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Name: Peter Haysom

PhD: Portuguese & Lusophone Studies

Thesis Title: Regionalism(s) and Resistance(?): Geography and ideology in the twentieth-century Portuguese novel 

Thesis Description:

My thesis will consider the importance of regional identity in Portuguese novels of the 20th Century, framing “regionalism” as an ideological project as opposed to a purely aesthetic choice employed by Portuguese authors of that period. Considering changing political attitudes to central Government within 20th Century Portugal, as well as broader circumstances of social and economic change in the context of increasing globalisation, this comparative research will study the role of the region in informing Portuguese cultural identity through novels.

This project will contemplate political theory and ideas of hegemony, in order to explore the tensions between centres and margins, urban and rural communities and capitals and “provinces”. The relevance of this research lies in the ongoing controversy in Portugal concerning de-centralisation and the intervention of Lisbon’s government in marginal rural areas, as well as broader cultural divisions in Western nations between so-called “metropolitan elites” and the values of local/regional communities. My thesis aims to contribute to these current debates by evaluating regional identities in a geographically small, and yet diverse, European nation.

Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Dr Mark Sabine (University of Nottingham); Dr Rui Miranda (University of Nottingham)



  • "'Estes povos pastoris': entre a aldeia de Vilarinho da Furna e a literatura de Miguel Torga", Cadernos de Literatura Comparada 38: Espaços Literários e Territórios Críticos (June 2018), pp.247-270

  • “‘To form a barricade with our bodies’: the localised body/bodies in New Portuguese Letters”, Cadernos de Literatura Comparada 39: Intersexualidades em Questão (December 2018), pp.167-181


  • "‘Obsessiva eternidade’: o fim do mundo rural, segundo Aquilino Ribeiro”, in AA.VV., Materiais para o Fim do Mundo 7. Porto: Instituto de Literatura Comparada Margarida Losa, pp.5-15

Conference Papers:


  • "'São lustres no vestíbulo das serras': Rui Lage's (re)imagining of rural Portugal in Estrada Nacional", paper given at the Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies Postgraduate Community Forum 2019 (University of Nottingham)

  • "When the Inland Howls/Howled: Reading Rural Voices Lost through Aquilino Ribeiro’s Quando os Lobos Uivam", paper given at the Modern Languages Association International Symposium 2019 (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)


  • "'Uma rebeldia barata': reading regional identity through regionalist politics during Portugal's First Republic and Aquilino Ribeiro's early 'regionalist' novels", paper given at Breaking the Wall: Identity and Border Crossing in the Luso-Hispanic World - The Ohio State University's 21st Annual Hispanic & Lusophone Studies Symposium (Ohio State University)

  • "Lamenting the end of a placeless margin: rural decay and the threat of modern urban (?) capitalism in José Saramago's The Cave", paper given at Orientations: A Conference of Narrative and Place (University of Nottingham)
  • "'Raised from the ground' at last? Reading resilience and revolution in José Saramago's Levantado do Chão", paper given at the 2nd Conference of the Journal of Languages, Texts and Society (University of Nottingham)

  • "Location, location, NOT location: Changing (?) notions of rural identity, between José Saramago's Levantado do Chão and A Caverna", paper given at the Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies Postgraduate Community Forum 2018 (University of Nottingham)

  • "The death of a placeless margin? Questioning the end of the rural world and the rise of the contemporary urban 'non-place' in José Saramago's The Cave", paper given at Place and Placelessness: the 12th Annual Conference of the Landscape, Space and Place Research Group (University of Nottingham)


  • "‘Formar um bloco com os nossos corpos’: o corpo localizado em Novas Cartas Portuguesas", paper given at Intersexualities: Crossing Bodies, Crossing Borders (University of Porto)

  • "‘Estes povos pastoris’: a aldeia de Vilarinho da Furna e a literatura de Miguel Torga", paper given at Geopoetics 2017 International Conference: Literary Spaces and Critical Territories (University of Porto)

Public Engagement Activity:


  • "Portuguese Taster Session", talk given to Brockington College Lecture Club, March 2019


  • "Exploring regional identity in 20th century Portuguese novels", talk given at Nottingham PubhD #46, January 2018

Other Research Interests:

  • Portuguese, Brazilian & Lusophone African literature
  • Portuguese, Brazilian & Lusophone African history
  • Hispanic & Lusophone protest music
  • Feminist theory - "Politics of Location" & Intersectionality
  • Geocriticism & Literary Geography


University email address:

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