Victoria Saramago

Assistant Professor of Brazilian Literature; Portuguese Undergraduate Adviser
saramago@uchicago.edu
Wieboldt 226
Office Hours: T/Th 1:00-2:00
773.834.6406
PhD, Stanford University, 2015

I hold a PhD in Iberian and Latin American Cultures from Stanford University, as well as BA and MA degrees in Luso-Brazilian Literature and Portuguese Language from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. My research covers twentieth- and twenty-first century Latin American literature with a focus on Brazil. I work in the intersection of ecocriticism and fiction theory, and am interested in theoretical approaches to the representation of forest and rural areas in Latin American fiction.

My current book project, Environmental Fictions and Fictional Environments: Mimesis and Deforestation in Latin America, analyzes the complex relationship between literary representation and environment in Latin American fiction by focusing on seven mid-twentieth-century regionalist novels by authors from Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Paraguay, and Peru. I propose that the environments where these novels are set are represented not only on the level of content but also through the literary form of the books themselves, and that, at the same time, these novels have participated in the creation of environmental imaginations whose impact on referential reality can be concretely perceived. Together, they establish what I call a two-way mimesis, through which perceptions on environmental realities affect literary representation as much as environments represented in fiction affect perceptions of and actions upon the environment. 

I am also interested in studies of mimesis, theoretical approaches to fictional, autobiographical, and autofictional writings, and transatlantic uses of the term sertão (roughly translated as backlands) in lusophone cultures.

Selected Publications
  • "The Sailor and the Migrant: Discourses of the Capibaribe River in João Cabral de Melo Neto’s O Rio.” Letterature D’America, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Rome
  • "Testando limites: interdividualidade coletiva nos romances da selva e da seca." Jobim, José Luís; Méndez-Gallardo, Mariana & Mendoza-Álvarez, Carlos (Eds.) Mímesis e invisibilização social: a interdividualidade coletiva latino-americana. São Paulo: É Realizações, 2016. pp. 123-150
  • “O sertão ao redor do mundo: escritos portugueses do século XVI.” Vastos sertões: história e natureza na ciência e na literatura. Edited by Sandro Dutra e Silva, Dominichi Miranda de Sá, and Magali Romero Sá. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Mauad X, 2015. pp. 231-246
  •  “Ecos de piedras y ecos de palabras: los espacios de Pedro Páramo.” Pedro Páramo: 60 años. Edited by Víctor Jiménez. México, D.F.: Fundación Juan Rulfo, RM, 2015. pp. 151-162
  • O Duplo do Pai: o filho e a ficção de Cristovão Tezza. São Paulo: É Realizações, 2013
Recent Courses in RLL
  • PORT 21903 Brazilian Theater and Film (Winter 2017, Spring 2017)
  • PORT 25000/35000 The Amazon: Culture, History, Environment (Spring 2020)
  • PORT 26810/36810 From Cannibalism to Tropicalism: Brazilian Avant-Gardes (Winter 2017, Spring 2021)
  • PORT 27200/37200 Introduction to Brazilian Culture (Winter 2019, Winter 2021)
  • PORT/SPAN 33400 Antropofagia, Transculturación, Heterogeneidad (Spring 2019)
  • PORT/SPAN 33660 Literary Cultures of Contemporary Latin America (Winter 2020)
  • PORT/SPAN 34110 Ecocritical Perspectives in Latin American Literature and Film (Autumn 2016, Autumn 2019)
  • PORT/SPAN/FREN 42310 World Literatures in Dialogue: Latin American and Francophone Perspectives (Autumn 2020)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Latin American Studies, Katz Center for Mexican Studies