Frederick G. Williams, Gerrit de Jong, Jr. Distinguished
Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies, is a direct
descendant and name-sake of the Prophet Joseph Smith's
counselor in the First Presidency. He was born March
31, 1940 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while his parents
were serving there as mission presidents. His father,
Frederick S. Williams, had been one of the first missionaries
called to the South American Mission in 1927. Young
Williams accompanied his parents and four sisters on
other assignments living abroad, first in Venezuela
and then Uruguay while his father was manager of the
U.S. State Department's Institute of Inter-American
Affairs, Health and Sanitation Division. In between
these foreign residencies, the Williams lived in Arizona
and California. In 1947 the elder Williams was called
to open the Uruguayan Mission, and still later, after
living in Downey, California, and serving as the first
president of the Los Angeles Temple Mission, he took
his family to Lima where he was the Manager of TAPSA,
a Peruvian registered airline, and called as president
of the first branch of the Church organized on the Pacific
coast of South America.
Young Fred grew up bilingual, Spanish-English, and graduated
from Roosevelt High School in Lima. He worked for a
year on the airline in Peru, then attended BYU for two
years, where he played piano in a dance band, trumpet
in the marching band, and baritone horn in the symphonic
band. He then served a mission to Brazil where he learned
Portuguese. After his mission he attended California
State University, Los Angeles and mid-way through his
junior year, courted (by playing his guitar and singing
duets) and then married Carol Y. Brashear in the Los
Angeles Temple in 1964. Carol is a professionally trained
coloratura lyric soprano who graduated in voice performance
from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with
additional studies at UCLA, the Music Academy of the
West, and the Royal College of Music in London. In January
of 2000 Carol joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They
are the parents of seven children: Frederick G. Williams,
IV, Yvonne R. Cummings, Christopher S. Williams, Warren
M. Williams, Alexis C. Lishman, Jonathan K. Williams
and Violet C. Williams.
The young Williams couple transferred to BYU where Fred
continued to play the piano in dance bands, served as
the Portuguese Zone Counselor of the Language Training
Mission, and graduated in 1965 in Hispanic Civilization.
He began his graduate studies in Portuguese with Dr.
Gerrit de Jong, Jr. at BYU before transferring to the
University of Wisconsin in 1966. There he was awarded
both the MA (1967) and Ph.D. (1971) in Portuguese with
a minor in Spanish where his mentor was famed Portuguese
poet Jorge de Sena. In Wisconsin, besides caring for
their three children, Carol sang with the Madison Civic
Opera Company while Fred served for a time as Institute
Director and taught CES courses, did research on his
illustrious ancestor, which was published in BYU Studies,
and continued to play the piano at various resorts.
Upon his graduation, Brother Williams was professor for two
years at UCLA, served for a year as the Curriculum Consultant
Specialist for the federally funded NDEA Portuguese
Bilingual Program of the ABC School district in Artesia,
California (which catered to the Azorean communities
of the state), and then, beginning in 1974, became professor
of Portuguese at the University of California, Santa
Barbara campus (to which Jorge de Sena had moved) where
he remained for the next 25 years. During that period
he served for 7 years as Chairman of the Department
of Spanish and Portuguese, 4 years as Inaugural Director
of the Jorge de Sena Center for Portuguese Studies (begun
with an endowment of $450,000 from the Calouste Gulbenkian
Foundation of Lisbon, Portugal), 5 years as Chairman
of the Interuniversity Studies Program (a consortium
of American universities who send students to study
at the University of São Paulo), Chairman of the UC
systemwide Language Committee, and 15 years as Director
of the Summer Institute in Portuguese at UCSB. He also
served for a year as Director of the University of California
Study Center at the Pontifical Catholic University in
Rio de Janeiro, and, most challenging and satisfying
of all, he and his wife were called in 1991 to open
and preside over the São Paulo Interlagos Mission of
the LDS Church. Other Church callings during that time
include serving as bishop on two different occasions
in two different wards, and as president of the Spanish-speaking
branch in the Santa Barbara Stake. In addition, for
5 years he served as Institute Director in Santa Barbara
and for 20 years regularly taught CES classes in both
English and Spanish.
Since coming to BYU he has served on the Advisory Board of
BYU Studies and of the Kennedy Center's International
Studies Programs. He is also a faculty affiliate of
the Kennedy Center and directed a BYU volunteer academic/service
program in Mozambique during the summer term of 2000,
where he taught Mozambican literature and participated
in food and clothing distribution for the refugees of
the devastating East African floods of February and
March of 2000.
Professor Williams' research interests have been Luso-Afro-Brazilian
literatures and cultures, poetry translation, and Mormon
Studies. His major publication focus has been 19th c.
Brazilian poet Sousândrade (for his publications, Williams
has been awarded medals by the Governor of the State
and by the Federal University of Maranhão, elected to
the Maranhão Academy of Letter and granted honorary
citizenship), and 20th c. Portuguese poet Jorge de Sena,
his former mentor and then colleague. Williams has also
published a monograph on Portugal's premier poet Luís
Vaz de Camões and edited a volume on Brazil's leading
Modernist poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade. He collaborated
with his father on a history of the Church in South
America, edited and wrote several of the chapters on
a history of the Church in Santa Barbara, and has published
two volumes of his own poetry. To date, in addition
to over 30 scholarly articles, he has published 14 volumes,
Vida e Obra (São Luís: SIOGE, 1976), 277 p.
Acorn to Oak Tree, A Personal History of the Establishment
and First Quarter Century Development of the South American
Missions, co-authored with Frederick S. Williams,
Fullerton, CA: Et Cetera, Et Cetera Graphics, 1987,
"The lover into the beloved object is transformed;"
A concise overview of the principal systems influencing
the concept of love in the 1500s and a study of the
sonnet itself, Lisbon & Paris: Arquivos do Centro
Cultural Português, vol. XXIX: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation,
1991, 122 p.
Bibliografia Cronológica de Jorge de Sena (1939-1994),
co-authored with Jorge Fazenda Lourenço, Lisbon: Imprensa
Nacional-Casa de Moeda, 1994, 255 p.
Inéditos, co-edited with Jomar Moraes, São Luís:
SIOGE,1971, 231 p.
Prosa, co-edited with Jomar Moraes, São Luís:
SIOGE,1978, 187 p.
on Jorge de Sena by His Colleagues and Friends,
Proceedings of the conference, co-edited with Harvey
L. Sharrer, Santa Barbara: Jorge de Sena Center for
Portuguese Studies, 1981, 275 p.
Drummond de Andrade and His Generation, Proceedings
of the conference, co-edited with Sérgio Pachá, Santa
Barbara: Jorge de Sena Center for Portuguese Studies,
1986, 241 p.
O Amor das Letras e das Gentes, Volume in Honor
of Maria de Lourdes Belchior Pontes, co-edited
with João Camilo dos Santos, Santa Barbara: Center for
Portuguese Studies, 1995, 500 p.
Barbara Saints: A Sesquicentennial History of Mormons
in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara: S. Derrin Watson,
1997, 408 p.
Poetry of Jorge de Sena, A Bilingual Selection,
Santa Barbara: Mudborn Press,1980, 320 p.
da Vida e Outros Poemas, Life's Refrain and
Other Poems by José Rangel, Goa & Lisbon: Centro de
Estudos Indo-Portugueses Voicuntrao Dempo & Calouste
Gulbenkian Foundation, 1992, 114 p.
Those Who Wrote (Poems and Translations), São
Luís: SIOGE, 1975, 83 p.
(Poems), São Luís: SIOGE, 1985, 80 p.
ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION:
Finest Poets / Os Melhores Poetas do Brazil, A Bilingual
Selection, Introduction, translations and notes
by Frederick G. Williams, São Salvador, Bahia & Provo,
Utah: Universidade Federal da Bahia & BYU Press.