Luiz Fernando Valente
Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Comparative Literature
Phone: +1 401 863 1830
Phone 2: +1 401 863 3042
Trained as a comparatist, Professor Valente holds a joint appointment in the departments of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Comparative Literature. His teaching and research interests include: 1. Brazilian narrative of the 19th and 20th centuries; 2. the relationship between fiction and history; 3. the construction of national identity and the representation of the nation; 4. comparative literature, particularly the modern historical novel and the literature of the Americas; 5. theory of literature, particularly the narrative; 6. Brazilian poetry since 1945.
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Professor Valente was educated in Brazil and the United States. His teaching and research interests include: 1. Brazilian narrative of the 19th and 20th centuries, with special emphasis on José de Alencar, João Guimarães Rosa, João Ubaldo Ribeiro, Euclides da Cunha, and Lima Barreto; 2. the relationship between fiction and history; 3. the construction of national identity and the representation of the nation; 4. comparative literature, particularly the modern historical novel and the literature of the Americas; 5. theory of literature, particularly the narrative; 6. Brazilian Poetry since 1945. Professor Valente is co-founder and Associate Editor of Brasil/Brazil: A Journal of Brazilian Literature, Consulting Editor for Latin American Literature of The Explicator, and on the editorial boards of Luso-Brazilian Review and Aletria: Revista de Estudos de Literatura. Active in a variety of professional and scholarly organizations, Professor Valente is a past President of the American Portuguese Studies Association (APSA), and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) and of the Division of Luso-Brazilian Literature of the Modern Language Association (MLA). He is a former President of the Northeastern Association of Brazilianists (NAB) and has on two separate occasions served on the Executive Committee of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA). In the summers of 1988 and 1993 he was Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Professor Valente was Chair of the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from 2003 to 2012.
Some recent publications: MUNDIVIVENCIAS: LEITURAS COMPARATIVAS DE GUIMARAES ROSA; "History, Fiction and National Identity in J. U. Ribeiro's 'An Invincible Memory' and R. Coover's 'The Public Burning'" (Latin American Studies Association/Brazil Section award for the best article on a Brazil-related topic published in a US scholarly journal in 2011); "The Refiguration of Brazil's Eighteenth Century in Romanceiro da Inconfidência"; "'Estrelas indecifráveis': ciência e literatura em Euclides da Cunha"; "Distopia e utopia nas letras brasileiras da pós-modernidade"; "Paulo Freire: desenvolvimento como prática de liberdade"; "O romance brasileiro de revisitação colonial: o caso de Luiz Antônio de Assis Brasil"; "DeLillo's Techno-Humanism"
* The Brazilian Puzzle: Confronting the Post-Colonial Legacy
* Que país é este?: Twentieth-Century Definitions of Brazil and Brazilianness
* Fiction and History
* A Comparative Introduction to the Literatures of the Americas
* Tales of the Sertão
* Nation and Narration
* Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Poetry
While my training as a comparatist informs essentially all of my work as a teacher and a scholar, my research falls within three general areas: Brazilian literary studies, comparative literary studies, and cultural studies as broadly defined. Since the 1980s the main focus of my research has been on the narrative in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular emphasis on José de Alencar, Euclides da Cunha, João Guimarães Rosa, William Faulkner, and João Ubaldo Ribeiro, as well as the contemporary historical novel in the Americas and, to some extent, Europe. Some of the theoretical questions I address in my work on the narrative include the reader's response to the text and the relationship between fiction and history. For the past decade and a half I have also written on modern and contemporary poetry. My work in the area of cultural studies deals with such topics as national identity and citizenship, with considerable attention to twentieth-century Brazilian intellectual history.
A.B. Summa Cum Laude (Bowdoin College), Ph.D. Comparative Literature (Brown University)
Award for the best scholarly article on Brazil published in 2011, Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association (2012)
Appointed the Thomas Hawkins Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the United States Military Academy (2009)
Presidential Award for Excellence in Faculty Governance (2008)
Phi Beta Kappa
Invited International Member, CNPq (Brazilian Research Council) Research Group on "Nation and Invention"
Inaugural Lecture, Department of Sociology, University of Brasilia (2004)
Inaugural Lecture ("Aula Magna"), Faculty of Letters, Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (2002)
Vivian Allen Foundation Scholar
Modern Language Association (Executive Committee, Luso-Brazilian Division, 2011-2015)
American Portuguese Studies Association (President, 2011-2013)
Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (Executive Committee, 2011-2013)
International Comparative Literature Association
American Comparative Literature Association
Southern Comparative Literature Association
Brazilian Comparative Literature Association
Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA)
Latin American Association for Literature and Theology (ALALITE)
New England Council of Latin American Studies
Teaching statement: "My research and teaching are intimately interconnected and mutually enriching. My students benefit from my active involvement in research in Brazilian Literature, Comparative Literature and Brazilian Intellectual History, while I benefit from a cohort of extraordinary undergraduate and graduate students deeply committed to learning about these fields. This symbiosis is informed by Brown's concept of the university-college, that is, a major, internationally known research university where teaching and mentoring are also viewed as paramount to the institution's mission."
Professor Valente teaches courses on 1. Brazilian narrative of the 19th and 20th centuries, with special emphasis on José de Alencar, Euclides da Cunha, Lima Barreto and João Guimarães Rosa; 2. the relationship of fiction and history, and the modern and post-modern historical novel; 3. the construction of national identity and the representation of the nation; 4. the literature of the Americas; 5. Brazilian Poetry since 1945; 6. 20th-century Brazilian intellectual history.
Fiction and History
The Literature of the Americas
Nation and Narration
Tales of the Sertão
The Brazilian Puzzle: Confronting the Post-Colonial Legacy
Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Poetry
'Que país é este': Twentieth-Century Definitions of Brazil and Brazilianness
José de Alencar and the Alencar Tradition