Cintia Kozonoi VEZZANI - Tokyo College
Postdoctoral Fellow

Cintia Kozonoi VEZZANI

01 Description of Research

Women who read are dangerous. That was the consensus among male writers in nineteenth-century Brazil. Under the influence of too many novels, they claimed, women were liable to get swept away by romantic fantasies and neglect their roles as wives and mothers. The spread of female literacy was perceived as a socially destabilizing force. My doctoral research chronicled the evolution of this attitude, explored how it shaped fiction of the era, and documented how pioneering female novelists responded to this widespread panic. In the work of Júlia Lopes de Almeida, for example, fiction became a means by which women could envision alternative futures—not only for themselves, but for society as a whole. In my post-doctoral work at Tokyo College, I move from charting the spread of literacy in the nineteenth century to protesting its decline in the twenty-first. Our age is one of omnipresent digital distractions purposefully designed to snare our attention. Some of the cleverest people in the world use the most advanced technologies available to hijack our focus with constant interruptions. Yet, a growing body of research indicates that the most valuable and fulfilling forms of labor require long periods of sustained concentration. But how are we to prepare ourselves to perform such work in an age of attention atrophy? My contention is that literary fiction, which relies on our brain’s stunning world-building capacities, offers a way of training ourselves to resist the algorithmic temptations around us. The ability to concentrate for long stretches of time will be one of the most valuable skills in the twenty-first century, and my work explains how literature can help us develop it.

02 Short Biography

2023 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo, Japan

2021 – PhD in Spanish and Portuguese, Northwestern University, USA

2020 – Buffett Institute Global Impacts Fellowship, Northwestern University, USA

2018 – Paris Program in Critical Theory, Northwestern University and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France

2012 – BA in Brazilian, Portuguese and French Literature, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

2010 – Certificate in Portuguese and French Literature, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

[under review] “Judging Capitu: Placing Dom Casmurro in the Tradition of Adultery Novels.” Approaches to Teaching World Literature: Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. (Eds. Pedro Meira Monteiro; Hélio de Seixas Guimarães). MLA Press.

[under review] “Querida Amiga, Querido Amante, Cara Leitora: Mulheres e Cartas em O Marido da Adúltera e Correio da Roça.” Uma história feminista da literatura brasileira. (Ed. Laboratório Feminista UFRJ). Editora Papéis Selvagens.

“On Moral and Financial Bankruptcy: Adultery and Financial Speculation in A falência by Júlia Lopes de Almeida.” Comparative Perspectives on the Rise of the Brazilian Novel. (Eds. Ana Cláudia Suriani; Sandra Guardini Teixeira). UCL Press, 2020. 297–315.

“Trees, Lungs, and Gender.” Living With Plagues: New Narratives for a World in Distress. Buffett Institute for Global Affairs,

“Dans l’abîme.” Non Plus – Revista Discente da Área de Frances – USP, vol. 4, 2013, online journal,

“Flashes intermitentes: a presença da fotografia em Dom Casmurro.” Machado de Assis em linha, n. 10, ano 5, Dec. 2012, online journal,

04 Honors and Awards


2021 – English PEN Translates Award for The Bankruptcy by Júlia Lopes de Almeida, translated from the Portuguese by Cintia Kozonoi Vezzani and Jason Rhys Parry (UCL Press), UK

Projects and Grants

2017 – Dissertation Proposal Development (DPD) Program organized by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Preliminary Summer Research Grant, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

2010 – Winner of “SLAM 2010” and selected participant in the « Rencontre Internationale de Jeunes » at the Festival de Théâtre d’Avignon, French Embassy in Brazil