ana martins, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Portuguese
AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellow
University of Exeter, UK

public engagement


Authentic Recipes from Around the World

(co-authored book)

latest article


"From Adamastor, with Love: Unthinking lusofonia through the Female Monstrous in José Eduardo Agualusa's Nação Crioula: A Correspondência Secreta de Fradique Mendes" (free eprints here)

I specialise in women's writing in Portuguese. Here you can browse through some of the writing I have been sending out to the world since 2006. You can find me at the beautiful  campus of the university of Exeter, where I teach and do research, or in Portugal, in the heart of Beira Baixa, where I'm from.


Magic Stones and Flying Snakes: Gender and the Postcolonial Exotic in the work of Paulina Chiziane and Lidia Jorge


This book is the first to identify an important theoretical overlap between Anglo-Saxon and Lusophone postcolonial theories: the systematic neglect of gender and sexual variables in the analysis of the marketing of cultural difference in the post colonial era. Drawing on the theoretical work of Graham Huggan and Boaventura de Sousa Santos, the author of this study discusses the political significance of this neglect by focusing on the asymmetrical positions occupied by two widely acclaimed Lusophone women writers, Paulina Chiziane of Mozambique andLídia Jorge of Portugal. The book asks how these two contemporary writers deal with master narratives such as Lusofonia, exoticism, capitalism and post colonialism in their novels, and examines the implications of placing gender and sexual difference at the heart of the ‘postcolonial exotic’.


Peter Lang Series Reconfiguring Identities in the Portuguese-Speaking World - Volume 1


Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. X, 245 pp.


ISBN 978-3-0343-0828-1 pb. (Softcover)

ISBN 978-3-0353-0365-0 (eBook)


Authentic Recipes from Around the World (Ceredigion, HAT Events 2015). With Emma-Jayne Abbots, Rocio Carvajal, Anna Charalambidou, Elaine Forde, Hazel Thomas, and Deborah Toner. ISBN 978 0 9562553 9 6. 
This book reflects about the term "authenticity" in the context of foods and drinks. It asks how history, time and temporality can be used to make particular cultural products seem "authentic" or the "real" thing. We explore authenticity in relation to foods and drinks from different parts of the world: pulque (alcoholic drink from central Mexico), flaounes (celebration Easter pies from Cyprus), Welsh craft cider, and acarajé (street snack from Brazil).  
Temporal categories like "origins," "traditions" and "timelessness" and the emotional connections they can evoke, like feelings of nostalgia and belonging, are at the heart of our approach. The book is part of a larger research project, Consuming Authenticities: Time, Place and the Past in the Construction of Authentic Foods and Drinks, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in relation to their major research theme, Care for the Future: Thinking Forward Through the Past.
The Lusotropical Tempest: Postcolonial Debates in Portuguese. Ed. Sheila Khan, Ana Margarida Dias Martins, Hilary Owen and Carmen Villar. Lusophone Studies Series 7. Bristol University Press, Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. June 2012. ISBN 0-9553922-8-4
"By interrogating the interdisciplinary and theoretical methods which underpin Lusophone postcolonial studies as we map them onto a series of different but related case histories, the current volume sets out to expand the semantic and historical analysis of the “post” in postcolonialism, of the “luso” in lusophone, and of both “luso” and “tropical” as terms conjoined by Portuguese lusotropical ideology.  (…)”

Journal articles

"From Adamastor, with Love: Unthinking lusofonia through the Female Monstrous in José Eduardo Agualusa's Nação Crioula: A Correspondência Secreta de Fradique Mendes." Romance Studies, 2017, 1-17. ISSN: 0263-9904

"Pussy Riot, Femen e as Três Marias: Feminismos Zangados e o Corpo das Mulheres em Luta." Cadernos de Literatura Comparada 35. 2016. 369-378. ISSN: 2183-2242

“Intermedial Dialogue in The Murmuring Coast (Lídia Jorge 1988, Margarida Cardoso 2004): Novel, Photography and Film.” Co-authored with Sally Faulkner. Journal of Romance Studies, Volume 16, Number 12, Summer 2016. 36-57. ISSN: 1752-2331.

"O Sorriso da Avó em 'Guarde Segredo,' de Esmeralda Ribeiro." ContraCorrente: revista de estudos literários e da cultura. 7, 2015. 29-43. ISSN: 2178-4744


"Dramatizar Novas Cartas Portuguesas (em vez de as ler)." Novas Cartas Portuguesas e os Feminismos. Cadernos de Literatura Comparada 26/2. 2014. 147- 162. ISSN: 2183-2242

"Gender and the Postcolonial Exotic". The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. 48:1 (March 2013). 145-158. DOI: 10.1177/0021989412471138
"Novas Cartas Portuguesas: the making of a reputation". Journal of Feminist Scholarship. Vol. 2 (Spring 2012). 24-39. ISSN 2158-6179
"Niketche: A Story of Success". ellipsis: Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Association Vol. 7 (December 2009). 109-37. ISSN 21529604
"The whip of love: Decolonising the imposition of authority in Paulina Chiziane's Niketche: Uma História de Poligamia" in The Journal of Pan-African Studies, Vol.1, No. 3, March 2006

Book chapters

"Lesbian Vertigo: Living the Women's Liberation Movement on the Edge of Europe." The Women's Liberation Movement: Impacts and Outcomes. Ed. by Kristina Schulz. New York: Berghahn Books, 2017. 109-128. ISBN: 978-1-78533-586-0
(With Hilary Owen) “Introdução à recepção de Novas Cartas Portuguesas: Irlanda e Reino Unido.” Novas Cartas Portuguesas: Entre Portugal e o Mundo. Ed. by Ana Luísa Amaral and Marinela Freitas. Lisboa: Dom Quixote, 2014. 239-308. ISBN: 978-972-20-5629-8  English translation here
"Estar aqui: a força antropológica de Balada de Amor ao Vento.Paulina Chiziane: Vozes e Rostos de Moçambique. Ed. by Maria Geralda de Miranda and Carmen Lúcia Tindó Secco. Editora Appris Lta: Curitiba, 2013. 47-72. ISBN 978-85-8192-286-7
"Encenando o exótico em O Cais das Merendas de Lídia Jorge.” Para Um Leitor Ignorado: Ensaios Sobre A Ficção de Lídia Jorge. Ed. Ana Paula Ferreira. Lisboa: Texto Editora, 2009. 223-242. ISBN 9789724739366
"At the Heart of Violence: Gender, Exoticism and War in Paulina Chiziane’s Ventos do Apocalipse and Lídia Jorge's A Costa dos Murmúrios. Making Waves Anniversary Volume: Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies ; ed. Ann Davies, Parvathi Kumaraswami and Claire Williams. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 203-220. ISBN 9781847184641

Current Projects

Women of the Brown Atlantic:

Real and Imaginary Passages 1711-2011

Principal Investigator

AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellows grant

The project provides an innovative set of conceptual, theoretical and methodological tools for investigating how black women’s experiences of mobility in the Brown (i.e., Lusophone) Atlantic have been remembered, with particular emphasis on how the relation between real experiences of mobility and their imagination and theorisation may be traced. It interrogates, from the viewpoint of Lusophone black women’s long-term omission from critical paradigms and epistemologies, the constraints that space-oriented conceptual frames, specifically the archive metaphor, impose on the theorisation of the storage of memory. It develops a new framework for claiming untheorised gendered and queer memory sites of the Brown Atlantic by introducing the potentially field-changing metaphor of the rainbow, derived from an Afro-Brazilian popular saying.

Translating Feminism: Transfer, Transgression, Transformation (1945-1990)

UK-based partner

Leverhulme Trust International Network 

We study the ways in which transnationally and transculturally travelling texts were locally translated – from one language, dialect or idiom into another – and received new meaning through the re-interpretation by feminist activists and translators. We are interested in the ways in which this process leads to shifts in meaning, and to individual as well as social change. The interdisciplinary network, made up of scholars based in three continents, will explore these ideas through two academic workshops, an international conference and an activist/translator-centred workshop, presenting its findings on a webpage containing resources such as databases and an interactive map, and in academic journals.

Intersexualidades | Intersexualities


Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

This study aims to promote an academic reflection on bodies, sexual politics and power relations, within a transnational scope and framed by critical perspectives provided by contemporary theories and ongoing debates on gender, sex, and sexualities. We particularly welcome approaches that focus on possible ways through which literature and the arts, in particular, and the humanities, in general, at the margins of the various normative and normalizing discourses and institutions, offer us opportunities to question, deconstruct, and reimagine identities—gender, sexual, ethnic and racial, national and transnational, etc.—and ethical positions, thus dismantling the traditional hierarchies and limits/borders that shape our contemporary world. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary approaches bridging feminist studies, gender studies and queer theory with fields such as medicine, psychology, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, law, and physics. We wish to provide opportunities to discuss and rethink contemporary politics of inclusion and notions of community (social, literary and scientific) in the 21st century.

Previous projects

| Consuming Authenticities: Time, Place and the Past in the Consumption of "Authentic" Foods and Drinks

Cultural products often depend on ideas about authenticity for commercial success, drawing emotional responses from consumers and evoking a sense of local, ethnic or even national identity. To designate a product as authentic can be a politically, economically and culturally charged process, partly because the ways we think about time and history are deeply involved in this process. The study concentrates on foods and drinks, as they are relatively everyday things that can take on special significance due to their connection to certain traditions, origins, places, or histories. The project focuses on pulque (an alcoholic drink from Central Mexico), acarajé (a street snack from Brazil), flaounes (celebration Easter pies from Cyprus) and Welsh craft cider. We aim to gather the perspectives and experiences of those with a personal connection to, or general interest in, these products, such as food writers, cooks, producers, retailers, and consumers. 

Remembering the Translation of New Portuguese Letters to the stage

The banning of New Portuguese Letters (1972) by the censors of the Portuguese right-wing regime and the ensuing trial of its authors (the “Three Marias”) led to the organisation of a massive international solidarity campaign between 1973 and 1974, which transformed the book into a second-wave symbol of “sisterhood”. We aim to discuss instances of fragmentary readings, translations and theatrical performances of parts of the book as the privileged mode of listening to its political transgressions and theoretical innovations during the solidarity campaign period.

Novas Cartas Portuguesas: 40 Years Later

This project aims to systematise critical, theoretical and historical information on the emergence of Novas Cartas within the political, social and literary context of the dictatorial Estado Novo, and on its international reception.


My PhD project developed comparative views of women's writing from Mozambique and Portugal. The project examined the relationship between constructions of nationhood, gender, race and strategic exoticism (Huggan 2002) in both Paulina Chiziane's and Lidia Jorge's novels. I discussed the mutual constitution of "colonised" and "coloniser" in terms of the production and reception of literature in and in-between Mozambique and Portugal.