E. Michael Gerli

Commonwealth Professor of Spanish
New Cabell Hall 475
Office Hours:
On Leave Spring 2020

Research Summary

E. Michael Gerli received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA in 1972. He is the author of some 200 publications on medieval and renaissance Romance literary and linguistic themes, serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and presses in both the U.S. and abroad (Hispanic Review, Biblioteca Española del Siglo XV de la Universidad de Salamanca, University of North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, Journal of Hispanic Philology, La Corónica, Medievalia, Anuario de Estudios Cervantinos, Convivencia, Cancionero GeneralOfficina Ispanica, la Sapienza, Università di Roma, and others), and is the General Editor of Medieval Iberia: An Encyclopedia (New York: Routledge, 2003).

His Celestina and the Ends of Desire, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2011 and was awarded the Modern Language Association of America’s twenty-second annual Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for an outstanding book published in English or Spanish in the field of Latin American and Spanish literatures and cultures.  Professor Gerli’s Refiguring Authority: Reading, Writing, and Rewriting in Cervantes (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995) was chosen as an “Outstanding Academic Book” by the American Association of College and University Libraries in 1996.

The latest of his fourteen books, Reading, Performing, and Imagining the Libro del Arcipreste was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2016. Gerli is also a recipient of the Hispanic Review’s Edwin B. Williams Prize (1981) and the Modern Language Association’s Division of Medieval Spanish Language and Literature’s John K. Walsh Prize (1997). In 2009 he was named Distinguished Alumnus by the University of California, Los Angeles, and in 2015 he received Sigma Delta Pi’s (the Spanish National Honorary Society’s) Order of Don Quijote, its highest award.

Professor Gerli has been Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of America (1976), UCLA (1980), the University of Maryland (1986, 1989, 2012), Johns Hopkins University (1990, 1991), the University of Virginia (1992), the University of Pennsylvania (1993), Emory University (2002), the Universidad Pontificia del Perú (2006), and Duke University (2007). He has also lectured at many universities in the United States, Europe and Latin America, served as a consultant to foundations, government agencies, and university presses, and his views on medieval and early modern Iberian intellectual history and culture have appeared in interviews with various media.

Finally, Professor Gerli has served as an elected representative to the Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly and twice been elected chair of the MLA’s Division of Medieval Hispanic Languages and Literatures. Prior to moving to the University of Virginia in the fall of 2000, he was Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Georgetown University (1982-1989, and 1997-2000) and served as Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor in Georgetown’s School of Languages and Linguistics. He is the director of the UVa in Costa Rica program.


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., Middlebury College

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles


Recent Books

Reading, Performing, and Imagining the Libro del Arcipreste (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Celestina and the Ends of Desire (University of Toronto Press, 2011)

Selected Recent Articles

“Caveat Lector: las trampas de la lectura en el Quijote.” In Cervantes U.S.A.  Ed. Georgina Dopico Black y Francisco Layna Ranz. Madrid: Editorial Polifemo, 2009. Pp. 581-610.

“Fue la caza deste día: De unicornios y otras especies en peligro de extinción en la cultura cortesana del siglo XV.” In ‘Recuerde el alma dormida’: Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Essays in Honor of Frank Domínguez. Ed. John K. Moore, Jr. & Adriano Duque.  Newark, Del: Juan de la Cuesta, 2009. Pp. 107-116.

“Américo Castro” In Rewriting the Middle Ages. II National Traditions. Ed. James Aurell & Julia Pavon.  Turnhout: Brepols, 2009. Pp. 139-160.

“The Father, the Son, and the Holy Goat: Carnal Reading, the Bestiary, and Sacred Rhetoric in the Libro de los gatos.” In Studies in Honor of Joseph T. Snow. Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, Hispanic Society of America, 2010. II, 109-126.

“Nuestro gozo en el pozo:’’ Pleberio and the Place without a Telos.” e-Humanistsa: The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies 18 (2011) 23-37.

“Agora que voy sola”: Celestina, Magic, and the Disenchanted World.”  e-Humanista: The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies 19 (2011): 157-72.

"Melibea Feints." In Por s' entender bem a letra. Ed Manuel Calderón. Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 2011. Pp. 191-202

“The Destiny of Iberian Empire: Alfonso X and the Cultural and Political Significance of the Libro de Alexandre,” in Studies in Homage to John Esten Keller. Ed. Roger Tinnell. 93-109. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2011.

“From Babel to Paradise: Typologies of Speech and Language and the Quest for the Word in Cervantes’ Persiles.” e-Humanistsa: The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies. Cervantes 1 (2012): 346-365.

“Cancionero/Cancioneiro.” In The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. 4th ed. Ed. Roland Greene, et al. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2012. Pp. 184-87.

“Reading Error, Finding Fault: On the Uses of Heresy in the Libro del arcipreste.” Forthcoming in Two Spanish Masterpieces: Celestina and the Libro de buen amor. Ed. Ivy Corfis and Pablo Ancos. 245-273. New York: Hispanic Society of America, Seminary of Medieval Spanish Studies, 2013.

“La vida de Michael Gerli, y de sus fortunas y adversidades, escrita por su propia mano.” in ¿Por qué España? Memoria personal del hispanismo estadounidense. Ed Anna Caballé y Randolph Pope. Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2014, 151-174.

“Translating Events, Glossing Experience: European Texts, Memory, and American Experiences.” Medievalia, Institut d’Estudis Medievales, Universitat de Barcelona, 17 (2015): 39-55.

“The Novel Before the Novel.” In The Oxford History of the Spanish Novel. Ed. J.A.G. Ardila. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015. Pp. 56-78.

“Córdoba and Seville.” In Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418. Ed. David Wallace. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. I, 138-154.

“‘As flies to wanton boys’: La ilustre fregona.” In “Los cielos se agotaron de prodigios”: Essays in Honor of Frederick A. de Armas. Ed. Kerry Wilks, Julio Vélez Sáinz, and Benjamin Nelson. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2016, 155-63.

“The Expulsion of the Moriscos: Seven Monumental Paintings from the Kingdom of Valencia.” In The Routledge Companion to Iberian Studies. New York, London: Routledge, 2016. Pp. 184-200.

Selected Grants & Awards

National Endowment for the Humanities (1986, 1992, 1994, 2002, 2009, 2011)

American Council of Learned Societies (1978, 1981, 1989)

Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities (1981, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2004)

Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1998)

American Philosophical Society (1979)

Georgetown University (1977, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)

Programa Hispanex of Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (2013, 2015)