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Abstract

In this essay, I explore the beginning and end of Portuguese colonialism in Africa to better understand imperial notions of space and place over a span of nearly five hundred years. Drawing from Os Lusíadas (1572) by Luís Vaz de Camões and A Costa dos Murmúrios (1988) by Lídia Jorge, I intend to present how cultural geography can be interpreted within the canon of Portuguese literature. How are culture and identity represented within the imperial space of Africa, and what do these social phenomena reveal about the physical space around people? By rooting these questions within the discipline of geography, the concepts of place, space, and scale reveal the complexity of social interactions between the colonizer and the colonized. These relationships are often not clearly delineated, as the first canto from Os Lusíadas introduces both origin and religion to further complicate the identity of the Mozambican islanders. Intersections of physical and imagined space are critical to understanding the colonial legacy of Portugal, as identity and culture cannot be individually analyzed.

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