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Research Interests

My research focuses on war, gender, and subjectivity in early modern Spanish thought, as well as visual culture, cultural studies, and book history in colonial Spanish America. Other research interests that I pursue through course offerings include: border studies, gender studies, postcolonial theory and literature, modern and postmodern theory.

List of the selected key publications

This article demonstrates significant differences in the reception of the classics among four soldier-authors in early modern Spain. The findings of this article highlight the differences in the legacy of the classics on each side of the Atlantic.

In this analysis of the Gonzalo, Nájera argues that a hegemonic model of masculinity underlies the code of ethics that Sepúlveda formulated to establish that the pursuit of glory is compatible with Christian doctrine.

Abstract of the recent presentations

“Social Spaces of Surveillance in Two Early Modern Spanish Military Manuals.”
This study investigates how Spanish military soldier-authors articulate the role of surveillance in the production of perfect “war machines.” Employing Henri Lefebvre’s notion of social space, this study will trace the interactions among conceptual definitions of the space of military camps, ideational notions of the military camp as self-surveilling social spaces, and the social practices of everyday life in the camps. The argument of the study is twofold: First, the study shows that disciplinary power is produced through the reconfiguration of the social space of military camps. Second, the study argues that early modern Spanish art of war literature evinces an experimental phase in the Crown’s concerted attempts to extend the surveillance state. 

“Women in the City: Gendered Order and Social Space in Colonial Mexico”
Built on ashes of the recently destroyed Aztec empire, New Spain (present day Mexico City) was envisioned by Spanish architects and statesmen in the 1550s as a thoroughly ordered metropolis based with geometrical precision on the dream of reason. The social and sexual interactions among European, Amerindian, and African peoples challenged that order, creating an urban space that worried intellectuals and the ruling elite. In this paper, I examine Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora’s Alboroto y motín de México (1692) and other texts. Employing Lefebvre’s notion of social space, I demonstrate that the spaces of the colonial regime were gendered from the start, and that, in 1692, the dominant spaces of the regime were in fact challenged through a re-appropriation of space by Indigenous women when a group of indigenous women took to the streets to protest the bad governance of a Spanish royal official.

Feb. 2017