I taught Spanish, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham for 31 years, retiring in 1998.
Dr Robert J Oakley, Senior Honorary Research Fellow, Dr Oakley taught both Portuguese and Spanish in the Department from 1967 until his retirement, but continues to carry out research and publish on his areas of interest. His specialist fields are Spanish literature of the Golden Age and Luso-Brazilian Studies. He has published articles and a book on the seventeenth-century Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina. He has translated the medieval chronicler Fernão Lopes into English and has a long-standing interest in 20th-century Brazilian prose fiction; particularly the works of Lima Barreto, on whom he has published a major study, The Case of Lima Barreto and Realism in the Brazilian Belle Époque (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998).
Dr Oakley has acted as External Examiner in Spanish and Portuguese in a number of British universities. He regularly visits Brazil. In 2004, he was awarded a Visiting Professor scholarship by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture which enabled him to spend two semesters teaching Comparative Literature at postgraduate level in the State University of Sao Paulo in 2004-5. In 2009 he was again awarded a scholarship which enabled him to teach for a semester at the the State University of Parana in Londrina.
The course that Dr Oakley devised for the postgraduate seminar in Londrina, State of Parana, forms a part of an ambitious comparative study that seeks a grammar of urban realism in the literatures of Western Europe and Brazil. In the last five years, Dr Oakley has also returned to his study of Lima Barreto and has created a Brazilian-Portuguese version of his book of 1998. This revised version is to be published by the State University of Sao Paulo in 2011.