published by the renowned Brazilian publisher Perspectiva. Besides, experimenting with poetry translation and translating between Chinese, English, and Portuguese, Dr. Zhou’s translation works have appeared on Brazilian literary journals, with an anthology of young Chinese poets in collaboration with Jabucatiba press to come out soon.