Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014)
M.A., New York University in Madrid (2006)
B.A., Bethel University (2003)
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, since many of the themes discussed in class are still pertinent today. Before arriving at Amherst in 2014, 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 specialist in early modern Spanish literature and culture, my research centers primarily on questions of cultural exchange and conflict. I am particularly interested in literary representations of Christian-Muslim relations in the Iberian Peninsula and larger Mediterranean world.
My current book project, The Arts of Encounter: Christians, Muslims, and the Power of Images in Early Modern Spain, closely examines the presence and interplay of religious images embedded in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts depicting encounters between members of diverse faiths. Religious images in literature offer a key to understanding the frequent and fascinating encounters among Christians and Muslims, captives, slaves and corsairs, renegades, merchants, and redemptionist friars, among others, in early modern Spain and the Mediterranean world. Drawing on a wide variety of fictional and nonfictional texts in Spanish, Arabic, and Aljamiado (Spanish written in Arabic script), my book argues that the power of images omnipresent in everyday life influenced how early modern writers chose to portray relations between Christians and Muslims. To this end, I focus specifically on the visual aspects of Christian-Muslim relations in texts by authors such as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, as well as other lesser-known authors like Ibn Qāsim al-H̟ajarī, thus broadening our understanding of interreligious and multicultural relationships in Spain and the Mediterranean.
"Painting and the Memory of Captivity in Cervantes's Persiles (III, 10)." Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (forthcoming).
"Gendered Space and the Place of Women in Cervantes's La gran sultana." Sexo y género en Cervantes/Sex and Gender in Cervantes. Eds. Mercedes Alcalá Galán & Esther Fernández. Kassel: Edition Reichenberger, forthcoming 2019. 243-59.
"La Virgen de Montserrat entre cristianos y musulmanes: el caso de 'El esclavo de su esclavo' de Mariana de Carvajal." (under review)