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Francisco Lopes, Brazilian literature-cinema scholar, dies at 39

STANFORD -- Francisco Caetano Lopes Jr., assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University, died of cancer Friday, March 4, at Stanford University Hospital. He was 39.

Lopes had cancer for about a year and last taught courses in the 1993 fall quarter. He was on sabbatical at the time of his death.

A resident of the Stanford campus, he is survived by his wife, Maria Luisa Lopes. At his request, no services were held.

Lopes, a native of Brazil, joined the Stanford faculty in the fall of 1990. Before that, he was an assistant professor at the University of Washington for two years, and a teaching fellow from 1986 to 1988 at the University of Pittsburgh. He was a visiting professor in 1985-86 at Universidade Classica de Lisboa, a tenured associate professor in 1984-85 at Colegio Brigadeiro Newton Braga and a teaching fellow from 1974 to 1976 at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

He earned two doctorates, one in Luso-Brazilian literatures from Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro in 1989 and one in Luso-Brazilian and Latin American literatures from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988. Lopes earned a 1982 master's degree in Luso-Brazilian literatures from Universidade Federal Fluminense, and held two bachelor's degrees - one in English from Instituto Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos and another in Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian literatures from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

At Stanford, Lopes also developed and taught courses in the Program in Feminist Studies, and was awarded a summer scholarship by the Center for Latin American Studies to do research in Brazil. His course on Brazilian cinema was very popular, and it was the final course he taught at Stanford.

He was author of more than 20 scholarly articles, eight since coming to Stanford, as well as numerous reviews, translations and newspaper articles. Lopes also published a number of poems.

Professor Michael Predmore, chairman of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, said that as the only faculty member in the department teaching Luso-Brazilian literature, Lopes "played the major role in offering essential courses in this area on both the undergraduate and graduate levels."

"The enthusiastic student response to his teaching and mentoring was a source of pride both to him and to the department," Predmore said.

Predmore also noted Lopes' initiative and successful negotiations with the Portuguese minister of education and culture to establish a leitorado, or lecturer, position at Stanford in Portuguese language and literature. The first appointment to this position was Nelson de Carvalho, a native of Angola and citizen of Portugal.

Besides taking part in the interdisciplinary Feminist Studies Program, Lopes also was active at the Bechtel International Center.

The department has established a Francisco C. Lopes Prize in his memory to support graduate students. Donations can be made to the prize c/o the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2014.



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