Jacobo Sefamí

Spanish and Portuguese

Picture of Jacobo Sefamí
Title: Professor
Credentials: PH.D., University of Texas at Austin
Phone: 949.824.7244
Fax: 949.824.2803
Email: jsefami@uci.edu
Office Location:
368 Humanities Hall
Mail Code: 5275
Irvine, CA 92697


Area of Research:Modern and Contemporary Latin American Poetry/ Mexican Literature/ Spanish American Literature

My field of specialization is Modern and Contemporary Latin American poetry —a vast, diverse and expanding area of research. I have done work mainly on two generations: (1) poets associated with the Surrealist movement in Latin America (which produced its first works in the 1940's and 50's), such as Gonzalo Rojas, Olga Orozco, Enrique Molina, and Alvaro Mutis; and (2) a radical group of Latin American poets of the 1970's, 80's, and 90's that is characterized by its experimentation with language. This latter group has been identified through the poetics of the Neo-Baroque. I am currently working on a book of criticism that deals with theoretical issues (migration, alterity, allegory, etc.) associated with contemporary poetry (some of the poets included are José Kozer, Coral Bracho, Raúl Zurita, David Huerta, Alejandra Pizarnik, Myriam Moscona, Carmen Boullosa, and Gloria Gervitz).

My novel, Los dolientes (México City: Plaza y Janés, 2004), relates to the rituals of mourning among Syrian Jews in Mexico City. I am also interested in contemporary Latin American Jewish writers, and have already started a series of essays on the subject.

In addition to my books, my publications include about 30 articles, over 20 book reviews, several interviews, and editions of a few books of poetry.

My anthology, Vaquitas pintadas (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2004), compiles poems, short stories, essays, aphorisms, etc., about the cow, written in Spanish (except for the first section of the book). It is also conceived as a creative project where the multiple image of this animal is built throughout the literary versions in the anthology (including the one from the compiler).

I have been teaching a variety of courses, including Humanities Core, surveys on Latin American literature, Latin American poets, 20th-century Mexican literature, and the short novel. At the graduate level, I offer seminars on different periods (Modernismo, Vanguardia), individual writers (Vallejo, Huidobro, Paz), and different generations, from Surrealism to the current poetry for the internet.

I organized four Latin American Cinema series, have been the advisor of conferences on Mexico and Hispanic poetry, and co-curated an exhibit of Mesoamerican Codices at UCI's Main Library (available on-line at http://www.lib.uci.edu/exhibit/meso/sacred.html). I am Associate Editor of the journal Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, and contributing editor on Mexican poetry to the Handbook of Latin AmericanStudies, a series edited by the Library of Congress. I was also the Study Center Director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in Madrid, Spain.

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