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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


In Memoriam - Jean Franco (1924-2022)

Jean Franco

It is with great sadness that The Spanish and Portuguese section of MMLL at The University of Cambridge learned that Professor Jean Franco passed away on 14 December 2022. She was 98. Professor Franco was the first Professor of Latin American Literature in England and a pathbreaking scholar in the field of Latin American studies, influencing many of the lecturers and professors in the Section.  Professor emeritus at Columbia University, NY, Professor Franco also held teaching positions at Stanford University, The University of Essex, Queen Mary University, and Kings College London.

Her publications stretch across six decades and include The Modern Culture of Latin America (1967), An Introduction to Latin American Literature (1969), Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico (1989), The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin American and the Cold War (2002), Cruel Modernity (2013), and a collection of essays edited by Mary Louise Pratt and Kathleen Newman Critical Passions (1999). She served as President of the Latin American Studies Association in Great Britain and in the USA.

Professor Franco’s work was truly ground-breaking and central to the development of Latin American Studies worldwide. Invited by the Spanish and Portuguese section, Professor Franco visited the University of Cambridge in May 2014, when she met with postgraduate students and scholars, and presented parts of her monograph Cruel Modernity. Everyone in the section joins Professor Franco’s family, loved ones, friends and colleagues in remembering an outstanding scholar and a committed Latin Americanist. 


NY Times Obituary: