CHIA Inaugural lecture: Professor Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Martyr, Doctor, and Virgin, Three Times Saint


Sor Juana’s life and her rapid transformation from a beloved poet of the court into an introverted self-lacerating mystic actually point to her success and wide acceptance as a formidable intellectual, exactly the opposite fate that liberal and feminist historiography have repeatedly brought down upon her. The Catholic historiography rest satisfied by claiming that Sor Juana did not suffer any persecution. Unlike them, I argue that support for Sor Juana among large sectors of the Spanish clergy in both Mexico and Spain (and the court as well) was formidable. So much so that the last two volumes of her works came out in print as dossiers for possible canonization. A narrative emerged among the learned that Sor Juana’s theological works amounted to evidence of extraordinary epistemological miracles and that Sor Juana’s vita recorded a life of martyrdom for learning. She came to be seen as a potential saint that belonged in three separate celestial hierarchies: doctor, martyr, and virgin

The guest speaker:

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of more than 60 academic articles and book chapters. His books include: How to Write the History of the New World (Stanford 2001 -translated into Spanish and Portuguese); Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford 2006; translated into Spanish); Nature, Empire, and Nation (Stanford 2007); The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000 (co-edited, with Erik Seeman),The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade (co-edited with Jim Sidbury and Matt Childs); and an edited collection Entangled Empires and Severed Archives: Anglo-Iberian Atlantic Worlds 1500-1830 to be published by University of Pennsylvania Press. His new book project is entitled Bible and Empire: The Old Testament in the Spanish Monarchy, from Columbus to the Wars of Independence.

DATE: Wednesday 27 April 2016

VENUE: Baines Wing Miall LT 2.34

TIME: 17:00 

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