Pablo García Piñar

Assistant Instructional Professor in Spanish Language and Literature
Gates-Blake 222B (On leave 2024-25)
Office Hours: Friday 1:30-2:30 p.m. and by appointment
PhD, Cornell University, 2015
Research Interests: Premodern critical disability studies, History of the administration, early modern Spanish literature, early modern Spanish drama, Miguel de Cervantes, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón

I work on early modern Spanish literature and critical disability studies and, in particular, on the role that the literary production of the period played in the shaping of—as well as the resistance to—disabling social processes. Presently, I address the ways in which regimes of bodily normalcy were institutionalized and enforced in early modern Iberia. I also look at the portrayal of disabled bodyminds and deviant corporealities in Golden Age Spanish comedia and how they were materially translated upon the stage.

As a scholar of disability studies and early modern Spanish literature and culture, my research and teaching engage with one of the most pressing questions of our current moment: the tracing and exposing of discourses that legitimate the oppression of disabled people and the unearthing of the disability advocacy ancestors that laid the foundations for the disability civil rights movement.

In recent years, I’ve been honored with several prestigious awards, including the Renaissance Society of America's Paul Oskar Kristeller Fellowship, a Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship, and a Huntington Library Travel Grant for Study Abroad, in support of preparatory archival work on my book manuscript. Titled Unfit for Office. Normativity and the Embodiment of State Authority in Early Modern Spain, my book examines how the Habsburg administrative system established a practice of excluding individuals from recruitment based on physical appearance, implementing what the late disability studies scholar Tobin Siebers dubs 'an aesthetics of human disqualification.

Ancillary to this project is a cycle of articles on Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s Las paredes oyen, a play that portrays the embodied and social experience of living with a physically marked body in seventeenth-century Spain and that it was written from the lived experience of disability.

Before UChicago, I taught the whole range of courses in the Spanish language sequence at both Colby College and Cornell University, from no proficiency to advanced-intermediate, including advanced composition and conversation courses, as well as the introductory surveys of Iberian literature, both the premodern and modern. Apart from courses on disability in early modern Spanish literature, I have also taught courses on early modern transatlantic identities and on the variety and density of disenfranchisement experiences in early modern Spain.

I was raised in Andújar, a small town in the province of Jaén in Andalucía, Southern Spain. I hold a PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in Languages, Literatures and Cultures from the University of Delaware, and a BA in English Philology from Universidad de Granada.

Select Articles and Book Chapters 

“The Ethics of Staging Crip Comedia.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, vol. 27, 2023, pp. 147-165.

“The Unstageable Birth of the Crip Galán: Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s Las paredes oyen.” Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures, vol. 77.2, 2023, pp. 72-88.

“La historia editorial de la Topografía, e historia general de Argel,” Cervantes entre amigos: Ensayos en homenaje de Diana de Armas Wilson. Eds. Andrés Lema-Hincapié and Conxita Domenech. Juan de la Cuesta, forthcoming 2024, pp. 126-146.

“Irrepresentable Corporealities: The Staging of Las Paredes Oyen in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Comedia Performance, vol. 19, 2022, pp. 40-59.

“The Weight of Authority: Sancho’s Fat Body in Barataria (2.45).” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote. Trans. Burton Raffel. Ed. Diana de Armas Wilson. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020, pp. 797-805.

“The Optics of Bodily Deviance: Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s Path to Public Office.” Extraordinary Bodies in Early Modern Nature and Culture. Ed. Maja Bondestam. University of Amsterdam Press, 2020, pp. 85-102.

Recent Awards and Honors 

Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship, March 2022. 

Renaissance Society of America Paul Oskar Kristeller Fellowship, January 2022.

The Huntington Library, Travel Grant for Study Abroad, March 2023.

Recent Courses in RLL

  • SPAN 10100 Beginning Elementary Spanish I (Autumn 2022)
  • SPAN 10300 Beginning Elementary Spanish III (Spring 2023)
  • SPAN 20100 Language, History, and Culture I (Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Winter 2024)
  • SPAN 20402 Curso de redacción para hablantes nativos (Autumn 2023)
  • SPAN 21805 Iberian Literatures and Cultures: Modern and Contemporary (Autumn 2022, Autumn 2023, Spring 2024)
  • SPAN 28700 Monsters and Misfits: Disability in Early Modern Spanish Literature (Spring 2024)