Jacobo Sefamí

Picture of Jacobo Sefamí
Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
School of Humanities
PH.D., University of Texas at Austin
Licenciatura, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Phone: (949) 824-7244
Fax: (949) 824-2803
Email: jsefami@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
368 Humanities Hall
Mail Code: 5275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Poetry/ Mexican Literature/ Spanish American Literature
Academic Distinctions
Gabino Barreda Medal (1982, UNAM), Presidential Fellowship (1993, NYU)
Research Abstract
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.
Mourning for PapaMourning for Papá. A Story of a Syrian-Jewish Family in Mexico.
Mountain View, California: Floricanto Press, 2010.
Translated by Kay (Kayla) S. García.
[Translation of "Los dolientes".]
Vaquitas pintadas. Antología de textos sobre la vaca. Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2004.
Jose KozerLa voracidad grafómana: José Kozer. Crítica, entrevistas y documentos. Edición de Jacobo Sefamí. Mexico City: UNAM, 2002.
Medusario Medusario. Muestra de poesía latinoamericana. [Medusario. A Selection of Latin American Poetry] Co-edited with Roberto Echavarren and José Kozer. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1996.
De la imaginación poéticaDe la imaginación poética. Conversaciones con Gonzalo Rojas, Olga Orozco, Álvaro Mutis y José Kozer. [On Poetic Imagination. Conversations with Gonzalo Rojas, Olga Orozco, Álvaro Mutis, and José Kozer] Caracas, Venezuela: Monte Avila Editores Latinoamericana, 1996.
El espejoEl espejo trizado: la poesía de Gonzalo Rojas. [The Shattered Mirror: Gonzalo Rojas' Poetry] Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Mexico City: UNAM, 1992.
Contemporary Spanish American Poets Contemporary Spanish American Poets. A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
El destierro El destierro apacible y otros ensayos.
Mexico City: Premia Editora, 1987.
(in progress) Poéticas de lo oblicuo. Poesía neobarroca hispanoamericana [Poetics of the Oblique. Neo-baroque Spanish American Poetry].
Professional Societies
Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana
Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas
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