Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
Josefina Ludmer, Profesora en Letras (1964), Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina, faculty member at Yale since 1988: At a very early age you became one of the most prominent critics of Latin American narrative in the world. Your lectures at the University of Buenos Aires were crowded with students who would come especially to hear you. You were a professor in Argentina during difficult political times, during which you consistently maintained your high academic and moral standards, mentoring your increasing number of graduate students, who saw in you a shining example of professional and personal behavior. Your monographs on Gabriel García Márquez and Juan Carlos Onetti displayed the acumen and rigor that characterizes all your work. Your book on gauchesca poetry, linking legal and political developments in nineteenth-century Argentina to the creation of that country’s most characteristic literary character, is a classic of Latin American criticism as well as a classic of Latin American prose. Your El cuerpo del delito demonstrates the connection between criminality and fiction writing, making a decisive contribution to the law-literature debates of the past thirty years.
At Yale you became a popular professor and mentor, a link between New Haven and Latin America, and a valued colleague who chaired the Department of Spanish and Portuguese with wisdom and fairness. Your courses on gauchos and blacks in Latin American literature were enjoyed by many students, as were your lectures on figures of the stature of Jorge Luis Borges. As you return to Buenos Aires to continue writing, lecturing and influencing a new generation of critics, your colleagues wish you many productive and joyous year in your native country.
Tribute Editor: Penelope Laurans