Maria Leonor Machado de Sousa, Emeritus professor at NOVA FCSH, was awarded the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, by the Queen of England, as a tribute to her prestigious contribution to the arts and sciences. This important distinction, which is rarely attributed to non-British citizens and which authorizes the use of the MBE title after the name, was established in 1917 by King Jorge V.
Professor Machado de Sousa is one of the most prestigious and admired scholars in the history of the modern Portuguese Academy and has dedicated herself, until today, to Anglo-Portuguese studies, which she founded in the late 1970s. “As a general who never withdraws from the mission of governing her troops, Professor Leonor, as we still treat her with great respect, has never given up today to lead her academic disciples, ”said Carlos Ceia, professor at NOVA FCSH. "She has been not only a living inspiration for young people and senior students, but a real ambassador for British literature and culture for the Portuguese Academy and beyond".
From the first English Studies courses, both in undergraduate and postgraduate, instituted in the late 1970s at Universidade Nova, which she also helped to found, until the creation of the Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses, already indexed in Scopus, her bibliography is impressive, namely, with reference works such as Inês de Castro. A Portuguese theme in Europe, Camões in England and D. Sebastião in English Literature.
She was the first woman holding a chair of English Studies in Portugal and helped, in this way, to create new opportunities for other women to start a career in this disciplinary area. She was also the first woman to preside over the National Library of Portugal. She is now an illustrious member of the Portuguese History Academy, where she continues to work on aspects of Anglo-Portuguese relations, namely travel writing and the Peninsular War. She launched English-Speaking Union in Portugal, becoming its first President. She was President of the Portuguese Association of Anglo-American Studies (APEAA) and Vice-President of the Byron Society in Portugal, and the first Vice-Rector of the Open University of Portugal. Finally, at NOVA FCSH, she founded the research center in Anglo-Portuguese Studies, which resulted in the current CETAPS (Center for English, Translation, and Anglo-Portuguese Studies), a research unit classified as Excellent, by the Foundation for Science and Technology.
Source: NOVA FCSH