Dr Claire Williams

Stipendiary Lecturer in Portuguese

University Lecturer in Brazilian Literature and Culture

Modern Languages
BA MSt DPhil

Claire studied at the University of Durham, before doing her post-graduate degrees at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge. She has taught at the Universities of Newcastle and Liverpool, where she was Head of the Hispanic Studies Department. Since 2009 she has been a Fellow of St Peter’s College in Oxford and a member of the Portuguese Sub-Faculty, where she specialises in Brazilian literature.

Undergraduate teaching 

Claire teaches on both the literature papers in the first-year Portuguese course. At second and fourth-year levels, she teaches papers on the Modern Period of Literature (VIII) and Special Authors (XI) as well as Special Subjects (XII) on Brazilian Cinema and Contemporary Brazilian Literature as well as contributing to the papers on Lusophone Women’s Writing, Lusophone African Writing and Latin-American Cinema.

Postgraduate teaching 

Claire teaches Special Subjects in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies for the MSt in European Literature (and related degrees) and supervises research students in the broad area of contemporary Brazilian literature and film.


Claire’s research focuses on women's writing and minority writing from the Lusophone world, particularly Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Maria Gabriela Llansol and Maria Ondina Braga (Portugal), Lília Momplé (Mozambique) and Vimala Devi (Goa). Her interests also include the cultural representations of favelas, travel writing and life writing.

She is a member of the Steering Committee of the AHRC-funded “Motherhood in Post-1968 Europe” Research Network  and Portuguese representative at the Centre for Contemporary Women’s Writing, based at the Institute for Germanic and Romance Languages in London. She is also a member of the Grupo de Estudos em Literatura Brasileira Contemporânea and the General Secretary of ABIL (Association of British and Irish Lusitanists), for which she is in the process of creating a website.



The Encounter Between Opposites in the Works of Clarice Lispector (Bristol: HIPLA, 2006)

Closer to the Wild Heart: Essays on Clarice Lispector, ed. by Cláudia Pazos Alonso and Claire Williams (Oxford: Legenda, 2002).



‘A Brasília que Clarice construiu: o desmonte da nação nas crônicas lispectorianas’, in, Regina Dalcastagnè and Anderson Luís Nunes da Mata, eds., Fora do retrato: estudos de literatura brasileira contemporânea (São Paulo: Horizonte), pp. 145-166.


‘The Favela's Revenge: Portrayals of Life in the Shantytowns in Recent Brazilian Fiction’, in, Victoria Carpenter, ed., A World Torn Apart: Violence in Latin American Literature, (Oxford: Peter Lang), pp. 231-247.

‘The Princess and the Critic: Debates about Portuguese ‘Literatura Light’’, in, Helena Buffery, Stuart Davis and Kirsty Hooper, eds., Reading Iberia: Theory/History/Identity (Oxford: Peter Lang), pp. 177-90.


A Paixão Segundo G.H.’, in the Cambridge Companion to the Latin American Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 245-257.

‘Maidens, Matriarchs and Martyrs: Mozambican Women in the Works of Lília Momplé’, in Hilary Owen and Phillip Rothwell (eds.), Sexual/Textual Empires: Gender and Marginality in Lusophone African Literature (Bristol: Department of Hispanic, Portuguese & Latin American Studies, University of Bristol), pp. 117-35.



‘“A vida pós-dor”: Love and Loss in Maria Gabriela Llansol’, Journal of Romance Studies, 11: 3, pp. 77-89.


‘Nas Terras de Sua Majestade: Portuguese Emigrants to Britain in the Works of Maria Ondina Braga’, Portuguese Studies 26, pp. 111-122.

‘Favelas in the Future: Representations of Shantytowns in Science Fiction from Brazil and Beyond’, Românica 19, pp. 147-161.