Spring 2022

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-441

Moodle site: Course


Ilan Stavans (Section 01)


A thorough, in-depth exploration of the life and works of Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), the most important Latin American writer and thinker of the colonial period and one of the region’s most influential figures overall. The focus will be on the three choices seventeenth-century colonial women faced: marriage, the convent, and the court. We will study churches, convents, and monasteries from religious, political, social, and dietary perspectives. There will be close readings of Sor Juana’s poetry, theater, philosophical disquisitions, autobiographical writing, and theological debates regarding Athanasius Kircher, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and René Descartes. Sor Juana’s afterlife as a feminist and contemporary pop icon will also be studied, as will similar Iberian and Latin American religious writers such as Santa Teresa de Jesús, Fray San Juan de la Cruz, Fray Luis de León, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón and Carlos de Singüenza y Góngora. Conducted in Spanish.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 25 students. Spring Semester: Professor Stavans.

If Overenrolled: 3rd and 4th year students


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022