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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá

Photo of Vivien Kogut
Unestablished Associate Professor in Portuguese Studies
Praeceptor at Corpus Christi College
Spanish & Portuguese
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
(+44) (0)1223 767391

Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom


Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá is interested in comparative studies in Brazilian, Portuguese and English literatures, early colonial Brazil and early modern travel writing. Her research explores sixteenth-century cultural exchanges between Europe and the New World, with a focus on interactions between England, Portugal and Brazil.

She has previously taught at the University of Essex, at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). In 2015 she published a critical edition of one of the earliest descriptions of Brazil written by an Englishman (The Admirable Adventures and Strange Fortunes of Anthony Knivet: an English Pirate in Brazil, Cambridge University Presss). Her Portuguese translation of Knivet’s account was published in Brazil in 2007 (As Incríveis Aventuras e Estranhos Infortúnios de Anthony Knivet, Zahar Editores). More recently, Vivien published, with Sheila Hue, Ingleses no Brasil: relatos de viagem, 1526-1608 (Editora Chão, 2020) a collection of twelve English travel accounts to colonial Brazil, many of which are now published in Portuguese for the first time.

Published works: 

Her other publications include:

“Dying in their own minds: firsting and lasting in the early Jesuit work with Tupi language in Brazil,’ in Firsting in the Early Modern Atlantic World, edited by Lauren Beck (Routledge, 2020).

 “Translation and prolepsis: the Jesuit origins of a Tupi Christian doctrine,” co-written with Caroline Egan, in Cultural Worlds of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America, edited by Linda Newson (ILAS/University of London, 2020).

 “English Pirates in Brazil: early Anglo-Portuguese relations in the New World,” co-written with Sheila Hue, in Transnational Portuguese Studies, edited by Hilary Owen and Claire Williams (Liverpool University Press, 2020).

“À Espera do Fim do Mundo na Companhia de Shakespeare,” in O Que Você Precisa Saber sobre Shakespeare Antes Que o Mundo Acabe, edited by Fernanda Medeiros and Liana Leão (Editora Nova Fronteira, forthcoming). 

 “Knivet, Anthony (1576-1649), traveller,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2018).

“O manuscrito roubado e o poeta elisabetano: encontros no Brasil do século dezesseis,” in Feminismos, identidades, comparativismos, edited by Fernanda T. de Medeiros (EDUERJ, 2014).

“A lâmina da palavra: a linguagem do horror em Macbeth,” in Visões e Identidades Brasileiras de Shakespeare, edited by M. A. P. Martins (Ed. Lucerna, 2004).