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"Department of Spanish and Portuguese"

Montserrat Piera
438 Anderson Hall

PhD, The Pennsylvania State University Associate Professor of Spanish


Research Interests

My research has been primarily devoted to medieval Castilian and Catalan chivalric texts and the literature of the 15th century but I have also worked extensively on other aspects of Medieval and Renaissance literature: genre theory and gender studies, mystic female writers, converso texts, iconography, chronicles, travel writing, medieval translation and transcription of manuscripts.

Most Recent Publications

Mens et mensa: Thinking of Food in Medieval Cultures (1000-1600 CE). A Critical Cluster. Ed. Montserrat Piera. E-humanista 25 (2013): 1-155.

“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.


Teaching Interests

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. In all my courses I emphasize the importance of studying medieval texts in their appropriate and contextual “alterity”, establishing 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.


Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Anderson Hall 4th Floor 1114 West Berks Street Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
Phone: (215) 204-8285 Fax: (215) 204-3731