My research interests revolve around how theology, both formal and popular, informs much of the literature from the medieval and early modern periods of Spanish literature. My research area is bookended by the works of Gonzalo de Berceo and Pedro Calderón de la Barca, both of whom fall fairly in line with official religious attitudes. Many of the works that lie in between, such as those by Fernando de Rojas and Francisco Delicado, play with or even subvert religious books and doctrines. I have studied both the works that affirm as well as the ones that question mainstream religion. I am intrigued by the many texts that appear to do both simultaneously. I intend to continue studying each type of work throughout my career. I chose to focus on the medieval and early modern periods to preserve and promote the language and legacy of those eras with the understanding that I could still enlarge the discipline through my research and teaching.
Ph.D., Romance Languages & Literatures (Spanish), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2016)
M.A., Romance Studies (Spanish), Duke University (2008)
Spanish Secondary Teaching Credential, California State University, Los Angeles (2006)
B.A., Spanish & Italian with a Special Field in French, University of California, Los Angeles (1998)
My dissertation project, The Theoretical and Practical Virtues in Francisco de Castilla’s Teórica de virtudes and Práctica de las virtudes (defended 2015, advised by Frank Domínguez), analyzes Francisco de Castilla’s (c.1480-c.1558) biography, which I update and disentangle from similarly named individuals, and the history of his family are important in determining whether he or they wrote a chronicle defending their ancestor, King Pedro I, while using the name of a real, but dead, author. The information from this false chronicle is used in Castilla’s poetry to connect his illegitimate line to that of the usurped king. The other chapters in my study focus on the classical and medieval philosophy Castilla used to formulate his theories on the virtues, the influence of Boethian imagery and thought on his poetry and an analysis of the practical virtue that Charles V was meant to learn from this poetry. I have also prepared an annotated edition of Castilla’s first two works to improve my readers’ access to these poems.
My teaching philosophy centers on making connections between another culture and one’s own. Being able to identify and discuss the similarities and differences across and within cultures fosters critical thinking, a life-long skill that serves students well no matter what profession they enter. Indeed, my students will very often have the opportunity to make use of the critical thinking skills they learn in class, whether they have business contacts abroad, move into a multicultural neighborhood or simply turn on the evening news. Studying another language is a way to learn to navigate different customs and values, even if the world is becoming increasingly English-dependent.
To learn more about my approach to teaching, please consult my sample materials:
I run a flipped classroom, but I offer these videos for those who would prefer to get instruction directly from me
Here’s an example of how I incorporate culture when I do present grammar in class
“Francisco de Castilla, Boethius and the Search for True Happiness.” Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry. 23.1 (Spring 2018). Forthcoming.
“Francisco de Castilla, Boethius and the Search for True Happiness.” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. 2016.
“Exemplarity and Exhortation in Práctica de las virtudes.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Durham, NC. 2015.
“Diglossia and Dialogism in the (Un)written Treatise of La pícara Justina.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky. 2014.
“Of Witches and Wizards: Teaching La Celestina in the Age of Harry Potter.” UCLA MEMSA Graduate Student Conference: Pedagogical Approaches to Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. 2013.
“¿En qué, Calisto?: La ignorancia fingida en La Celestina,” Diálogos: The Tenth Annual Graduate Research Conference of Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University. 2013.
“The Parody of the Book of Revelation in La Lozana andaluza,” Dominant Discourses, Guarded Voices: Religion and Society in Spain and Its Empire 14th-16th Centuries, Wake Forest University. 2010.
“¿Hechos en qué imagen?: los cuerpos en La Celestina,” Bodies and Oddities, Vanderbilt University. 2010.
“La apropiación y valorización de la virgen mártir en el Romanticismo español,” Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2010.
“Entre dicho y hecho: la performancia en los Naufragios y la Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España,” Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2009.
Grants & Awards
Chancellor’s Doctoral Advancement Award, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2015.
Buchan Excellence Fund Award, UNC-Chapel Hill. Awarded to conduct archival research in Spain. 2015.
Department of Romance Studies Travel Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill. Received four awards. 2010-2015.
Graduate and Professional Student Federation Travel Award, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2013.
North Carolina Minority Presence Grant, UNC-Chapel Hill. 2008-2009.
Duke Endowment Fellowship, Duke University. 2006-2008.