Romance Languages and Literatures

Miguel Martínez

Associate Professor of Spanish Literature and the College
(On leave 2018-2019)


Classics 118

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BA, Universidad de Valladolid, 2003

PhD, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, 2010

Program(s): Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies

My research and teaching focus on the cultural and literary histories of early modern Iberia and colonial Latin America. I am generally interested in the ways in which some early modern historical processes such as the printing and military revolutions, or the first globalization, contributed to a partial democratization of literary practices. In this sense, I have taught and published on topics such as war writing, book history, travel literature, autobiography, and popular culture. Secondly, my work is concerned with the role that literary practices and institutions have played historically in the configuration of Iberia (and its worlds) as a space of remarkable linguistic, cultural, and political complexity. In this regard, I have published on topics such as linguistic history, translation, Luso-Hispanic relations, and cultural competition.

My first book, Front Lines. Soldiers’ Writing in the Early Modern Hispanic World (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) explores the writing and reading practices of the Spanish popular soldiery in both the Old and the New World. On the one hand, I argue that the common soldiers of the Spanish imperial armies played a key role in the shaping of Renaissance literary culture, by reinventing classical genres such as the epic, producing new regimes of truth for historical writing, and experimenting with new lyric and autobiographical subjectivities. On the other hand, I argue that these enriched literary traditions allowed soldiers to question received values and ideas about the social logic of warfare, the ethics of violence, and the legitimacy of imperial aggression. Through the soldiers’ republic of letters, servicemen and ex-combatants voiced discontent and articulated resistance.

I am currently working on a second book project that aims at rethinking the geocultural configuration of Iberian and colonial studies in their current disciplinary shape by paying attention to a large body of travel literature, ethnographic writing, and multilingual miscellanies written in and about Southeast Asia, and particularly in and about the Philippines, that has rarely found a place in our scholarly paradigms. I am also working on a collection of essays on popular culture in early modern Spain and, in collaboration with colonial historian Matthew Restall, on a new edition and translation of Catalina de Erauso’s Vida y sucesos de la Monja Alférez based on the Seville manuscript.


Selected Publications

  • Front Lines. Soldiers’ Writing in the Early Modern Hispanic World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. 
  • “Popular Balladry in Colonial America.” In The Rise of Spanish American Poetry (1500-1700). Eds. Rodrigo Cacho and Imogen Choi. Oxford: Legenda, 2017. Forthcoming.
  •  “Don Quijote, Manila, 1623. Orden colonial y cultura popular.” Accepted for publication by Revista Hispánica Moderna. Forthcoming 2016 or 2017.
  •  “La cuarta salida. Un testimonio inédito sobre el Quijote en Filipinas (1623)”. En La obra de Cervantes ayer y hoy. Su presencia en las letras hispánicas. Ed. Lía Schwartz y Nuria Morgado. New York: Hispanic Society of America, 2016. In press.
  • “The Heroes in the World’s Marketplace: Translating and Printing Epic in Renaissance Antwerp.” Translation and the Book Trade in Early Modern Europe. Eds. José María Pérez Fernández and Edward Wilson-Lee. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, in press, forthcoming 2015.
  • “La vida de los héroes. Sobre épica y autobiografía en el Mediterráneo habsburgo.”Calíope 19.1 (2014): 103-128.
  • “Language, Nation, and Empire in Early Modern Iberia.” A Political History of Spanish. The Making of a Language. Ed. José del Valle. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013. 44-61.
  • "‘The Spell of National Identity:’ War and Soldiering on the North African Frontier (1550-1560).” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 12.3 (2012): 293-307.
  • “Género, imprenta y espacio social: una poética de la pólvora para la épica quinientista.” Hispanic Review 79.2 (2011): 163-87.
  • “A Poet of Our Own: The Struggle for Os Lusíadas in the Afterlife of Camões.” Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 10.1 (2010): 71-94.
  • Antes que fosse o reino levantado: Góngora y la ‘Restauración’ lírica de Portugal.” A Construção do Outro: Espanha e Portugal frente a frente. Eds. Tobias Brandenberger, Elisabeth Hasse and Lydia Schmuck. Tübingen: Calepinus Verlag, 2008. 45-58.

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Courses Taught

  • Golden Age Poetry. Theory and Practice of Lyric Reading
  • Civilización Mediterránea II, Barcelona Program
  • Guerra y literatura, 1500-1700
  • Culturas populares, 1450-1700
  • Renaissance Epic: Camões, Ercilla, Tasso
  • Poesía urbana en el mundo hispánico
  • Literaturas hispánicas: textos contemporáneos
  • Readings in World Literature