The history of the Department of Classical and Vernacular Letters (DLCV) of the University of São Paulo (USP) begins with the foundation of its Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters (FFCL) in 1934. It was consolidated thanks to the participation and production of distinguished professors and students such as Alfredo Bosi, Antonio Augusto Soares Amora, Décio de Almeida Prado, Dino Preti, Isaac Salum, João Adolfo Hansen, José Aderaldo Castello, José Miguel Wisnik, Leonor Lopes Fávero, Massaud Moisés, Segismundo Spina, among many others, and thanks to the active participation of Fidelino de Figueiredo and Antonio Candido.
The DLCV currently has eleven areas of study, 101 professors and more than 500 classes offered for an average of four to five thousand students per semester, making it one of the largest Departments at USP and among other Brazilian Higher Education Institutions. This uniqueness is related to a management policy guided by the diversity of its numerous activities, as well as by actions that bring together its various actors.
Since its origin, the denomination “DLCV” is due to the Department’s two great areas: Classical Letters and Vernacular Letters. The first focuses on the study of the founding Western languages and cultures, which involve Indo-European languages and translation as its hermeneutic instrument. The second area aims to study the varied contexts and the communication chains of Portuguese language.
In a comprehensive perspective, the modules offered by DLCV include Sanskrit language and literature; Indigenous languages; linguistic, literary, and cultural aspects of ancient Greece and Rome; Romance or Neo-Latin languages and cultures; knowledge of the history of the Portuguese language considering its variations, changes, and contacts with different languages; studies on Brazilian literature, Portuguese literature, and Portuguese-speaking African literatures. Our faculty members articulates these contents and those of other areas of knowledge in the Humanities, such as History, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Health, Arts, among others.
The DLCV’s Academic Project is guided by the importance it assigns to the languages and literatures mentioned above for the production of knowledge through teaching, research and outreach activities in Letters. The qualification of undergraduate and graduate students as part of a social context in constant transformation considers the need to train and qualify professionals and researchers in different fields of practice, capable of producing and disseminating critical knowledge.
The social relevance of the DLCV is contextualized through its continuous interest in academic reflection, which is shared with the other FFLCH’s Departments and Branches of the University of São Paulo by embracing, in a constant and dynamic way, the concerns presented by students in the classroom and in all their dimensions.