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Jean Franco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jean Franco (March 31, 1924 – December 14, 2022) was a British-born American academic and literary critic known for her pioneering work on Latin American literature.[1] Educated at Manchester and London, she taught at London, Essex (where she was the university's first professor of Latin American literature),[2] and Stanford, and was latterly professor emerita at Columbia University.



Jean Franco's research was wide-ranging and voluminous. She was among the first English-speaking Latin Americanists to write seriously about Latin American literature. She particularly focused on women and women's writing and was a pioneer of Latin American cultural studies.[3]

Personal life and death


Franco died on December 14, 2022, at the age of 98.[1][4][5]


  • In 1992 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex.[6]
  • In 1996 she won a PEN award for lifetime contribution to the dissemination of Latin American literature in English.[7]
  • In 2000 the Latin American Studies Association awarded her the Kalman Silvert Award for her contributions to Latin American Studies.[8]
  • In 2002 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
  • Her book The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City was awarded the Bolton-Johnson Prize by the Conference of Latin American Historians for the best work in English on the History of Latin America published in 2003.

Selected publications

  • The Modern Culture of Latin America (1967)
  • An Introduction to Latin American Literature (1969)
  • Spanish American Literature Since Independence (1973)
  • César Vallejo. The Dialectics of Poetry and Silence (1976)
  • Plotting Women. Gender and Representation in Mexico (1989)
  • Marcar diferencias, cruzar fronteras: ensayos (1996)
  • Critical Passions: Selected Essays, edited by Mary Louise Pratt and Kathleen Newman (1999)
  • The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (2002)
  • Cruel Modernity (2013)


  1. ^ a b Risen, Clay. "Jean Franco, 98, Pioneering Scholar of Latin American Literature, Dies." New York Times, December 31, 2022, retrieved January 31, 2023. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Jean Franco." Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University, retrieved March 31, 2013.
  3. ^ Rogers, V. Daniel. "Jean Franco's Lifetime of Critical Passions." American Quarterly 53.3 (2001): 511-517. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Department of English and Comparative Literature Mourns the Loss of Professor Jean Franco" Columbia University Department of English and Comparative Literature, December 19, 2022, retrieved January 31, 2023.
  5. ^ "Murió Jean Franco, latinoamericanista fundamental". Reforma. 15 December 2022. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  6. ^ University of Essex Calendar: Honorary Graduates Archived 2012-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved March 31, 2013.
  7. ^ "Working Group Member: Jean Franco." Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Vírgenes viajeras/Traveling Virgins Working Group, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, retrieved March 31, 2013.
  8. ^ Ewell, Judith. "Critical Passions: Selected Essays (review)." The Americas 57.3 (2001): 422-24. Retrieved March 31, 2013.