Robert Patrick Newcomb

Robert Patrick Newcomb

Position Title
Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies

610 Sproul Hall


Associate Professor Robert Patrick Newcomb (Ph.D., Brown University) teaches Luso-Brazilian and Hispanic/Latin American literature at UC Davis. He is co-director of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese's undergraduate program in Portuguese language. He is also founder and co-director of the UC Comparative Iberian Studies Working Group.

His research focuses on comparative approaches to Luso-Hispanic literatures, with emphasis placed on the late 19th/early 20th centuries, on the essay, and on literary relations between writers operating in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds.

His first book, Nossa and Nuestra América: Inter-American Dialogues (Purdue UP, 2011), examines the question of Brazil's place within the geo-historical category "Latin America" through a comparative examination of the essayistic writing of four canonical Latin American writers - José Enrique Rodó, Joaquim Nabuco, Alfonso Reyes, and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. Recently published or forthcoming projects include the edited volume Beyond Tordesillas: New Approaches to Comparative Luso-Hispanic Studies (with Richard A. Gordon, Ohio State, 2017), and the manuscript Iberianism and Crisis: Spain and Portugal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming Spring 2018).

He is beginning work on a new research project, Across the Waves: Imagining Luso-Brazilian Community at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, which will examine efforts by writers from Brazil, Portugal, and Portuguese-speaking Africa to articulate a sense of transnational Lusophone community decades before the articulation of discourses such as "Luso-Tropicalism" and "Lusofonia." He is also actively translating crônicas (newspaper chronicles) and essays by Machado de Assis for eventual inclusion in an English-language anthology.


Ph.D., Luso-Brazilian Studies, Brown University
MA, Luso-Brazilian Studies, Brown University
BA, Luso-Brazilian Studies/International Relations, Brown University


  • Comparative Luso-Hispanic studies
  • Luso-Brazilian and Hispanic/Latin American literature and culture (primarily 19th-20th c.)
  • Iberian studies and Iberianism
  • The essay, theory, and criticism
  • Poetry, poetics, and translation
  • Theory and methodology of comparative literature
  • Literature and philosophy


  • Spanish 274: Theories of Iberia and Latin America
  • Spanish 274: Problems of Knowledge in Luso-Hispanic Literature
  • Spanish 274: Luso-Hispanic Encounters
  • Spanish 231: Crossing Borders in Inter-American Fiction
  • Spanish 231: Utopias and Dystopias in Inter-American Fiction
  • Spanish 224: Introduction to Iberian Studies
  • Spanish 272: Culture and Resistance in Luso-Brazilian Literature
  • Spanish 175: Utopias and Dystopias in Latin American Literature and Film
  • Spanish 159: Brazilian Literature in English Translation
  • Spanish 157: Cross-Border Fictions
  • Spanish 154: The Latin American Novel at the Limit
  • Portuguese 161: Luso-Brazilian Literature and Culture
  • Spanish 100: Principles of Hispanic Literature and Criticism
  • Portuguese 031G: Portuguese for Spanish-speaking Graduate Students
  • Portuguese 031: Portuguese for Spanish-speaking Undergraduate Students



  • Iberianism and Crisis: Spain and Portugal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (U Toronto Press, Spring 2018)
  • Nossa and Nuestra América: Inter-American Dialogues (Purdue UP, 2011)



  • Beyond Tordesillas: Critical Essays in Comparative Luso-Hispanic Studies (co-edited w/ Richard A. Gordon; The Ohio State UP, 2017)
  • The Iberian and Latin American Transatlantic Studies Reader (co-edited w/ Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, Pedro García-Caro and Sebastiaan Faber, under contract)



  • "Dois povos irmãos: a comunidade imaginada luso-brasileira na última década do século XIX," Letterature d'America, no. 165, anno XXXVII (2017)
  • "A ideia de sobranceria no ensaio luso-brasileiro de interpretação nacional." Circulação Literária e Cultural (ed. José Luís Jobim. Peter Lang, 2017)
  • "The Idea of Sobranceria in the Luso-Brazilian Essay of National Interpretation." Literary and Cultural Circulation (ed. José Luís Jobim. Peter Lang, 2017)
  • "'Across the Waves': The Luso-Brazilian Republic of Letters at the Fin de Siècle," (under review)
  • "A Poetry of Flesh and Bone: Miguel de Unamuno and Miguel Torga," Portuguese Studies 30.1 (2014)
  • "A Case of Partial Recognition: Reassessing Hegel's Influence on Miguel de Unamuno," Rassegna Iberistica, 99-100, 2013
  • "Iberian Anguish: Unamuno's Influence on Miguel Torga," Luso-Brazilian Review, Volume 49, Number 2, 2012
  • "Machado de Assis and English Social Contract Theory: A Reading of 'Pai contra Mãe'," Espelho, Número 14/15, 2008-09 (published 2012)

REVIEWS, NOTES, AND MISCELLANEOUS (2012-PRESENT)                                                                                   

  • Javier Muñoz-Basols, Laura Lonsdale, and Manuel Delgado (eds.). The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies (forthcoming, Hispania)
  • Tânia Martuscelli. (Des)Conexões entre Portugal e o Brasil. Séculos XIX e XX (forthcoming, Hispania)
  • Maite Conde. Consuming Visions: Cinema, Writing, and Modernity in Rio de Janeiro (forthcoming, Confluencia)
  • Ori Preuss. Transnational South America: Experiences, Ideas, and Identities, 1860s-1900s, Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe, Vol. 28, No. 2 (2017)
  • César Domínguez, Anxo Abuín González, and Ellen Sapega (eds.). A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula. Volume II, International Journal of Iberian Studies, Vol.  30, No. 3, September 2017
  • Santiago Pérez Isasi and Ângela Fernandes (eds.). Looking at Iberia: A Comparative European Perspective, Hispanic Research Journal, Vol. 17, No. 4, August 2016
  • Flocel Sabaté and Luís Adão da Fonseca (eds.). Catalonia and Portugal: The Iberian Peninsula from the Periphery, e-journal of Portuguese History, Volume 14, Number 1, June 2016
  • Paulo Moreira. Literary and Cultural Relations between Mexico and Brazil: Deep UndercurrentsLuso-Brazilian Review, Volume 53, Number 1, Summer 2016 
  • "Theorizing Iberian Studies," 2015 MLA Convention Feature, Hispania 98.2 (June 2015)
  • Javier Krauel. Imperial Emotions: Cultural Responses to Myths of Empire in Fin-de-Siècle Spain, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Vol. 38, No. 3 (2014)
  • Sérgio Buarque de Holanda (trans. G. Harvey Summ and Daniel E. Colón). Roots of Brazilellipsis, 2014


  • Alfredo Bosi. "The Parábola of the Latin American Avant-Gardes." Beyond Tordesillas: New Approaches to Comparative Luso-Hispanic Studies. Ed. Robert Patrick Newcomb and Richard A. Gordon, The Ohio State UP, 2017. 137-48.
  • _____. Brazil and the Dialectic of Colonization (University of Illinois Press, 2015)
  • _____. Colony, Cult and Culture (UMass Dartmouth, 2008)
  • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, "Six Crônicas on Slavery and Abolition," Portuguese Studies 33.1 (2017): 105-22.
  • _____. "Reflections on Brazilian Literature at the Present Moment: The National Instinct," Brasil/Brazil vol. 26, no. 47/2013: 85-101.
  • _____. "The New Generation," Journal of Lusophone Studies 1.2 (Autumn 2016): 262-308.
  • Cláudia Castelo. "The Luso-Tropicalist Message of the Late Portuguese Empire." Media and the Portuguese Empire. Ed. José Luís García et al. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 217-34.


Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award (Humanities), Brown University, 2008