Female Writers in the Spanish Golden Age: Erauso

  • DATE

    7 May 2024

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



In this series of four lectures, we will delve into the literary world of the Spanish Golden Age, understood as a transatlantic phenomenon.


We will start with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, an icon of the Spanish-American Baroque and a key figure in colonial Latin American literature, who left behind a significant legacy not only in her books but also in the arts.

Subsequently, we will explore the life of Erauso, also known as the Lieutenant Nun, whose autobiographical account challenges gender conventions and portrays a life marked by adventure and transgression. Maria de Zayas, a novelist and playwright, will guide us through a world of (proto)feminist fictions that subvert the literary standards of her time. We will conclude with Santa Teresa, whose personal experiences and mystical writings will transport us to a realm between the earthly and the spiritual. These four lectures will allow an analysis of the diversity of female voices and perspectives from a period marked by rebelliousness and creativity.

Erauso was born Catalina in San Sebastián (Spain) at the end of the 16th century and died Antonio in Cotaxtla (Mexico) in the mid-17th century. His autobiographical work, Vida y sucesos de la Monja Alférez [The Life of the Lieutenant Nun], was published in 1829. Catalina was never a nun, but a novice in the Basque convent where her parents placed her at the age of four. In her adolescence, she escaped and lived as a man for the rest of her life. He crossed the Atlantic several times and took part in the conquest of Chile. Although Erauso alternates between male and female grammatical genders, his Life does not portray an androgynous character but rather a hyper-masculinized one. This second lecture will centre on the first Spanish transgender person, who, not satisfied with identifying solely as male, even mirrored the actions of Cortés and Pizarro.

Luis Castellví Laukamp is a Lecturer in Spanish Cultural Studies at the University of Manchester. His teaching and research interests range widely but mainly focus on the literatures and cultures of early modern Spain, Latin America and the Philippines. Central to his academic work are the theories and practices of poetic influence and transmission of culture in the early modern Hispanic world. He previously taught as an Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where he earned his PhD, and was a Humboldt postdoctoral scholar at Heidelberg University. Author of Hispanic Baroque Ekphrasis (2020), which has been translated into Spanish. Anchored in the emerging field of Pacific Rim Studies, his current research is devoted to the first Spanish chronicles written in Asia.