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Vincent Barletta

Vincent Barletta, PhD

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Associate Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

Pigott Hall 225

(650) 262-3082 (voice)


Vincent Barletta is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Iberian and Latin American Cultures. He is a Research Associate at Stanford's Europe Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Co-Chair (with Marília Librandi-Rocha) of the Sense & Sound Research Project; and Co-Executive Editor (also with Marília Librandi-Rocha) of a ellipsis, the Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Associaton. His research and teaching focus on medieval and early modern Iberian literatures; Portuguese literature, empire and humanism; Islam and Aljamiado literature; comparative literature; literature and linguistic anthropology; literature and philosophy.

His current book project, Rhythm: a Revisionist History, analyzes key philosophical and poetic theorizations of rhythm from ancient Greece to the modern era. Central to this book project are different poetic and philosophical accounts of flow (rêo), form, mimesis, ethics, and subjectivity. Authors include Aeschylus, Plato, al-Farabi, Luís de Camões, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Fernando Pessoa, Paul Valéry, Henri Meschonnic, Noémia da Sousa, Emmanuel Levinas, and Alice Oswald. If Pessoa is right in arguing that “rhythm corresponds to an intimate movement of the soul,” what is this correspondence, what is meant by movement (kinésis), and what is the status of the soul? This book addresses these and other questions over a period spanning two millennia and in texts written in over ten languages.

Most recently, Prof. Barletta has co-edited Dreams of Waking: An Anthology of Iberian Lyric Poetry, 1400-1700 (U of Chicago P, 2013), with Mark L. Bajus and Cici Malik). Before this, he authored Death in Babylon: Alexander the Great and Iberian Empire in the Muslim Orient (U of Chicago P, 2010), which focuses primarily on the ideologies of empire and classical motifs that inform Portuguese expansion into Muslim Africa and Asia. He is also the author of Covert Gestures: Crypto-Islamic Literature as Cultural Practice in Early Modern Spain (U of Minnesota P, 2005), for which he was awarded the La corónica International Book Award, and editor/translator of Granadan Morisco Francisco Núñez Muley's A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada (U of Chicago P, 2007). In recent years, he has published research on writers such as Gomes Eanes de Zurara, João de Barros, Luís de Camões, Joanot Martorell, Fernão de Oliveira, Fernão Mendes Pinto, António Vieira, and Ramon Llull.

Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, Prof. Barletta taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at UCLA, after which he carried out two years of post-doctoral study within UCLA's Department of Anthropology/Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture.

Stanford Affiliations

Comparative Literature

Other Affiliations

Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures