Professional and Biographical Information
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., New York University in Madrid
B.A., Bethel University
At Amherst College, I enjoy teaching a broad variety of courses, from introductory Spanish literature and culture classes to more advanced topics courses such as “Cultural Encounters: Islam in Spain” and “Women in Early Modern Spain.” Some of the recurring themes that are examined in these courses include questions of cultural contact and exchange, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. I strive to make all my classes interdisciplinary in nature, including material from literary texts, historical accounts, legal documents, art, music, maps, and films. I am also passionate about motivating and encouraging students to make connections between the course material and topics that are relevant to their daily lives and the world around them, highlighting how many of the themes discussed in class are still pertinent today. Before arriving at Amherst, I taught a range of undergraduate Spanish language, composition, and culture courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bethel University in Minnesota.
As a scholar of early modern Spain, my research focuses on the literatures and cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and their connections to the larger Mediterranean world, especially North Africa. I am particularly interested in examining questions of cultural interaction and exchange between Christians and Muslims in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within this geographical frame.
My book, The Arts of Encounter (University of Toronto Press, 2022), reframes our understanding of Christian-Muslim relations in early modern Spain by uncovering the significant role of religious images in interfaith encounters. Images of crosses, the Virgin Mary, and Christ, among other devotional objects, pervaded nearly every aspect of public and private life, but they were also a point of contention between Christian and Muslim cultures. Writers of narrative fiction, theater, and poetry were attuned to these debates and, as this study argues, they played an important role in how early modern writers chose to portray relations between Christians and Muslims. Drawing on a wide variety of literary genres as well as other textual and visual sources, The Arts of Encounter traces the references to religious visual culture and the responses they incited in cross-confessional negotiations, revealing some of the anxieties about what it meant to belong to different ethnic or religious communities and how these communities interacted with each other within the fluid boundaries of the Mediterranean world.
I am currently at work on a second book project tentatively titled Objects of Exchange: Women, Material Culture, and the Circulation of Knowledge in the Early Modern Mediterranean.
The Arts of Encounter: Christians, Muslims, and the Power of Images in Early Modern Spain. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022.
“Captive Audiences: Performing Captivity in Cervantes’s Prose Narrative.” Drawing the Curtain: Cervantes’s Theatrical Revelations, edited by Adrienne L. Martín and Esther Fernández, University of Toronto Press, 2022, pp. 221-42.
“Inside Harem Walls: Gendered Space and the Place of Women in Cervantes’s La gran sultana.” Sexo y género en Cervantes/Sex and Gender in Cervantes, edited by Esther Fernández and Mercedes Alcalá Galán, Edition Reichenberger, 2019, pp. 243-59.
“Painting and the Memory of Captivity in Cervantes’s Persiles (III, 10).” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, vol. 96, no. 4, 2019, pp. 365-82.
“El renegado cervantino y el poder de las imágenes.” Hispanic Review, vol. 86, no. 3, Summer 2018, pp. 307-27.
“La Virgen de Montserrat entre cristianos y musulmanes: el caso de “El esclavo de su esclavo” de Mariana de Carvajal.”Sharq Al-Andalus: Estudios Mudéjares y Moriscos, vol. 22, 2017-2018, pp. 185-99.