Miguel Martínez

Associate Professor of Spanish Literature and the College (on leave winter 2021)
martinezm@uchicago.edu
Classics 118
773.834.0429
PhD, CUNY-Graduate Center, 2010

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 two book projects: one on the literary culture of early colonial Manila in relation to the global renaissance; and the other on popular culture in early modern Spain. Additionally, I am finishing a critical edition of Catalina de Erauso’s Vida that for the first time takes into account the entire manuscript tradition of the text.

Selected Publications
  • Front Lines. Soldiers’ Writing in the Early Modern Hispanic World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
  • Co-edited with Albert Lloret. Poesía y materialidadSpecial issue of Calíope 23.2 (Fall 2018).
  • “Theater and Society in Colonial Manila.” Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. Forthcoming.
  • “Ficciones genealógicas. El morisco Román Ramírez y los libros de caballerías.” In De sangre y leche. Raza y religión en la España moderna, ed. Mercedes García Arenal. Forthcoming.
  • “Narrating Mutiny in the Army of Flanders. Cristóbal Rodríguez Alva’s La inquieta Flandes (1594).” Early Modern War Narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries. Ed. Raymond Fagel, Leonor Álvarez Francés, and Beatriz Santiago Belmonte. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020. 89-107. Forthcoming.
  • “Popular Balladry in Colonial America.” In The Rise of Spanish American Poetry, 1500-1700: Literary and Cultural Transmission in the New World. Ed. Rodrigo Cacho Casal and Imogen Choi. Oxford: Legenda, 2019. 101-116.
  • Góngora asiático. Notas sobre poesía filipina inédita del primer Barroco.” Docta y Sabia Atenea. Studia in honorem Lía Schwartz. Ed. Sagrario López Poza, Nieves Pena Sueiro, Mariano de la Campa, Isabel Pérez Cuenca, Susan Byrne y Almudena Vidorreta. Coruña: Universidade da Coruña, 2019. 473-90.
  • “Writing on the Edge. The Poet, the Printer, and the Colonial Frontier in Ercilla’s La Araucana (1569-1590),” Colonial Latin American Review 27.2 (2017): 132-53.
  • “Don Quijote, Manila, 1623. Orden colonial y cultura popular.” Revista Hispánica Moderna 70.2 (2017): 27-43.
  • “The Heroes in the World’s Marketplace: Translating and Printing Epic in Renaissance Antwerp.” In Translation and the Book Trade in Early Modern Europe. Eds. José María Pérez Fernández and Edward Wilson-Lee. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014. 81-106.
  • “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.
  • “A Poet of Our Own: The Struggle for Os Lusíadas in the Afterlife of Camões.” Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies10.1 (2010): 71-94.
Public Engagement
Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience
  • Franke Fellowship, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago (2018-2019).
  • Neubauer Faculty Development Fellowship, for excellence in undergraduate teaching (2017-2018).
  • NEH and Donald L. Saunders Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University (2013-2014).
  • NEH Summer Institute. “Empires and Interactions in the Early Modern World.” St. Louis University. (2013).
Recent Courses in RLL
  • SPAN 21500 Introducción al análisis literario (Autumn 2016)
  • SPAN 21803 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos españoles contemporáneos (Winter 2017, Autumn 2017, Autumn 2019, Spring 2021)
  • SPAN 23025/33025 Vidas infames. Sujetos heterodoxos en el mundo hispánico (1500-1800) (Spring 2021)
  • SPAN 24170/34170 El arte de sobrevivir: la tradición picaresca (Winter 2020)
  • SPAN 31800 Culturas populares en el mundo ibérico (siglos XVI-XVII) (Winter 2017)
  • SPAN 38800 Problemas críticos y teóricos en el estudio de las culturas Ibéricas y Latinoamericanas (Autumn 2019)
  • SPAN 38800 Estudio de literaturas y culturas ibéricas y latinoamericanas (Spring 2018)
  • SPAN 40017 From Baroque to Neo-Baroque (Autumn 2017)
Affiliated Departments and Centers: Center for Latin American Studies