Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature
Isabel’s research focuses on early modern Spanish literary and cultural studies. She has produced a significant body of published work across this broad field, her major contribution being in the field of Renaissance and Baroque poetics. Taken collectively, her work attempts to posit a more plural understanding of the period; to redefine a culture through a redefinition of the cultural production that is located at the centre of that culture's own self- image. She sees her research as a catalyst for a broader re-evaluation of poetics that has relevance far beyond the confines of the period. There is, at its core, a focus on the processes as well as the products of thinking. This approach was central to her book, Love Poetry in the Spanish Golden Age (2013) which built on the earlier The Polyphemus Complex (2006); both studies involve cutting across conventional attitudes toward early modern poetry to expose a broader socio-political crisis of identity in the poet’s configurations of Petrarchism and Classical myth.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a new book project under contract to Tamesis that has the working title Lyric Time in Imperial Spain: paso a paso. The aim is to draw early modern Spanish poetry into current Anglophone-dominated debates on lyric; to explore lyric both as a category of poetic production and as a mode that shapes other discourses, including the first modern novel, Don Quijote. I’m interested especially in exploiting the unique properties of lyric temporality to make new claims for its transhistorical nature– against the grain of the ‘New Lyric Studies’ movement. Ultimately, I want to demonstrate how the transformative, self-making, properties of Golden Age poetry so effectively articulated the trauma of individual being, while also speaking to the pleasures and pain of communal histories. Related to this project I am also working on my contribution to a new OUP Handbook of Golden Age Spanish Literature, with responsibility for the general chapter on Golden Age Poetry.
I expect to be working on my ‘Lyric Time’ book for the next couple of years, but I am also completing an article-length study of Calderón’s drama El Alcalde de Zalamea that connects with an earlier analysis of El Conde Partinuplés by the dramatist Ana Caro. I’m interested in developing this work on early modern drama into a more substantial project that takes more fully into account theatre’s social integration and how the plays of the period often operated as scripts of resistance, ‘hiding’ in plain sight. I anticipate this work to be taken forward collaboratively.
Isabel is Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature (email@example.com)