Leonardo Grao Velloso Damato Oliveira
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Leonardo is currently a third-year graduate student in Comparative Literature. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in History from the Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, Brazil, where he studied from 2007 to 2013. In his previous work as a historian, he concentrated on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century intellectual history from the Americas and on issues related to the philosophy of history and theory of literature. During his M.A. he focused upon newspaper writings, discourses, and essays written by jurists, politicians, and thinkers in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. His M.A. thesis was a comparative study of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American political imaginary, paying attention to words and metaphors through which writers and thinkers conveyed the ways in which they imagined and envisioned their newly emerged countries. The main concern of that project was not only political ideas as such, but the individual writing styles, the metaphors, and the modes of relating to the past that breathed conceptual depth into words such as federalism, nation, center, and periphery.
After having finished his M.A., Leonardo taught for two years at Saberes College, a small “liberal arts” college in Vitoria, Brazil. There he was responsible for teaching introductory seminars on Philosophy and Theory of History, History of the Cities, Cultural History of the Americas, and Modern and Contemporary European History.
Recently, due to his continuous interest in the ways in which the past emerges in the works of writers and thinkers, Leonardo began to work on seventeenth-century literatures in Romance Languages and English, with an interest in the intersection between the histories produced in Colonial Spanish and Portuguese America and the works of seventeenth-century writers rooted in Iberia. He is particularly interested in early modern works of literature in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and English, and how literary works relate to theological, epistemological and philosophical problems. His research mainly focuses on the literature of seventeenth century and on the variety of worlds that this literature alludes to in dealing with the colonial endeavor. The research pays close attention to the intersection of religious experience, literary works and concepts of history, a combination of factors that both shape and inform the different modes of discourse (sermon, auto sacramental, histories) that emerge in and try to account for what we call the early modern world.
At Stanford, Leonardo is a frequent member of the Philosophical Reading Group and he is a graduate coordinator for the Renaissance Workshop and for the Center of the Study of Novel. He edits texts in Portuguese for the Journal of Lusophone Studies and occasionally works with translation.
2013: M.A. with Distinction, History, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil
2010: B.A. History, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil