Christopher T. Lewis, Assistant Professor of Portuguese & Brazilian Studies in the Department of World Languages & Cultures, is the winner of the 2018 Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. Ramona Wilcox Cannon (1887–1978) was one of the first women to earn a graduate degree at the University of Utah and spent her life teaching German, French, Spanish, Latin, English, and history. Since 1976, this award has been given in her honor to a professor who exemplifies outstanding contributions to the teaching of the humanities at the university.
The selection committee expressed admiration for Prof. Lewis’s “creative and enthusiastic
teaching style” and “innovative approaches.” Students likewise have praised his expertise
and methods in conveying the universality of literature to the human experience. They
consistently single out his thoughtful organization, productive feedback, and ability
to help students live up to his high expectations as reasons that his courses rank
among the university’s best. Next semester he will be teaching courses on empire and
the lusotropicalist myth in the Portuguese diaspora and the fantastic and sci-fi in
In 2016, Prof. Lewis was distinguished with the Junior Faculty Teaching Award from the national Consortium of Latin American Studies, which is given annually to one pre-tenure university professor from across all fields in Latin American Studies for “outstanding pedagogy, mentoring success, community involvement, and incorporation of research into the classroom experience.”
Prof. Lewis holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Romance Languages & Literatures with an emphasis in Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian Literatures. He joined the faculty of the University of Utah in 2012, where he directs the Portuguese & Brazilian Studies program and sits on the Faculty Advisory Board for the Center for Latin American Studies. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Portuguese at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has also taught at Middlebury College and Harvard University, where he was the recipient of the Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Undergraduates.