What is a newsletter and how is it made? MATLIT_Agenda was published during 2020 (12 monthly issues). Edited by Nuno Meireles (copy-edited by Sofia Escourido, and designed by Patrícia Reina) as a newsletter of the Doctoral Programme in Materialities of Literature, it started off as a news aggregator of activities relevant for its researchers or carried out by members of the Programme, to which it later added a selection of other activities of the Centre for Portuguese Literature. The editorials, which started in issue nº 2, testify to the intention of turning the Agenda into a tool for the construction of a collective of whom the production of the Agenda becomes an expression. The introduction of thematic sections and the extended participation through testimonies, reflections and graphic creativity – in which individual interests intersect with common problems in advanced research – transformed the nature of the newsletter at each passing month.
Its community-building function became even more evident by the circumstance of the global lockdown and cancellation of most of our scheduled activities from March 2020 onwards. This internal communication “in a time of digital distancing” (as is ominously stated in issue nº 2, even before the WHO declared the pandemic) is also the record of a process of experimentation with the form of the newsletter and the discourses that it can accommodate. From the 2 pages of issue 1 to the 34 pages of retrospective issue 12, the iterative transformation of the Agenda signals the collective dynamics of the process that produced it. It is that search for form that its archive now documents.