Early Modern Iberia (EMI) Study Group 2017 Graduate Symposium
April 22, 2017 — 10:30am – 6:30pm
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
University of Pennsylvania


This symposium explores the movement of media, communities, and ideologies across the topographic and textual spaces of the early modern Iberian world, especially in the context of recent work in historical bibliography, translation studies, and political theory.


10:00am – 10:30am    Coffee and registration

10:30am – 10:40am    Welcome remarks

Scott Long (Penn, Spanish & Portuguese)

10:40am – 12:00pm    FORMS

Víctor Sierra Matute (Penn, Spanish & Portuguese), Chair

Mónica Veiga (University of Kansas, Spanish & Portuguese)
“Women and Fictions in The Adventures of don Coyote and Sancho Panda, Garbancito de La Mancha and Other Quixotic Cartoons”

Miranda Saylor (UCLA, Art History)
“Portraits of a Contested Mystic: Contrasting Modes of Representing Sor María de Ágreda in Print”

Laura Sevelis (University of Delaware, Art History)
“The Devil in the Details: Transformations in a Featherwork of St. Michael Slaying the Devil”

12:00pm – 12:10pm    Break

12:10pm – 1:30pm    BODIES

Natale Vacalebre (Penn, Italian Studies), Chair

Sophia Blea Núñez (Princeton, Spanish & Portuguese)
“The Twisting Passages of Erauso and Céspedes”

Andrew Russo (University of Rochester, History)
“‘How Are We Supposed to Know One Another?’: Communal Refashioning in Francisco Nuñez Muley’s Memorandum”

Gabriel Salgado (Penn, Political Science)
“Politics in the Time of Race”

1:30pm – 2:15pm    Catered lunch

2:15pm – 4:00pm    SPACES

Alexander Ponsen (Penn, History), Chair

Roberto Valdovinos (Columbia, LAIC)
“History, Sovereignty and Early Modern Myths: From the Iberian Peninsula to the Colonial World”

Dan Fischer (Southern Connecticut State, History)
“‘Of these few, most were women’: State Anxieties and Women’s Leadership in Minority and Colonized Religious Communities”

Richard Ibarra (UCLA, History)
“Genoese Merchants and Sixteenth-Century Spanish Naturalization: The Arguments of an Anonymous Citizen of Seville”

Danielle Zuckerman (NYU, Comparative Literature)
“‘At War with Nature’: An Eco-Conscious Reading of The Lusiads

4:00pm – 4:15pm    Break

4:15pm – 5:45pm    Keynote lecture

Introduction by Steve Vásquez Dolph (Penn, Spanish & Portuguese)

Seth Kimmel (Columbia, LAIC)
“The Librarian’s Atlas: Plotting the Disciplines at the Escorial”

5:45pm – 6:30pm    Reception


Dan Fischer is a graduate history student at Southern Connecticut State University and an incoming history PhD candidate at Notre Dame University. He researches gender and religion in the early modern Iberian Atlantic.

Richard Ibarra is a PhD student in the Department of History at UCLA. His research interests include lay medieval and early modern religion and its manifestations in urban and rural settings as well as diaspora and immigrant merchant groups and the social and cultural role they played in their adoptive communities. He is particularly interested in Italian merchants in fifteenth and sixteenth century Spain.

Seth Kimmel studies the literatures and cultures of medieval and early modern Iberia. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. Before joining Columbia’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures in 2012, Seth spent two years as a member of Stanford University’s Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities. His first book, Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015, is an intellectual history of New Christian assimilation in the sixteenth century. His new book project studies the relationship between cartography and bibliography in the early modern period and, more generally, the impossible dream of acquiring and organizing universal knowledge.

Scott Long is a PhD student in Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include manuscript culture in medieval and early-modern Iberia, and the ways in which reading practices intersect with other topics, such as interfaith relations. Recently he has written on authorship and variance in the Crónica Sarracina, a fifteenth-century chivalric romance, and written about the translation of arthurian literature in late-medieval Castile

Sophia Blea Núñez is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University, whose dissertation is titled Bodies and Books in the Early Modern Hispanic World. Sophia’s research interests include the Inquisition, lives of moriscos and conversos, libraries, metaphors of books as bodies, materiality, and the challenges of reading and writing bodies in terms of race, religion, and gender.

Alexander Ponsen is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania, and a dissertation fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. He is currently completing a dissertation on imperial sovereignty in remote regions of the Spanish and Portuguese empires during the period of Iberian union.

Andrew Russo is a PhD student in History at the University of Rochester. He received his master’s degree from SUNY College at Brockport in 2015. His research focuses on interfaith relations and religious communities in late medieval and early modern Spain and Morocco.

Gabriel Salgado is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the effects of the development of race in Early Modern Spain and the Americas on shifting notions of history and temporality. Other interests include the relationship between melancholia and political possibility in magical realist literature.

Miranda Saylor is a doctoral student in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she specializes in art of the Hispanic world, with a focus on early modern Spain and Viceregal Mexico. Her research interests explore the representations of female intellectuals, the circulation and reception of printed portraits, and the relationship between book frontispieces, text, and censorship. In addition to her doctoral studies, Miranda works as a research assistant in support of the forthcoming exhibition Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985 organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Laura Sevelis is a second year Master’s student in Art History at the University of Delaware who studies early modern Netherlandish art in a global context. Her research particularly focuses on issues related to the history of science and technology, questions of memory and memorialization, and the representation of nature. Laura obtained her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with degrees in Art History and Zoology.

Victor Sierra Matute is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focuses on 16th and 17th centuries poetry, with particular attention to issues of authorship, metafictional techniques, heteronyms and proto-heteronyms, and the changing identity of the poet. He graduated from Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, specializing in Spanish Early Modern Literature and Culture. He worked as an archivist in the National Library of Spain’s Department of Incunabula and Rare Books, where he cataloged a significant part of the Theatre Manuscript collection. His publications cover handwritten poetry, epistolary poems, and Códice Daza, an auto-graphical manuscript by Lope de Vega which contains unpublished work.

Natale Vacalebre is a PhD student in Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, with a project about reading strategies of the Divine Comedy in Renaissance Italy. His interests include the connections between Medieval Italian literature and printing production, the history of Italian and European libraries, as well as contemporary Italian cinema and theatre. He is a member of the editorial board of “L’Almanacco bibliografico”, and active correspondant of the Boston College Jesuit Bibliography. He recently published Come le armadure e l’armi. Per una storia delle antiche biblioteche della Compagnia di Gesù (Florence: Olschki, 2016), focused on the cultural history of Jesuit libraries in the premodern era.

Roberto Valdovinos is preparing a Ph.D. at Columbia University on Mestizo historiography of the Mexican colonial period. He studied philosophy at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and social sciences at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. His work combines historiographical and intellectual history approaches applied to a local phenomenon in a global context.

Steve Vásquez Dolph is a PhD candidate in Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research looks at early modern Iberian and transatlantic literature and human ecology. He is the 2016-17 Brizdle-Shoenberg Fellow in the History of Material Texts and Research Coordinator for the DataRefuge Storytelling Project. His current project, Third Nature, examines representations of ecological crisis in Renaissance Spain, with a focus on landscapes and ethics in the pastoral literature of the early 17th century.

Mónica Veiga is a PhD student at The University of Kansas, Lawrence. She studied a B.A. in English and American Studies at the University of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, where she graduated in 2012. She also studied a Master in International Economy at the University of Barcelona, Spain, where she graduated in 2014. Her research focuses on gender and sexuality in Early Modern Spain, representations of the Quixote, eschatology and the grotesque in literature and film.

Danielle Zuckerman received her MA in Comparative Literature from NYU in January 2017, and BA in Philosophy from NYU in May 2015. With a background in French and Italian languages and contemporary Middle Eastern history and literature, she is interested in the ways that politics and literature intersect. Her research interests, which span space and time, include biopolitics, development, postcolonialism, and ecocriticism.