Randal Johnson joined the faculty of UCLA’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 1994 after teaching at Rutgers University (1977-1983) and the University of Florida (1983-1994). A scholar of Luso-Brazilian literature and culture, with a special emphasis on Brazilian cinema, he has published numerous monographs, edited books, and essays on diverse aspects of his research interests (see list below). In additional to maintaining a high level of scholarly productivity, during his career at UCLA he was also active in faculty governance. He served as chair of the department on two occasions (1996-2001, 2013-2015), director of the University of California’s Education Abroad Program in Brazil (2002-2004), director of the Latin American Institute (2005-2010), and Interim Vice Provost for International Studies and Director of the International Institute (2010-2011). He established the department’s summer study abroad program in Salvador, Bahia, which ran from 2001 through 2016, transformed the Program on Brazil into the Center for Brazilian Studies and the Program on Mexico into the Center for Mexican Studies, and created the Center for Southern Cone Studies. He also established, in collaboration with the Consulate-General of Brazil in Los Angeles, the monthly Brazilian Film Series (2007-present). The Brazilian government has twice recognized his efforts in promoting Brazilian culture, honoring him with the Order of the Southern Cross (1999) and the Order of Rio Branco (2018). He retired from the UCLA faculty in 2018.


  • Ph.D. (1977) University of Texas, Austin
  • M.A. (1974) University of Texas, Austin
  • B.A. (1970) University of Texas, Arlington


  • Brazilian Literature and Culture
  • Sociology of Literature and Culture
  • Latin American Cinema
  • Cultural Policy



  • “Graciliano Ramos no Cinema.” Revista CULT (São Paulo), 21:239, October 2018, 21-23.
  • “Foreword.” Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes:  On Brazil and Global Cinema. Ed. Maite Conde and Stephanie Dennison. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2018, xix-xxv.
  • “Jorge Amado and Friends.” In Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis. Co-edited with Roberto Conduru, Sabrina Gledhill, and Patrick Polk. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum, 2018, 170-179.
  • “Graciliano Ramos and Politics in Alagoas.” In Graciliano Ramos and the Making of Modern Brazil. Ed. Sara Brandellero and Lúcia VillaresMemory, Politics and Identity. Cardiff:  University of Wales Press, 2017, 21-42.
  • “Introduction.” With Maria M. Delgado and Stephen M. Hart. In A Companion to Latin American Cinema. Co-edited with Maria M. Delgado and Stephen M. Hart. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2017, 1-18.
  • “Television and the Transformation of the Star System in Brazil.” InA Companion to Latin American Cinema. Co-edited with Maria M. Delgado and Stephen M. Hart. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2017, 21-35.
  • “O cinema brasileiro visto de fora.” In A Indústria Cinematográfica e Audiovisual Brasileira. Vol. 3: Cinema e Mercado. Ed. Alessandra Meleiro. São Paulo: Escrituras Editora, 2010, 135-153.
  • “Oliveira Político.” In Aspectos do Cinema Português, ed. Jorge Cruz et.al. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro – SR-3 – Edições LCV, 2010, 23-48.
  • “Manoel de Oliveira and the Ethics of Representation.” In Dekalog 2. On Manoel de Oliveira. Ed. Carolin Overhoff Ferreira. London: Wallflower Press, 2008, 89-109.
  • “Manoel de Oliveira’s Cinematic Deontology.” In The Talking Pictures of Manoel de Oliveira. Exhibition catalog. Los Angeles: UCLA Film and Television Archive, 2008, 12-17.
  • “Frei Luís de Sousa.” In O Cinema Português através dos seus Filmes. Ed. Carolin Overhoff Ferreira. Porto: Campo das Letras, 2007, 65-71.
  • “The Brazilian Retomada and Global Hollywood.” In History and Society: Argentinian and Brazilian Cinema since the 1980s. Ed. Gastón Lillo and Walter Moser. Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 2007, 87-100.
  • “Post-Cinema Novo Brazilian Cinema.” In Traditions in World Cinema. Ed. Linda Bradley, R. Barton Palmer and Steven Jay Schneider. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006, 117-129.
  • “Aniki-Bóbó.” In The Cinema of Spain and Portugal. Ed. Alberto Mira. London/New York: Wallflower Press, 2005, 40-49.
  • “Viagem ao Princípio do Mundo.” In The Cinema of Spain and Portugal. Ed. Alberto Mira. London/New York: Wallflower Press, 2005, 208-217.
  • “TV Globo, the MPA and Contemporary Brazilian Cinema” In Latin American Cinema: Essays on Modernity, Gender and National Identity. Ed. Lisa Shaw and Stephanie Dennison. North Carolina: McFarland, 2005, 11-38.
  • “Brazilian Narrative.” In The Cambridge Companion to Latin American Culture. Ed. John King. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, 119-135.
  • “Against the Grain: On The Cinematic Vision of Manoel de Oliveira.” In Senses of Cinema 28, September-October 2003. www.sensesofcinema.com
  • “Literatura e Cinema, Diálogo e Recriação: O Caso de Vidas Secas.” In Literatura, Cinema e Televisão. São Paulo: SENAC, Itaú Cultural, 2003, 37-59.
  • “Glauber Rocha and Cinema Novo,” in Homage to Glauber Rocha and Brazilian Cinema Novo. Jeonju, South Korea: Jeonju International Film Festival, 2003, 3-9. Korean translation, 10-14.
  • “The Brazilian Film Industry.” In The International Movie Industry. Ed. Gorham Kindem. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000, 257-272.
  • “Departing from Central Station: Notes on the Reemergence of Brazilian Cinema.”The Brazil e-Journal (a publication of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC), Spring 2000.
  • Articles, 1977-1999

Previous Academic Appointments

  • Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Florida, 1983-1994
  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Rutgers University, 1977-1983