Research

My research has focused on early modern convent writers in Spain and Spanish America. I wrote my master’s thesis, “Corpus to Corpus: Text and Interior Bodily Space in Two Visions by Hipólita de Jesús,” using queer theory to analyze two mystical visions by this multilingual woman writer who lived from 1551 to 1624 and published over 20 works, some of which were banned by the Inquisition. For this project, I did archival research in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Barcelona, Spain, for which I won two grants from Indiana University.

I wrote a book chapter in Spanish called “ ‘Convento espiritual’ de Hipólita de Jesús: un texto simbólico, un espacio dinámico” which appeared in the book Reforma católica y disidencia conversa: Diego Pérez de Valdivia y sor Hipólita de Jesús y Rocabertí en Barcelona (1578-1624), published in 2020 by Editorial Academia del Hispanismo. I argue that Hipólita imbues the architecture and people around her with literary symbolism at the same time she subverts traditional religious tropes and elevates the status of the convent nuns. The chapter includes the first annotated transcription of the original work, “Convento espiritual.” See more about the book  

I have also researched and presented at conferences about an unusual poetic collage by a Peruvian saint, Rosa of Lima (1586-1617), called Mercedes del alma/Escalera espiritual. I won a Tinker Grant to go to Lima in 2017 to research this piece and other letters written by Rosa. I am currently working on an academic article where I examine material, textual, and visual aspects of the collage and argue that it is probably a collective work.

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Rosa de Lima, Escalera espiritual (detail), cut paper, fabric, and ink, ca. 1614. Photo by Rowena Galavitz.
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Hipólita de Jesús, Libro primero, Valencia, 1679.
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María Laura Giordano, ed., Reforma católica y disidencia conversa: Diego Pérez de Valdivia y sor Hipólita de Jesús y Rocabertí en Barcelona (1578-1624), Editorial Academia del Hispanismo. 2020.