438 Anderson Hall
PhD, The Pennsylvania State University Associate Professor of Spanish
My area of specialization is Medieval Spanish and Catalan Literature. I have conducted extensive research on various Iberian chivalry novels from the 12th to the 16th century, especially Tirant lo Blanc , Curial e Guelfa and the Libro del caballero Zifar . My investigation of these texts has focused on various aspects: the connections between gender and genre, the erasure of the dichotomy between fiction and history, the intricate relationship between military power and sexual violence, the use of intertextual strategies and the impact that readers'responses had in the compositions of these type of novels.
In addition, I have studied in depth the philosophical and moral treatises of two influential 14th century writers, Francesc Eiximenis and Bernat Metge, and the 15th century nun Isabel de Villena. My current project is a monograph devoted to women writers in Medieval Spain. The book includes relatively unknown works composed by women during the 11th and 12th centuries within the Muslim kingdoms of Spain as well as those composed by women in the more familiar context of Christian Spain from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The book comprises a wide array of genres (poetry, religious treatises, letters...) and presents an interdisciplinary approach. My analysis will take into account how gender determines not only the image of women depicted in literary works but also the choice of literary sources and the treatment of certain topics by these female writers. The aim of the book is to redress the imbalance created by the lack of comprehensive studies devoted to women's writers in the field of Iberian Medieval Studies.
Most Recent Publications
“Performing Knighthood: The Hero Tirant lo Blanc in Drag” Men and Masculinities 15:4 (2012): 346-366.
“La verbalització del discurs femení.” In Dones i literatura entre l’Edat mitjana i el Renaixement, Universitat de Valencia-Fundación Alfonso el Magnánimo, 2012. 407-433.
“La Crónica Incompleta de Juan de Flores y la novela sentimental: encuentros y desencuentros” Actas Asociación Hispánica de Literatura Medieval, Universidad de Valladolid, 2011. 1489-1500.
“Minerva y la reformulación de la masculinidad en Cristalián de España de Beatriz Bernal” Revista Tirant 13 (2010): 73-88.
Selected Proceedings of the 13th Colloquium of the North American Catalan Society, Philadelphia, May 2010. Guest Editor: Montserrat Piera. Catalan Review 24:2 (2010).
“Gendering Action in Iberian Chivalresque Romance” (co-authored with Jodi Shearn) Medieval Feminist Forum 45. 1 (2010): 85-109.
At the Department of Spanish and Portuguese I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. At the graduate level I have taught a wide array of courses devoted to the study of the literature of the Middle Ages in the Iberian Peninsula: epic poetry, medieval romance, La Celestina , moral and political treatises, women's texts. In all my courses I emphasize the importance of studying Medieval texts in their appropriate and contextual alterity. Consequently, we establish many connections between the written words and their physical support, the manuscript, in all its variation and mutability.
Furthermore, I insist on reading Medieval texts taking into account the rhetorical strategies that were in use at the time of composition and the historical, social and cultural milieu in which the works were created and read, performed or heard. I extend this methodology to my undergraduate courses, where I strive to provide my students with the linguistic and critical skills necessary to decipher and comprehend Medieval and early modern documents. In addition, I have also designed courses which aim at improving our students' linguistic mastery of Spanish through the use of non-traditional formats and media, such as film courses and practical internships.
What I enjoy the most about teaching is to be able to challenge my students and to be, in turn, challenged by them, so that we can all learn new things. Interacting with students at all levels of language learning is, I believe, what stimulates true learning in the classroom. I strive to accomplish this interaction in all my classes, be it beginning Spanish language courses, intermediate Culture and Civilization courses or advanced graduate level seminars.
Selected Honors and Distinctions
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar Award, 2010 “Remapping the Renaissance: Exchange between Early Modern Islam and Europe” at the University of Maryland, June 13- July 2, 2010.