Romance Languages and Literatures

Frederick de Armas

Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Spanish Literature, and Comparative Literature


Wieboldt 409A

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PhD in Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1969

Program(s): Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS)

Frederick A. de Armas is a literary scholar, critic and novelist whose scholarly work focuses on the literature of the Spanish Golden Age (Cervantes, Calderón, Claramonte, Lope de Vega), often from a comparative perspective. His interests include the politics of astrology; magic and the Hermetic tradition; ekphrasis; the relations between the verbal and the visual particularly between Spanish literature and Italian art; and the interconnections between myth and empire during the rule of the Habsburgs. 

His books and edited collections include: The Invisible Mistress: Aspects of Feminism and Fantasy in the Golden Age; ThReturn of Astraea: An Astral-Imperial Myth in Calderón; The Prince in the Tower: Perceptions of "La vida es sueño"; Heavenly Bodies: The Realms of "La Estrella de Sevilla"; A Star-Crossed Golden Age: Myth and the Spanish Comedia; Cervantes, Raphael and the Classics (1998); European Literary Careers: The Author from Antiquity to the Renaissance (2002); Writing for the Eyes in the Spanish Golden Age (2004); Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes (2005), Quixotic Frescoes: Cervantes and Italian Renaissance Art (2006), Hacia la tragedia áurea: lecturas para un nuevo milenio (2008); Ovid in the Age of Cervantes (2010), Calderon: del manuscrito a la escena (2011),  Don Quixote Among the Saracens: A Clash of Civilizations and Literary Genres (2011) Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain (2013), an edition of Cervantes’ La fuerza de la sangre (2013),  Qué nuevas sonoras aves: ensayos sobre Calderón de la Barca (2015), El retorno de Astrea: astrología, mito e imperio em Calderón (2016), Las memorias de un honrado aguador: Ámbitos de estudio en torno a la difusión de Lazarillo de Tormes (2017)and a forthcoming book,  La astrología en el teatro clásico europeo: de Lope de Vega a Shakespeare will be published in Spain this coming academic year. He has recently published a novel dealing with Cuba before Castro, El abra del Yumurí (Madrid: Verbum 2016). A presentation of the novel and interview with Professor de Armas can be found here. He has also co-edited a collection of short stories, Doce cuentos ejemplares y otros documentos cervantinos (2016).


de Armas CV


Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience

  • PROSE Award in Literature, Honourable Mention, for Don Quixote among the Saracens: A Clash of Civilizations and Literary Genres published by University of Toronto Press (American Publishers Association, 2012)
  • Co-Editor, Iberica Series, University of Toronto Press (2011- )
  • Faculty Graduate Teaching Award (Chicago, 2007)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowships (1985, 1995, 2004)
  • Director, NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Faculty "Recapturing the Renaissance: Cervantes and Italian Renaissance Art" (Chicago, 2003)
  • Director, NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty "A Star-Crossed Golden Age: Myth and the Spanish Comedia" (Pennsylvania 1994)
  • President, Cervantes Society of America (2007-10)
  • Corresponding Member, Hispanic Society of America
  • Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Penn State Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures (1990-2000)
  • Has taught at Louisiana State University, the University of Missouri (Visiting Professor), Duke University (Visiting Professor) and Pennsylvania State University (Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature)
  • President, AISO Asociación Internacional Siglo de Oro (2014-2017)

Selected Courses Taught

  • Spanish Classical Texts (Textos clásicos)
  • Court Theater under Philip IV
  • Cervantes and the Renaissance
  • Luna/Diana: Myth, Astrology and the New Science in Seventeenth-Century Spain
  • Ekphrasis Onstage: From Terence to Calderon
  • Trans-Pyrenees Baroque: 17th century Theater in France and Spain