Maria Luisa Coelho

Academic degree: Doutoramento

Professional category: Investigador (com bolsa)

Research group(s):




Institutional address:

Instituto de Letras e Ciências Humanas
Universidade do Minho
Campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga

Short bionote:

Post-doctoral researcher.
Project: Portuguese Artists and Writers in London (1950-1986): Cultural Networks and Identities in Transit (FCT, post-doctoral research grant: SFRH/BPD/112293/2015)

With a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MA in Anglo-American Studies, her work is focused on feminist and gender studies, from an interdisciplinary perspective (literature and the visual arts). She is also very much interested in transcultural approaches to art and literature. Her post-doctoral research, which addresses Anglo-Portuguese cultural encounters, articulates her main research interests with diaspora studies.

Research interests:

Comparative Literature, History of Art, Inter-artistic Studies, Feminist and Gender Studies, Diaspora Studies, Anglo-Portuguese relationships.


2012 CENTRO DE ESTUDOS HUMANÍSTICOS – UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO, Portugal. PhD in Comparative Literature; thesis: "Contemporary Art and the Feminine: Representation and Contamination in the Work of Helen Chadwick, Michèle Roberts and Helena Almeida"

2002 FACULDADE DE LETRAS – UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO, Portugal. MA in Anglo-American studies; thesis: “O Doméstico na Poesia de Emily Dickinson: Entre a Tradição e a Inovação/ The Domestic in Emily Dickinson's Poetry: Between Tradition and Innovation”

1998 FACULDADE DE LETRAS – UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO, Portugal. Degree in Modern Languages and Literature: Portuguese and English Studies

Professional experience:

2015 – 2016 FACULTY OF MEDIEVAL AND MODERN LANGUAGES – UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK. Language Tutor of Portuguese to First-degree university students

2014 – 2016 LANGUAGE CENTRE – UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK. Language Tutor of Portuguese at Beginner and Intermediate levels

2007 – 2015 HISTORY OF ART DEPARTMENT – UNIVERSITY OF READING, UK. Lecturer of Contemporary Art and Theory to First-degree and MA students

2004 – 2006 LANGUAGE CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, UK. Tutor of Portuguese as a Foreign Language

1999 – 2004 COLÉGIO D. DUARTE, Porto, Portugal. Full-time Portuguese teacher

Institutional positions:

Executive member of Women in Portuguese and Spanish Studies (WISPS)


  • 2018 - ... (Membro)

    Mulheres, artes e ditadura – os casos de Portugal, Brasil e dos países africanos de língua portuguesa

    Este projecto pretende fazer uma análise do trabalho produzido por mulheres artistas nos
    países de língua portuguesa na segunda metade do século XX que, de diferentes modos,
    abordam aspectos da ditadura. Pretende-se dar visibilidade à presença das mulheres
    enquanto criadoras nos cânones literários e artísticos e contribuir através de estudos de
    caso situados para uma história das histórias da arte e da literatura. Numa perspectiva
    comparativa e transversal, o projecto incide sobre as seguintes áreas: artes visuais,
    literatura, cinema, documentário, teatro e performance. Analisaremos o trabalho
    produzido por mulheres artistas de diferentes perfis e de distintas gerações que abordam
    na sua prática artística os regimes autoritários/ditadura, quer como reflexo, quer como
    resistência aos mesmos.
    Coordenadora: Ana Gabriela Macedo
    Instituição de acolhimento: Cehum, Universidade do Minho
    Financiamento: FCT
  • 2016 - ... (Coordenador)

    Portuguese Artists and Writers in London (1950-1986): Cultural Networks and Identities in Transit

    This project focuses on works produced by Portuguese artists and writers who lived in London between 1950 and 1986, in order to assess how they engage with their Portuguese background and that British context. Through close visual and textual analysis, original archival research and interviews with the participants in this cultural circle still alive, I will develop a comparative framework for investigating works that suggest artistic dialogues and hybrid forms of identity. Moreover, the research takes a socio-political perspective when considering the relationship between Portuguese writers/artists and modern Portuguese history (Salazar’s dictatorship, the colonial war, the 1974 Revolution), as well as post-war British culture and its effects (decolonization, the swinging sixties, European integration). Grounded in Comparative Literature, Diaspora and Gender studies, this project will ultimately consider how the probing of fixed national and subjective identities in these works furthers our understanding of post-war Britain and Europe as collaborative cultural spaces.
    Funding: FCT, post-doctoral research grant: SFRH/BPD/112293/2015)



  • COELHO, M. L. and Williams, C. (in press) Ana Luísa Amaral: Critical Essays. Oxford: Peter Lang.
  • COELHO, M. L., C. Rapoo, Z. Sarwar. (Eds.). (2014). New perspectives in diasporic experience. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
  • COELHO, L. et al. (Eds.). (2007). Para além de charrua: Poemas de Moçambique/ Charrua and beyond: poems from Mozambique. Coventry: The Heaventree Press.

Proceedings books

  • COELHO, M. L. (2007). Homeland, mother-land and imaginary places: Michèle Roberts and Helen Chadwick's interpretations. C. Marinetti, S. Bassnett (Eds.). Interpreting, representing and recording: papers of the post-graduate conference held at the University of Warwick 9-10 June 2006 (pp. 3-12). Coventry: Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Warwick.


  • Coelho, M. L. (2020). Retrato de família: A figura do pai na obra de Helena Almeida. Diacrítica, 34(2), 92–106.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2019). O Mapa Cor de Rosa by Maria Velho da Costa: migration, dis-location and the production of unstable cartographies. Portuguese Studies, 35(2), 199-215. doi:10.5699/portstudies.35.2.0129

    Indexed on: SCOPUS

  • COELHO, M. L. (2019). Agata Jakubowaska and Katy Deepwel (eds.), All Women Art Spaces In Europe in the Long 1970s. Diacrítica, 33(1), 220-22.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2018). Renate Haas, Rewriting Academia: The Development of the Anglicist Women’s and Gender Studies of Continental Europe. Diacrítica, 31(2:4), 267-70.


  • COELHO, M. L. (2017). Woman-Body-Paint: Helena Almeida and the visual inscription of sexual difference. Luso-Brazilian Review, 57(1), 55-77. doi: 10.3368/lbr.54.1.55

    Indexed on: SCOPUS

  • COELHO, M. L., Oliveira M. (2016). On appropriation and craft: considering the feminist problem of de-politicization. n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal on polemics/ contestations, 38, 5-13.
  • COELHO, M. L., Oliveira M. (2011). Lourdes Castro, Helena Almeida and their ‘encounter with the world’ Diacrítica: Dossier literatura comparada, 24:3, 311-24.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2006). The abject body in contemporary female art. Textos e Pretextos: Os Monstros, 8.
  • Coelho, M. L. de S. (2002). ’Tis little I - could care for pearls-: Emily Dickinson’s great littleness. The Explicator, 60(3), 140-42.

    Indexed on: SCOPUS

Book chapters

  • COELHO, M. L. (2020) Transnational and palimpsestic journeys in the work of Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos. In H. Owen and C. Williams (Eds.). Transnational Portuguese Studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.91-108.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2017). The eccentric self-portraits of Helena Almeida. M. Blanco and C. Williams (Eds.). Feminine singular: Women growing up through life-writing in the luso-Hispanic world. (pp. 311-40). Oxford; New York: Peter Lang.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2014). Visual diasporas in the feminine: The case of Aurore de Sousa. C. Rapoo, M. L. Coelho, Z. Sarwar (Eds.). New perspectives in diasporic experience. (pp. 115-125). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2011). The Dinner Party and Portugal. M. Z. Stange, C. K. Oyster, J. E. Sloan (Eds.). Encyclopedia of women in today's world. (pp. 399; 1124-25). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications). DOI:
  • COELHO, M. L. (2008). 'Gorgeously repulsive, exquisitely fun, dangerously Bbeautiful’: dog women, monstrous births and contemporary women’s art. S. N. Fhlainn (Ed.). Dark reflections, monstrous reflections: essays on the monster in culture, 43, 99-112.

Proceedings papers

  • COELHO, M. L. (2016). Portuguese artists and writers in London (1950-1986): Cultural networks and identities in transit. A. G. Macedo, C. M. de Sousa, V. Moura (Eds.). Outros mapas: Linguagem, migração, diáspora, XVII colóquio de outono. (143-54). Braga: Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2015). The bosnian war through the eyes of Susana Mendes Silva: from the public to the private and back. A. G. Macedo, C. M. de Sousa, V. Moura (Eds.). Conflito e trauma: XVI colóquio de outono. (pp. 99-106). Braga: Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2012). Aerial performances in contemporary women’s art and fiction. A. G. Macedo, C. M. de Sousa and V. Moura (Eds.). Estética, cultura material e diálogos intersemióticos: XIII colóquio de outono. (pp. 49-56). Braga: Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2010). The performative female body in Helen Chadwick and Claude Cahun. A. G. Macedo, C. M. de Sousa, V. Moura (Eds.) Estudos performativos: global performance, political performance- XI colóquio de outono (pp. 213-22). Braga: Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho.
  • COELHO, M. L. (2009). Domestic accounts in contemporary women’s fiction and art. A. G. Macedo et al (Eds.). VI congresso nacional associação portuguesa de literatura comparada/ X colóquio de outono comemorativo das vanguardas (n.p.). Braga: Centro de Estudos Humanísticos da Universidade do Minho.

Other publications

  • COELHO, M. L. & PAZOS-ALONSO, C.(eds.) (2019). Portuguese Studies, Transnational Portuguese Women Artists, 35(2). doi:10.5699/portstudies.35.2.0129

    Indexed on: SCOPUS

  • COELHO, M. L., Pazos-Alonso, C. (2017). Identities in transit: Portuguese women artists since 1950. Oxford: Taylorian Institute, University of Oxford.

Organização de eventos

  • 2017/03/10 - 2017/03/24 | University of Oxford, Taylorian Institute

    Exhibition: Identities in Transit: Portuguese Women Artists since 1950

  • 2017/03/16 - 2017/03/17 | University of Oxford

    Transnational Portuguese Women Artists

  • 2017/03/06 - 2017/03/08 | University of Loughborough, UK

    Women Artists and 20th Century Authoritarian Regimes in Europe

Participação em eventos

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    Maria Luisa Coelho, 'Celestina's House: Paula Rego's Re-vision and (De)construction of Gendered Archetypes'. In 19th WISPS Annual Conference, 2-3 November 2018, The Institue of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study (University of London, London, UK)

  • Seminário (Por convite)

    Maria Luisa Coelho, 'Family Portrait: the Father Figure in the Work of Helena Almeida'. In Itinerâncias Críticas', 25 October 2018 (Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal)

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Mera Distância/ Mere Distance: Reality, Fiction and Transcultural Identity in the work of Diasporic Writer Luís Amorim de Sousa” (Oxford, Forum for Iberian Studies: Fictitious Realities, Real Fictions, 20-21 June 2018)

  • Seminário (Por convite)

    “Arte Portuguesa? Uma Abordagem Transnacional a Partir da Obra de Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos”, 40th Research Seminar GAPS/ CEHUM (Braga, Universidade do Minho, 30 November 2017).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Palimpsestic and transnational journeys in the work of Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos”, Association of British and Irish Lusitanists (University of Sheffield, 8-9 September 2017).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “O Mapa Cor de Rosa by Maria Velho da Costa: migration, dis-location and the production of unstable cartographies”, Transnational Portuguese Women Artists Conference” (Wadham College, Oxford, 16-18 March 2017).

  • Seminário (Por convite)

    “A Auto-representação como inscrição da diferença sexual na obra de Helena Almeida”, 32th Research Seminar GAPS/ CEHUM (Braga, Universidade do Minho, 2 December 2016).

  • Escola de Verão (Por convite)

    4Th Summer School CEHUM — Liminaridades. Género, Tradução, Performance (Braga, Universidade do Minho, 13-14 July, 2016).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    Paula Rego and other Portuguese artists and writers in Britain (1950-1986)”, Caught in the Act: The (Literary) Imagiconography of Paula Rego (Lisbon, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 3-5 December 2015) .

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Portuguese Artists and Writers in London (1950-1986): Cultural Networks and Identities in Transit”, Association of British and Irish Lusitanists (ABIL) (University of Exeter, 7-8 September 2015).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “The Bosnian War through the Eyes of Susana Mendes Silva: from the Public to the Private and Back”, XVI Colóquio de Outono: Conflito e Trauma (Braga, Universidade do Minho, 13-15 November 2014).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Moving Away from Home: Diasporic and Maternal Representations in the Work of Maria Lusitano”, Migrant Mothers Caring for the Future: Creative Interventions in Making New Citizens (London Southbank University, 18-19 September 2014).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Location/ Dislocation/ Circulation: Diasporic and Gendered Representations by Maria Lusitano”, Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora (University of Warwick, 11 July 2014).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    In collaboration with Márcia Oliveira, “Situating Portuguese Feminist Art: Why Has There Been No Feminist Art Movement in Portugal?”, Situating Women’s Liberation; Historicizing a Movement (University of Portsmouth, 4 July 2014).

  • Seminário (Por convite)

    “Visual Diasporas in the Feminine: Some Portuguese Case Studies”, Portuguese Graduate Research Seminar (Wadham College, University of Oxford, 3 December 2013).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Visual Diasporas in the Feminine: The Case of Aurore de Sousa”, Diasporas: Exploring Critical Issues (Mansfield College, Oxford, 6-8 July 2013).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Socially Engaged Art Practices: The Work of Carla Cruz”, AAH 39th Annual Conference (University of Reading, 11-13 April 2013).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Michèle Roberts on Art and Artists: an Interdisciplinary and Feminist Dialogue”, Feminist Studies: The Future of the Past (University of Coimbra, Portugal, 6 July 2012).

  • Seminário (Por convite)

    “Liminal Art Spaces: Helena Almeida”, History of Art Research Seminar (University of Reading, 8 February 2012).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Aerial Performances in Contemporary Women’s Art and Fiction”, Estética, Cultura Material e Diálogos Intersemióticos- 13th Colóquio de Outono (CEHUM/Universidade do Minho, 17-19 November 2011).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Re-membering Matrilineal Bonds in Athens: Helen Chadwick’s Lofos Nymphon”, RX Ctities Conference (The Barber Institute of Fine Art, 20 March 2010).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    In collaboration with Márcia Oliveira, “Lourdes Castro, Helena Almeida and their ‘Encounter with the World’”, Transitions, WiSPS 10th Annual Conference (Oxford University, 2-3 October 2009).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Some Contemporary Women Artists and the Self-portrait Tradition”, APEAA 30th International Conference: Self, Memory and Expression (Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, 19-21 February 2009).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “The Body of the Artist in Helena Almeida’s Work: Self-portraiture as Self-erasure”, Bodies of Evidence (Oxford Brookes University, 21-22 June 2008).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Materials and Materiality in Helena Almeida’s Work”, RX Futures: Technologies and Techniques (University of Reading, 10 May 2008).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Chocolate, Desire and Abjection: Digesting Helen Chadwick’s Work on Food”, the History of Art Postgraduate Conference (Reading University, 21 May, 2007).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “‘Gorgeously Repulsive, Exquisitely Fun, Dangerously Beautiful’: Dog Women, Monstrous Births and Contemporary Women’s Art” at Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil (Mansfield College, Oxford, 18-21 September 2006).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Maternity and the Sacred in the Work of Michèle Roberts and Helen Chadwick: a Comparative Approach”, Reading Spiritualities (University of Lancaster, 20-22 January 2006).

  • Colóquio/Congresso (Por convite)

    “Some Preliminary Thoughts on Contemporary Art and the Feminine”, 21st Century Girls? Women in Modern Languages: Addressing the Future, Assessing the Past, WiSPS’s 6th Annual Conference (London, 14-15 October 2005).