The Center for Humanistic Studies at the University of Minho (Centro de Estudos Humanísticos / CEHUM) is a research unit of the Institute of Arts and Humanities (Faculty). It was founded in 1994 as a follow-up research unit to the former Center for Portuguese Studies (CEP), founded in 1980 with a central focus on Literary Theory and Portuguese Literature and Linguistics. CEHUM represents both continuity with the CEP and an orientation towards new research areas, having adopted a multidisciplinary approach in the area of the Humanities. Currently, CEHUM integrates research in the fields of Literature, Linguistics, Culture, Arts (Music and Theatre) and Philosophy, the main domains of expertise of the Institute of Arts and Humanities created in 1976, having been for more than three decades its only research unit. The research team on Political Philosophy, which developed its activities within CEHUM until 2017, has been transformed into an autonomous research unit (CEPS).
CEHUM’s members realize their activities within consistent mono- and multidisciplinary research teams, with the aim of developing fundamental and competitive projects with international impact in the diverse fields of the Humanities. Important vectors of research that strive to combine expertise in the above-mentioned domains include studies on migrations and marginalization, studies on gender and arts, post-colonial studies, and studies on identity (human, animal, machine) combined with intermediality and interart poetics. As a kind of backbone, these multidisciplinary teams guarantee the cohesion of CEHUM in its diversity, empowering the dynamics between scholars in different domains. A multidisciplinary approach coexists with monodisciplinary research with a central focus on theoretical and experimental linguistics, including work on bilingualism, and on discourse analysis and pragmatics as well as lexicography. The research team devoted to Portuguese and Lusophone Literature can be seen as continuing the seminal essence of CEHUM.
Emerging areas within the center, with impacting new work in the last few years, are Digital Humanities, Asian studies and Performance studies, which combines sustained artistic practice with academic research.
Besides the ca. 40 senior researchers, CEHUM includes a significant number of junior researchers, having progressively expanded the number of young researchers with PhD or post-doc fellowships, who contribute to the research dynamics of the center. A large number of external collaborators from other national and international research centers also cooperate with CEHUM’s teams. Furthermore, most of CEHUM’s senior researchers take part in international networks or projects (with special reference to the cross-border cooperation of one research team with Galicia, Spain). Due to these dynamics, this research unit has positioned itself in the forefront of developing fundamental, multidisciplinary work in the area of the Humanities, recognized not only by the national community but also at an international level. The work developed within national and international projects is complemented and disseminated through the regular organization of seminars, colloquia, conferences and summer schools. CEHUM publishes the scientific journal Diacrítica (since 2003, three numbers per year, peer reviewed), and two monograph series (the Hespérides and Poliedro collections), as well as a large number of proceedings (e.g., the Autumn Colloquia) and anthologies of theoretical texts in Portuguese. These publications have enlarged the dynamics of the center as well as its national and international visibility. CEHUM has a specialized and constantly updated library on Human Sciences, which includes a special section of rare books.