Autobiographical Writings by Portuguese Emigrants in Newark: Glocal Emancipation and Resisting Stereotypes

Elsa Lechner


This article examines the experience of Portuguese immigrants in Newark, NJ (USA) through the analysis of autobiographical writings. It aims to highlight the heuristic value and social relevance of autobiographical writings by focusing on four Portuguese immigrants in Newark who self-published their life stories. I argue that autobiographical essays serve as a form of self-valued expression in defiance of the stereotypes that associate the Portuguese immigrant with low levels of education and a lack of interest in literature and culture in general. Finally, I underscore the contribution of biographical research in the emancipation of undervalued groups and individuals.


Portuguese immigration; diaspora; stigma; resistance; authorship

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