Nathaniel Wolfson

Spanish & Portuguese

Nathaniel Wolfson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and is affiliated faculty in the Program in Critical Theory. His research concerns a range of topics, including poetry and its relation to aesthetic theory, media studies, and philosophy; comparative modernisms and the history of science and technology. He is interested in comparative approaches to literature and theory and has written on intersections between global media research and aesthetics, including essays on Latin American and German exchanges following the Second World War. He is currently working on a book entitled Poetry, Cybernetics and the Design of Brazil’s Avant-garde that rethinks how Brazilian writers and visual artists in the 1950s and 1960s engaged post-war global debates on cybernetics, communication and state capitalist development. It examines how authors and artists challenged how communications research when applied to aesthetics (in the form of information theory, semiotics and design research) produces and manages sites of alterity.

Recent publications include “Qual é o número, leitor-operador? A sobrecarga material na estética de Max Bense segundo Haroldo de Campos” (In roteiros de palavras, sons, imagens: os diálogos transcriativos de haroldo de campos. Frankfurt: TFM, 2018); “Brazil After History, or Two German Accounts of Postwar Brazilian Literature” (The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, 93:1, 2018); “Alternative Protagonism and Narrative Disruption in Brás Cubas: A Reconsideration of Roberto Schwarz’s Voluble Narrator” (Machado Assis em Linha. 21:10, 2017); “A Correspondência entre Haroldo de Campos e Max Bense: uma primeira leitura” (Circuladô: Outros Códigos 3, 2015) and “A poética de ‘pintura antes da pintura’ em ‘Joan Miró’ de João Cabral de Melo Neto” (Brasil: cultura cosmopolítica? Rio de Janeiro: EdUERJ, 2014).

Before going the UC Berkeley faculty, Nathaniel Wolfson was postdoctoral College Fellow in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. He earned his PhD from Princeton University.