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The present study articulates the approach to Vimala Devi’s intellectual biography between late 1950s until early 1970s with a look at her writings about Goa (1962-1971) as a cycle of cultural intervention on the coeval debate about Portuguese colonialism and Goan identity. A debate that was running both in Portugal and Goa, having narratives about Goa, Goan literature and print histories played a crucial role. Analysing such activity may not ignore the conditioning of writing and publishing under Salazar’s dictatorship, the possibilities for differentiated positioning within the regime, and the limits to dissent. Nor may it ignore how Portuguese opposition related with the country’s colonial past and present. Such perception is important to approach the relation of Vimala Devi and Manuel de Seabra (her husband and partner) with Lusotropicalism in the face of the couple’s distancing from Salazarism and the dictator’s own use of Freire. Relevant to this journey was her condition as a Migrant Goan woman writer and researcher, the position from which she looked at Goa, performed her work, and published. Among her first books, Monsoon stands for the multiple and even conflictual readings that its stories open to. Here, the stories are revisited to discuss the fixing of identities, relations between tradition and modernity, and the possibility of a Lusotropicalist stand. Thereafter, the study moves to the building up of the influential Literatura Indo-Portuguesa published by the couple in 1971, where Freire is a fundamental reference. The dossier found at the Portuguese funding agency reinforces Devi’s crucial role throughout the research and maturation of the project. Not the least also, it allows to highlight Devi’s marginality in face of the post-1961 Goan community in Portugal, and how she achieved the collective involvement of her homeland’s postcolonial intellectual milieu in the outcome of the book.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-542
Number of pages40
JournalKritika Kultura
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022


  • Case of Goa
  • Cultural Resistance
  • Goan Literature
  • Indo-Portuguese Literature
  • Literature and Politics of Identity
  • Lusotropicalism
  • Portuguese colonialism


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