Dr Claire Williams

Dr Claire Williams

I am Fellow and Tutor in Portuguese at St Peter’s and a member of the Sub-Faculty of Portuguese (Modern and Medieval Languages), where I am Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture. I came to Oxford in 2009 after teaching for eight years at the University of Liverpool. My doctoral thesis focused on the works of the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, and I still teach and write about her. I am fascinated by the variety of novels and films that come out of Brazil and keen to promote Brazilian culture as much as possible – there’s a lot more going on than football, samba and favelas.

I organise the University’s annual Brazil Week which celebrates the fact that there are so many academics and students at the University of Oxford who are working in and on Brazil, and to bring them together. I have set up a link with BBC Brasil for my students to contribute to a blog about their adventures on their year abroad. Along with my colleague Dr Jason Stanyek, from the Music Faculty and St. John’s, I’ll be running a TORCH Network group called ‘Global Brazil’.

I was President of Wisps (Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) from 2006 to 2009 and the General Secretary of ABIL (Association of British and Irish Lusitanists) from 2009 to 2013. I am the Portuguese representative on the Steering Committee of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing, based at the Institute for Modern Languages Research at the University of London.


I lecture on Modern literature from the Portuguese-speaking world (from Machado de Assis to Conceição Evaristo) and teach other courses such as Brazilian Cinema and Contemporary Brazilian Literature. I also team teach on courses such as Lusophone African Literature, Women’s Writing in Lusophone literature and Latin American Cinema.


My research focuses on women’s writing and minority writing from the Lusophone world, particularly Clarice Lispector and Conceição Evaristo (Brazil), Maria Gabriela Llansol, Maria Ondina Braga and Ana Luísa Amaral (Portugal), and Lília Momplé (Mozambique). I am developing one project on favela literature and another on women’s life-writing. I am involved with the following research networks and groups:

- Grupo de Estudos em Literatura Brasileira Contemporânea, based at UnB (Brasília)

- AHRC Motherhood Research Network: an interdisciplinary European network around the topic of motherhood in European literatures

- Contar um conto/Storytelling: A recepção da ficção breve britânica e irlandesa em Portugal e da ficção breve portuguesa no Reino Unido e Irlanda (1980-2010)

Selected publications:

‘A Brasília que Clarice construiu: o desmonte da nação nas crônicas lispectorianas’, in, Regina Dalcastagnè and Anderson Luís Nunes da Mata, eds., Fora do retrato: estudos de literatura brasileira contemporânea (São Paulo: Horizonte, 2012), pp. 145-166.

‘“A vida pós-dor”: Love and Loss in Maria Gabriela Llansol’, special issue of the Journal of Romance Studies on the theme of “Portuguese and Psychoanalysis” (based on a conference of the same name), Journal of Romance Studies, 11: 3 (2011), pp. 77-89.

‘Ghettourism and Voyeurism, or Challenging Stereotypes and Raising Consciousness? Literary and Non-literary Forays into the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro’, Bulletin of Latin American Research 27:4 (October 2008), pp. 483-500.

The Encounter Between Opposites in the Works of Clarice Lispector (HiPLAM: Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Monographs: Bristol, 2006).

 ‘Clarice Entre Vistas’. In: Lispector, C., Entrevistas (Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2007).

Alonso, C. Pazos and Williams, C., (eds) Closer to the Wild Heart: Essays on Clarice Lispector (Oxford: Legenda/EHRC, 2001).


Blanco, M. J. and Williams, C., Feminine Singular: Luso-Hispanic Women’s Life Writing (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming 2014).

Louro, T. and Williams, C., Essays on Ana Luísa Amaral (Oxford: Peter Lang, forthcoming 2015)