Friday, August 6, 2010

May 13-14, 2011
Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

Sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial
Lectures Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, and the Departments of Chicano Studies, English, Latin American Studies, and Modern Languages and Literatures at Cal State L.A.


Actress Alejandra Flores as Sor Juana

Manuel Castillejos (singer) with Luis del Angel (guitar),
during the conference's closing banquet

Professor Benito Quintana, Session #1

Professor  Margarita Nieto moderating Session #1 

Professor Mario A. Ortiz, Session #1

Professor Elena Gutiérrez (Right)

Professor María Márquez introduces
Professor Emilie L. Bergmann

Featured Lecture by Professor Bergmann

Professor Hildebrando Villarreal, Session #2   

Panelists in Session #2

Professor Nicolás M. Vivalda

Professor Saúl Jiménez Sandoval

Professor Rosario Herrera Guido

Artist José Antonio García Sedano

Professor Salvador C. Fernández

Professor Bianca Guzmán moderating Session #3 

Professor Pamela Kirk Rappaport

Featured Lecture by Professor Louise M. Burkhart

Featured Lecture by Professor Margaret R. Parker

Session moderated by Professor Atef Laouyene

Professor Elizabeth Teresa Howe

Professor Albert R. Baca, and Professor Charlene Villaseñor Black (Right)

Featured Lecture by Professor Sara Poot-Herrera

Professor Margarita Nieto

Professor Mario A. Ortiz

Professor Bernardo Illari

Professor Jennifer L. Eich

Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno

Professor Domnita Dumitrescu moderating Session #6

Professor Mariana C. Zinni

Mr. Jeremy Coltman

Professor Alfredo Morales

Keynote Lecture by Professor John Pohl

This Conference is Free and Open to the Public

Campus Map
Cal State L.A. Map Website:
Self-parking (meter) is available in Lot C, near the conference site. Note that University parking is enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Final Conference Program 
(see below)

Sor Juana Archive

Sor Juana Exhibit
April 15-June 1, 2011
Coordinator:  Dr. Romelia Salinas, Librarian 
John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
Cal State L.A.

National Endowment for the Humanities

Division of Education Programs
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Bilingual Project
Student Resources

April 25, 2011
 A pre-Conference lecture on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
 at Cal State L.A.

David Carrasco
Harvard University

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
(México, 1648-1695)

     A famed poet and playwright, a celebrated intellectual, and a colonial nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz embodied several contradictory cultural currents in seventeenth-century New Spain. Generally viewed as an anomaly within her own colonial society, Sor Juana has continued to intrigue, fascinate, and inspire readers and writers to this day. Self-taught in a Spanish kingdom grafted onto a Mesoamerican world, Sor Juana was spiritually formed by the cultural legacy of Classical Antiquity and Renaissance Neoplatonic hermeticism; moreover, she drank deeply from Jesuit humanism and scientific currents flowing into Colonial Mexico from a new world of ideas that had surpassed the declining reign of the last Spanish Habsburg, the “Bewitched” Charles II (1661-1700).

     In the seventeenth century, Colonial Mexico had created a cosmopolitan court frequently at odds with the Holy Inquisition and the Catholicism of the Counter-Reformation. Emergent historical forces during Sor Juana’s time, such as a renewed interest in Mesoamerican civilization, the blend and mix of peoples from Europe, Africa, and Asia onto the native population, and the animated religiosity of Baroque New Spain, later turned into the major distinguishing characteristics of Mexican culture. Thus, more than just an anomaly, Sor Juana’s inner contradictions are symptoms of a colonial society governed by an imperial metropolis in a political and economic decline, and of a hierarchical society in New Spain culturally and spiritually at odds, splintered into castes and set against new scientific currents that are now associated with modernity.

     The 2011 Conference on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz proposes a close examination of her work—her plays, her poems, and her prose—as well as the study of the politics, literature, religion and architectural art of Habsburg New Spain (1517-1700). Through Sor Juana’s life and work, the conference will create an interdisciplinary forum to examine features in the history of Colonial Mexico that have remained neglected or isolated as the province of specialized fields. For more information, contact or mail to the following address:

Dr. Roberto Cantú
Professor of Chicano Studies and English
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

Nearby Hotels:
Alhambra and San Gabriel, CA.
Make your reservations ASAP.

1. San Gabriel Hilton (San Gabriel, CA). This hotel is close to the San Bernardino Freeway (10), and to Cal State L.A. It is located in the heart of nice shops and several restaurants, with luxurious rooms and beautiful décor. Highly recommended. All conference participants who are guests at the San Gabriel Hilton will receive a corporate rate of only $119 plus 10% tax per room (one King bed, or two Queen beds). The San Gabriel Hilton‘s address is 225 West Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA, 91776. Make your reservations by or before May 1,  directly with the hotel manager, Mr. Darwin Wang, at   If by telephone, call (626) 270-2700. Fax (626) 270-2777. The block name is Sor Juana Conference, with “SORJ” as the booking code, or the conference number 3425207806. Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton: Super Shuttle, telephone: (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.

2. Days Inn-Alhambra (Alhambra, CA). This hotel is nearby restaurant row and close to the University. The managers (Mrs. Dimple and TJ) have agreed to give conference participants the corporate rate of $69 plus tax for a King bed; $79 plus tax for 2 Queen beds, per night. Continental breakfast is included. Make your reservation by telephone: (626) 308-0014; or by Fax: (626) 281-5996. To receive this special rate you must identify yourself as a participant in Cal State L.A.‘s Conference on Sor Juana. Transportation from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the San Gabriel Hilton: Super Shuttle, telephone: (800) 700-1983, or (626) 679-3598.

Conference Meals

Speakers and panelists will have two luncheons and two dinners as part of Cal State L.A.‘s hospitality during the conference. The cost of the four meals is a reduced rate of $85 (includes tax and service charge). The deadline for meal payments is May 9; for participants flying from abroad, the deadline extends to morning registration on May 13. Make checks payable to Golden Eagle Hospitality, and mail to Roberto Cantú (see above address). The two luncheons and two dinners (one corresponds to the conference banquet on May 14), are open only to conference participants and to our general audience. After May 13, participation in the meal program will be closed. Menu details are forthcoming.

Conference Program
Friday, May 13

Registration & Coffee
8:30-9:00 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Roberto Cantú
& Conference Organizing Committee
Welcome and Introduction
Alejandra Flores & Ted Owens
9:00-9:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Featured Speaker
Leslie Monsour
Poet and Translator

Title of Lecture:
"The Baroque Mentality and the Irresistible Challenge
of the Sonnets of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz"

May 13, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Featured Session #1
May 13, 10:40-11:50 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Margarita E. Nieto, California State University, Northridge


1. Elena Gutiérrez, The Catholic University of America
“La música en las novelas de María de Zayas: Contextos, funciones y espacios”

2. Benito Quintana, University of Hawaii at Manoa
“‘Tocan a guerra’: Júbilo y violencia al son de la música en las comedias de Indias”

3. Mario A. Ortiz, The Catholic University of America
“Sor Juana en Guatemala: Recién identificadas composiciones de villancicos sorjuaninos'

Featured Speaker
Emilie L. Bergmann
University of California, Berkeley

Title of Lecture:

"Resonant Architextures:
Space and Sound in Sor Juana's Primero sueño"

May 13, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

1:15-2:30 p.m.

Sesame Beef Stir-fry,
Steamed Rice, Stir-fry Vegetables,
Asian Green Salad, Desserts,
Water, and Iced-Tea
Golden Eagle Ballroom-3

Session #2
May 13, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Hildebrando Villarreal, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Nicolás M. Vivalda, Vassar College
“Sor Juana y el ‘pernicioso modelo de Faetón’: lecciones epistemológicas del escarmiento en Primero Sueño”

2. Saúl Jiménez Sandoval, California State University, Fresno
“Juego y différance en el Primero sueño de Sor Juana”

3. Rosario Herrera Guido, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, México
“Los sueños de Sor Juana y Octavio Paz”

4. José Antonio García Sedano, Independent Artist, Spain
“Nombre del tema: Tiempo sin tiempo (Visiones de arte e historia)”

5. Salvador C. Fernández, Occidental College
“El papel de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en la novela Calligraphy of the Witch, de Alicia Gaspar de Alba”

Session #3
May 13, 4:15-6:00 pm.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Bianca Guzmán, California State University, Los Angeles

1. Rachel Spaulding, University of New Mexico
“Revising the Role of Mary: The Surrogation of the Immaculate Mother in Sor Juana’s Villancicos of the Concepción, 1676”

2. Pamela Kirk Rappaport, St. John’s University, New York
“Another Jesuit in Sor Juana’s Life: Juan Eusebio Nieremberg (1595-1658)”

3. Daniel Breining, University of Wisconsin
“Semiotics and the Social Dramas of Juana Inés de la Cruz”

4.  George Flaherty, Columbia College Chicago
"Mimesis and Conceit in Late Colonial Mexico: The 'Fiel Copias' of Sor Juana"

Featured Speaker
Louise M. Burkhart
University of Albany,
State University of New York

Title of Lecture:

“Golden Age Theater for Nahuas:
Don Bartolomé de Alva’s “El Animal Profeta y Dichoso Patricida”

May 13, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

7:15-9:00 p.m.

Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice and Beans,
Tortillas, Salsa, Full Salad Bar,
Desserts, Water, and Iced-Tea
University Club

Saturday, May 14

Featured Speaker
Margaret R. Parker
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge

Title of Lecture:

 "'Un tan extraño género de martirio':
Sor Juana’s Revisionist Hagiography"
May 14, 9:00-10:15 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Session #4
May 14, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Atef Laouyene, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Elizabeth Teresa Howe, Tufts University
“Sor Juana, the Epistolary Autobiographer”

2. Alison L. Stewart, Esq., Pepperdine University
“A Defense of Women’s Liberties in Sor Juana’s La respuesta”

3. Charlene Villaseñor Black, University of California, Los Angeles
“Portraits of Sor Juana, and the Scholarly Imaginary: The dangers of Intellectual Desire.”

4. Albert R. Baca, California State University, Northridge
“The Joannae Virginis Laudes of Francisco Cabrera”

Featured Speaker

Sara Poot-Herrera
University of California, Santa Barbara

Title of Lecture:

"Even Frankenstein was near Sor Juana
in 19th-Century England and the United States"

May 14, 11:45 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

1:15-2:30 p.m.

Basil Pesto Pasta & Grilled Chicken,
Garlic Bread, Full Salad Bar,
Dessert, Water, and Iced-Tea
University Club

Session #5
May 14, 2:30-4:00 pm.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Mario Ortíz, The Catholic University of America

1. Jeanette Favrot Peterson, University of California, Santa Barbara
“ Asymmetries of Power in the Baroque Spectacles honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico”

2. Margarita E. Nieto, California State University, Northridge
“Sor Juana, Musician/Philosopher”

3. Bernardo Illari, University of North Texas
“Excess as Criollo Aesthetics: Francisco López in Mid-Seventeenth Century Mexico”

4. Jennifer L. Eich, Loyola Marymount University
“Absolution and Reception: Sor Juana and Her Readers”

5. Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, California State University, Los Angeles
“Crowned Nuns and Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico”

Session #6
4:15-5:50 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom


Moderator: Domnita Dumitrescu, California State University, Los Angeles


1. Mariana C. Zinni, Queens College – CUNY
“Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez: Aproximaciones a una geografía postcolonial.”

2. Covadonga Lamar Prieto, University of California, Los Angeles
“Hernán Cortés, el apóstol Santiago y una mujer, de la color dellos, artífices de la conquista de la Nueva España.”

3. Rhonda Taube, Riverside City College
“Gates of Heaven and Walls of Empire: Representations of Indigenous Space and Time in 17th Century Viceregal Art.”

4. Jeremy Coltman, California State University, Los Angeles
“Beautiful Benders: Acrobats, Contortionists, and Foot Jugglers in Mesoamerican and Colonial Art.”

keynote Speaker

John Pohl
University of California, Los Angeles

Title of Lecture:

"Mexico's Late Antiquity
and the Invention of New Spain"

May 14, 6:00-7:15 p.m.
Golden Eagle Ballroom

Conference Banquet
May 14, 7:15-9:00 p.m.

Grilled Salmon, Roasted Red Potatoes,
Bread, Fresh Vegetables, Dessert,
Water and Iced-Tea
University Club

Conference Speakers

Dr. Emilie L. Bergmann
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Emilie L. Bergmann is Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published numerous articles on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, on gender, and the visual arts in 16th and 17th Century Spanish literature, and on 20th Century women writers. She recently co-edited Approaches to Teaching Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (2007) and Mirrors and Echoes Women’s Writing in Twentieth-Century Spain (2007).

Dr. Louise M. Burkhart
University of Albany,
State University of New York

Dr. Louise M. Burkhart is Professor of Anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1986. Her research draws on Christian literature written in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs and related ethnic groups) to analyze indigenous responses to evangelization and the development of indigenized Christianity. She is the author of The Slippery Earth: Nahua-Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (1989), Holy Wednesday: A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico (1996), Before Guadalupe: The Virgin Mary in Early Colonial Nahuatl Literature (2001), and many articles. With Barry D. Sell, she co-edited the four-volume Nahuatl Theater set (2004-2009). A companion volume for students and non-specialists, Aztecs on Stage: Religious Theater in Colonial Mexico, will appear in 2011 (and will include Alva’s “El Animal Profeta”). A current project explores pictorial representations of Nahuatl language in the so-called Testerian catechisms.

Leslie Monsour
Poet and Translator

A native of Los Angeles, California, Leslie Monsour grew up in Mexico City, Chicago, and Panama. She was educated at Scripps College in Claremont, California; Canal Zone College in Panama; and the University of Colorado in Boulder. The author of The Alarming Beauty of the Sky (2005), she has also published poems and translations (principally of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz) in such magazines as Poetry, Measure, Iambs and Trochees, The Raintown Review, and The Dark Horse. Her work has been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac, as well as Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry. In 2007, she was the recipient of a Fellowship in Literature from The National Endowment for the Arts. Monsour lives in Los Angeles where she does free-lance book editing, gives master classes in poetry, and participates in mentor programs.

Dr. Margaret R. Parker
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge

Dr. Margaret R. Parker is Professor of Spanish and Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Louisiana State University. Her areas of research are medieval Castilian literature, hagiography, and Hispanic women writers. She recently published The Spanish Santa Catalina de Alejandría: The Many Lives of a Saint’s Life (Juan de la Cuesta, 2010), a presentation of reading editions of several redactions of the saint’s story and a study of its development. Other recent publications are two co-edited books: Leading Ladies: Mujeres en la literatura hispana y las artes, with Yvonne Fuentes (LSU Press, 2006) and Celebrations and Connections in Hispanic Literature, with Andrea E. Morris (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007) and two articles in 2008, “Sor Juana’s City of Her Semejantes in the Villancicos to St. Catherine” and “‘Spain is Different’: The Untold Story of the Translatio of the Passio of St. Catherine of Alexandria.” She is passionate about teaching a course on Hispanic women writers and creating Service-Learning opportunities for her undergraduate students.

Dr. John Pohl
University of California, Los Angeles

John Pohl teaches in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He is an eminent authority on American Indian civilizations and has directed numerous archaeological projects throughout North America as well as Europe. He is noted for bringing the ancient past to life through innovative museum techniques derived from experiences ranging from the Walt Disney Imagineering Department of Cultural Affairs, to Princeton University where he served as the first Peter Jay Sharp Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas. Most recently, John Pohl curated the exhibition “The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire” for the Getty Villa Museum and is currently developing “Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico” for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. 

Dr. Sara Poot-Herrera
University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Sara Poot-Herrera was born in Mérida, capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán. She later moved to Jalisco, then to Mexico City, and finally, from Mexico to Santa Barbara. She received her Doctorate in Hispanic Literature from El Colegio de México and is a Full Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has written over one hundred publications, including books, book chapters and papers. Her articles have been published in academic and general-interest journals. For her studies on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, she was awarded the “Woman of the Year” (1997), distinction by the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation (Los Angeles, California). She received the Literary Medal “Antonio Mediz Bolio” (Mérida, Yucatán, 2000) and the State Parliament Medal “Héctor Victoria Aguilar” (Mérida, Yucatán, 2008). In 2001, she was a member of the jury for the Juan Rulfo Latin-American and Caribbean Prize, awarded to the Mexican writer Juan García Ponce (Guadalajara International Book Fair). She is co-founder of the UC-Mexicanistas Association, an Intercampus Research Program of the University of California System. In 2009, Dr. Poot-Herrera received two prestigious awards in her native Mexico: first, the State of Yucatán honored Dr. Poot-Herrera with the Medalla Yucatán [Yucatan Medal]; second, the Universidad de Guadalajara recognized her with its highest award: el Galardón Académico Enrique Díaz de León.

Conference Panelists & Abstracts

Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, California State University, Los Angeles
“Crowned Nuns and Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico”

Colonial women in Mexico, who since childhood had been trained to show the utmost respect for nuns, who had had frequent contact with them or at least had heard their voices singing in the upper choir loft, did not consider convents as anything other than a familiar element of the world they lived in. In their Christian zeal they were keenly appreciative of the significance of the convent life that so many were eager to enter.

Between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries the number of convents steadily increased because they met a definite social need. They were a total of 59. We shall never know the personal histories of so many generations of modest nuns, how they felt and thought, what they really longed for in a lifetime devoted to the service of the Lord, remote from the everyday affairs of the world beyond the grill. Was disappointment in love the motive of their decision? And if so did any ever regret having taken the final and irrevocable step? How frequent were the cases of lesbianism or physical mistreatment? All we can do is attempt to recreate in our minds the daily routine of their lives and only speculate as to what went on in their minds and hearts. However, thanks to some traditions and records left by contemporary writers we know quite a bit about life inside the cloisters in Mexico during the Viceregal period.

There is painting genre that consists in portraits of the so called “crowned nuns” (monjas coronadas) that provide a note of brilliant color. The first impression is both pleasing and astonishing. The nuns are dressed in the habit of their order which is enlivened at that moment by a huge crown of flowers, decorated ceremonial candles, elaborated bouquets of flowers and images of the infant Jesus. The facial expression is nearly always solemn and even hidden in the profusion of the flowers of the headdress. Subsequently the “crown” would be removed and the nun’s hair shorn to prepare for the veil that she would wear for the rest of her life. It is a momentary image of great splendor which has been preserved on canvas to record the instant when a woman voluntarily gave up the everyday world to devote herself in body and soul to the service of the Lord.

The portraits of crowned nuns are remarkable for their good taste and the artists obviously took special pleasure in faithfully depicting the many ornamental details, whether embroidery and images, or flowers and jewels and other decorative items. Such portraits were unquestionably commissioned by the family out of a desire to remember the daughter, grandchild, niece, or sister as she had been on that day before she took her vows and disappeared forever behind the gray convent walls. To be able to hang such a portrait on the walls of the family living room must have been in that Catholic society a source of pride and deep satisfaction.

Albert R. Baca, “The Joannae Virginis Laudes of Francisco Cabrera”
California State University, Northridge

Adding to his already impressive corpus of poems in Latin hexameters on subjects from Mexican history, the contemporary Mexican poet, Francisco José Cabrera, has published his Joannae Virginis Laudes , in Monumenta Mexicana (Mexico City, 2004), which has translations into English by William Cooper.

Born ca. 1648 as an illegitimate daughter of a Spanish soldier and a Mexican woman, the young Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, early exhibited her Intelligence, talent, and enthusiasm for all branches of learning. Living in a male-dominated society that severely restricted the activities of women, she nevertheless managed to impress important personages with her passion for learning and intellect. Her wide-ranging studies ranged from literature to the sciences and mathematics. She died in 1695.

Upon taking Carmelite religious orders in 1677, she became known as Sor Juana de la Cruz, and using this name she made extensive contributions to Neo-Latin poetry, the range and importance of which are passed in review by the noted Mexican scholar, Tarsicio Herrera Zapién, in his two books, Historia del Humanismo Mexicano (Mexico, 2000), pp. 97-119, and Buena fe y humanismo en Sor Juana (Mexico, 1984).

In his poem, Cabrera makes manifest his love for Sor Juana as he passes the course of her life in review and highlights her many achievements in the arts of letters of Mexico. This passion for his subject reflects the lofty regard in which she is held by Mexicans, who have honored her with the sobriquet of “The Tenth Muse,” “La décima Musa.”
In my paper I discuss Cabrera’s poetic technique as manifested in his metrics, his imagery, and his use of Classical topoi in the composition of his poem.

Daniel Breining, Semiotics and the Social Dramas of Juana Inés de la Cruz
University of Wisconsin

The 17th-century Mexican nun Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz clearly exemplifies the personal conflict of not only being a woman and educated, but also the contention that exists between divers groups in colonial America that, like her, are in liminal or marginalized positions. Inés de la Cruz represents these cultural clashes in the 17th century by the simple fact of her being a woman, poet, playwright and investigator. In addition, one can see the manifestation of the contradictions in her private life and her struggle for women’s rights. Inés de la Cruz occupies a special and unique place during the last years of the Baroque period, which is not seen in any other scholar from this era of transition from the Renaissance to neo-classicism. It is worthwhile to look at the works of this New World nun under the lens of semiological concepts and representational theory in order to learn how Inés de la Cruz describes herself and her position of marginality in a phallocentric culture. Inés de la Cruz’s writings open the cracks between these various borders of social confrontation that are rooted in her sexuality, her creative artistry, and her desire to learn and study. “Semiotics and the Social Dramas of Juana Inés de la Cruz” is a ten-page portion of a book-length manuscript that addresses semiotic signs in Hispanic American literature.

Jeremy Coltman, California State University, Los Angeles
“Beautiful Benders: Acrobats, Contortionists, and Foot Jugglers in Mesoamerican and Colonial Art”

Perhaps one of the most visually impressive categories in terms of the body in ancient Mesoamerican art involves individuals reflecting extremely difficult positions, many of which are humanly impossible. These images vary from the grotesquely contorted to the seemingly playful and constitute an important aesthetic category in Mesoamerican art. Another category depicts individuals on their backs juggling a ball with their feet. Known as foot jugglers, our best resource on the subject remains German artist Christoph Weiditz’s drawings of these performers who formed part of the entourage of Cortes when they were taken to Spain to perform for Charles V. There is much continuity in the various images of these acrobats, contortionists and foot jugglers extending from the middle Pre-Classic to the colonial. Far more than just the average human exercising his talents, these positions were in many cases, reserved for the gods. Rather than constituting just a feature of the sportive and entertainment aspect, there was also a profound ritual dimension to such performances that often put such performers at the very center of the Mesoamerican cosmos.

Jennifer L. Eich, “Absolution and Reception: Sor Juana and Her Readers”
Loyola Marymount University

This paper explores the contemporary assumption of text as a culturally specific piece as well as the critical notions that the reader’s own historical period and cultural knowledge attach to the reading of written works. Specifically, it examines how a collection of poems, written by Spanish authors during the Spanish American colonial era, reflect and resonate with cultural and sociopolitical prejudices towards the Americas.

The publication of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s collected works in three separate volumes took place first in Spain. This most likely occurred because she was too controversial a figure in New Spain, especially given her ideological and religious difficulties with Archbishop Aguiar y Seixa in Mexico City, would preclude their publication. However, it is quite likely that the Marquesa—the departing New Spain vicereine and a woman of considerable power, wealth and family connections—, knew that the Hieronymite nun’s works were unlikely to receive the required Church’s approval for their publication in the Americas. Therefore, she returned to Spain carrying Sor Juana’s works and saw to their relatively swift publication.

Interestingly, the prefatory materials to Sor Juana’s works, printed in a variety of editions in a number of different Spanish cities, are quite different. Not surprisingly, the first volume included Diego Calleja’s now infamous and at times inventive biography. However, the third volume of her by then posthumous works features a somewhat prolonged yet astonishing collection of incidental poetry. These Spanish authors used a variety of poetic forms to capture and focus on themes and events taken from Sor Juana’s life and writings. Although the poem’s quality varies and depends on the education and training of the poet, it is clear that these authors tried to outdo the others in establishing the Hieronymite nun’s significance and literary gifts within either the religious or secular spheres of influence. It is also surprising that many of these poets are women although the works as a whole present Sor Juana as equal to or surpassing her male peers.

In addition, at the same time that these Spanish poets present her as an extraordinary figure, many also take the opportunity to criticize the inability of those who occupy the far regions of Spain’s vast empire to truly appreciate just how extraordinary Sor Juana and her poetic works were. Their criticisms are overt, occasionally humorous and often clever, but all indicate that the reception of her poetic works was far more enthusiastic and widespread in the Iberian Peninsula than in New Spain. Indeed, rather than constituting acts of absolution for the sociocultural and/or religious sins that Sor Juana may have committed in her poetry and that required that her works be published far from her home, this collection of poems demonstrates that their Spanish peers felt the Spanish Americans to be oafs of little or no culture. Indeed, they had little if any appreciation for the literary arts and, undeniably in their opinion, for those–especially an extraordinary woman such as Sor Juana–, who practiced them.

Thus, the paper treats the important opportunity for civic and spiritual prominence within the Spanish Empire that Sor Juana offered her religious and secular communities. In addition, it discusses how a collection of incidental poems written to honor the 17th century genius and Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz constituted a platform to express current political prejudice and elitism practiced, and specific to, the early Modern period in Spain and the Spanish American colonial era.

Salvador C. Fernández, Occidental College
“El papel de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en la novela Calligraphy of the Witch, de Alicia Gaspar de Alba”

Sor Juana’s Second Dream es una de las narrativas más conocidas de Alicia Gaspar de Alba, donde apropia y re-examina el personaje de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz para presentar un discurso lésbico. Sin embargo, Alicia Gaspar de Alba ha publicado otra novela, Calligraphy of the Witch, donde la novelista utiliza “Redondillas” de Sor Juana como texto central para crear una obra que explora históricamente la diáspora chicana. Específicamente, Calligraphy of the Witch narra el proceso de esclavitud de Concepción, personaje ficticio quien adquiere el papel de escribana de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en el Convento de Santa Paula, y de Aléndula, cimarrona y sirvienta de una monja criolla de este mismo claustro. Ambos personajes, Concepción y Aléndula, deciden escaparse y en el proceso son capturadas en la costa veracruzana por el Capitán Laurens de Graaf y pasan a ser productos del cargo comercial que lleva a Nueva Inglaterra. El contexto conventual, la escapada de Concepción y Aléndula, y su captura de ellas establecen tres núcleos narrativos que la novelista examina para cuestionar los parámetros políticos de la representación cultural de sujetos nacionales y transnacionales asociados con migraciones forzadas a causa de ciertas rutas comerciales.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba en su novela, Calligraphy of the Witch examina las relaciones coloniales entre México y los Estados Unidos, al apropiar varias tradiciones literarias: el discurso conventual de la Nueva España, el discurso hegemónico asociado con los juicios jurídicos de las brujas de Selma de 1692, y el discurso sobre la esclavitud estadounidense. Sin embargo, las localidades donde toma lugar la novela de Gaspar de Alba altera el paradigma cultural de la narrativa fronteriza, ya que su narración se desarrolla principalmente en tres sitios no típicos del discurso fronterizo: el valle central de México, el estado de Veracruz, y Nueva Inglaterra. Históricamente, la producción cultural de la Nueva España durante el siglo XVII y XVIII y los juicios de las brujas de Selma de 1692 proveen los contextos históricos para establecer unas relaciones sociales y culturales entre dos espacios geográficos muy distintos. Aun más, el uso de estos espacios geográficos tan diferentes tipifica una experiencia fronteriza heterogénea y caracteriza un nuevo recorrido cultural y económico entre el Golfo de México y Nueva Inglaterra, el cual durante la colonial estaba dominado por comercio de esclavos.

En su representación literaria de las mutaciones de identidades nacionales y transnacionales, Gaspar de Alba también cuestiona la herencia colonial racial de ambos lados de la frontera. En este contexto esta novelista chicana cuestiona y problematiza las representaciones raciales y sociales que históricamente han estado presente tanto en la Nueva España, como en Nueve Inglaterra. Por un lado, Calligraphy of the Witch hace hincapié al impacto personal que los conflictos raciales y contradicciones sociales de la colonia en la Nueva España tiene para un personaje mestizo y uno cimarrón e ilustrar el efecto en su desarrollo a través de la representación de un peregrinaje simbólico de la Nueva España a Nueva Inglaterra. Por otro lado, la noción del peregrinaje también funciona para criticar el estado social y cultural homogéneo que tradicionalmente caracteriza el paradigma hegemónico de Nueva Inglaterra, ilustrado por su concepto de una comunidad puritana, al demostrar cómo las migraciones, forzadas o voluntarias, alteran una geografía social y cultural.

Típico de una migración forzada, Concepción y Aléndula ejemplifican sujetos cautivos que se transforman en productos humanos para la compra y venta de un mercado en donde la novelista caracteriza la ruta comercial como un purgatorio flotante. Esta imagen de un purgatorio flotante se recalca en otras obras canónicas que tipifican la experiencia migratoria. Por ejemplo, el largometraje El Norte, cuando sus protagonistas, Enrique y Rosa, cruzan la frontera entre Tijuana y San Isidro, lo hacen a través de un túnel que anteriormente se utilizaba como drenaje, imagen que claramente ilustra la dicotomía bíblica del paso entre el infierno y el paraíso. Esta misma imagen es central para estudiar la película reciente Sin nombre, basada en la narrativa testimonial de Sonia Nazario, Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother.

George Flaherty, “Mimesis and Conceit in Late Colonial Mexico: The ‘Fiel Copias’ of Sor Juana”
Columbia College Chicago

This presentation considers portraits of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (c.1651-1695), the world-renowned Baroque nun-intellectual, from the eighteenth-century. While the Sor Juana literature is vast, relatively little has been written regarding the eight extant posthumous portraits that constitute the visual basis for her ongoing though dynamic status as an (inter)national icon of Mexican erudition, perspicuity and keen wit. Painted by several of colonial Mexico’s leading painters, the pictures share a significant number of formal and textual homologies. Rather than approach these homologous portraits as telling examples of rigid colonial convention or artistic cannibalism, I take as my starting point two words that appear prominently in the cartouches of half the portraits: fiel copia. Translated literally as “faithful copy” and taken generally to mean simply and singularly “portrait,” the contemporary sense of the phrase in fact insisted upon semantic and intertextual latitude. Focusing on Miguel Cabrera’s portrait from 1750 and a text he wrote on the authenticity of the Virgin of Guadalupe relic image six years later, I argue that fiel copia served not just as a signature of mimeticism, but also as a process of identification and translation in which artists self-consciously and strategically courted, vis-à-vis Sor Juana’s imagined likeness, a discursive community among themselves and their patrons, aspiring to elevate or reiterate each other’s social status by envisioning a narcissistic resemblance to the nun-intellectual that was neither strictly literal nor empirical.

José Antonio García Sedano, “Nombre del tema: Tiempo sin tiempo (Visiones de arte e historia)”
Independent Artist and Painter, Spain

Por sí misma, la figura de sor Juana atrajo mi atención, al paso del tiempo, realizada la primera pintura con su imagen, al ahondar en su época, su obra, y en la amplia iconografía establecida por los artistas desde el siglo XVIII, a través de las comparaciones y coincidencias, me fue necesario retomar el tema para escudriñar entre la leyenda y los hechos reales a fin de trasladar al lienzo la fuerza de su carácter, las debilidades impuestas y el sentido de su decir poético.

A la fecha, tras una serie de retratos mediante la interpretación personal de la imagen de la monja jerónima me permiten determinar, de acuerdo con Octavio Paz en su "Laberinto de la soledad", que "Sor Juana es una figura de soledad. Indecisa y sonriente se mueve entre dos luces, consciente de la dualidad de su condición y de lo imposible de su empeño."

Elena Gutiérrez, “La música en las novelas de María de Zayas: Contextos, funciones y espacios”
The Catholic University of America

Un rasgo distintivo de las dos colecciones de novelas de María de Zayas, Novelas amorosas y ejemplares (1637) y Desengaños amorosos (1647) es la incorporación en ellas de una gran cantidad de composiciones poéticas, muchas de las cuales se acompañan de elementos musicales. En este trabajo analizo y categorizo la relación entre música y poesía y las formas en las que la música afecta a la estructura literaria y narrativa de las novelas. Concretamente, el contexto musical juega un papel fundamental en la escenificación e interacción entre los protagonistas, haciendo distinguir tres tipos diferentes de escenas los cuales corresponden a tres niveles diferentes de función narrativa, espacio social y audiencia. Estos niveles, a su vez, señalan tres tipos de convenciones y espacios literarios: primero, el sarao o evento social, el cual representa la tradición cortesana; segundo, las seneratas a la amada que corresponden a la tradición de la poesía trovadoresca; y tercero, el lamento o canción íntima del personaje en soledad, la cual evoca la tradición pastoril. El análisis del empleo de estas convenciones musico-poéticas nos aporta una mayor comprensión del arte literario de María de Zayas, así como de las convenciones que rigen el panorama socio-literario de su tiempo.

Rosario Herrera Guido, “Los sueños de Sor Juana y Octavio Paz”
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

En esta ponencia, a partir de una deslumbrante y enigmática metáfora de Octavio Paz, que vierte en su libro Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz o las trampas de la fe, trato de poner a prueba una hipótesis de trabajo: el sueño filosófico de Sor Juana lo continúa por la vía de la poesía Octavio Paz en su poema Pasado en claro. Para ello tomo el uso moderno que Octavio Paz sugiere para el más monumental de los poemas de Sor Juana: Primer Sueño. Que permite pensar que en el tintero de Juana Inés se quedó dormido un Segundo Sueño, en el que buscaría llegar la unidad de conocimiento, pero no por la vía de la ciencia o la filosofía, ni por el sendero de Dios, sino para compreder la unidad del Ser por la vía de la poesía. Pero este Segundo Sueño no lo escribe Sor Juana sino Octavio Paz. Todo ello para mostrar que mientras en Primer Sueño, Sor Juana no está dormida, la desvela un sueño filosófico en el teatro de la noche, en Pasado en Claro, Octavio Paz vela por el deseo de conocer, por el conocimeinto que lo desvela: el deseo de conocer y la exigencia existencial de autoconocimiento. Para concluir que tanto Primer sueño como Pasado en claro advierten que el conociemto filosófico, en vecindad con el poético, ponen a prueba al conocimiento, sus límites y su irremediable ausencia.

Bernardo Illari, “Excess as Criollo Aesthetics: Francisco López in Mid-Seventeenth-
Century Mexico”
University of North Texas

The case for a distinctive colonial Criollo identity in Latin America is all but settled. On the one hand, a sense of Criollo difference had emerged already by the end of the sixteenth century. On the other hand, this sentiment did not quite coalesce into a set of established identity symbols, particularly at the level of the kingdom or realm. The problem is even more acute in the case of music, which lacks the mimetic capability of literature, theater, and the fine arts, thus posing additional challenges for the discussion of identities. Academic inquiry can rely neither upon the Herderian notion that popular music directly embodies group identity, nor upon the idea that art music with popular idioms inherits this identifying power; both concepts seem overly simplistic and naïve. We can, instead, focus on abstract structural features of the compositions; when blatantly different from predominant trends, they may be funneling a sense of the local, hence contributing to develop individual or collective identity agendas.

Such developments are individual endeavors which respond to personal sensibilities. Yet, when issued by a Criollo author and continued by his heirs, they become tokens of musical identity. This is the case of the music of Francisco López (y Capillas), Mexico-born organist, choir master, and prebendary at Mexico City cathedral (c. 1605-1674). López wrote complex polyphony that eschewed most of the novelties of Baroque music, such as instrumental accompaniment or emotional expression. He instead resorted to an excess of vocal counterpoint: he employed late-fifteenth-century techniques and referenced much older Spanish composers in extraordinary ways. He used plainchant in ways current around 1500, wrote pieces in arcane notation, and resorted to canons and other intellectual conundrums. He cited older structural models for several genres, such as Magnificats and Masses.

His elaborate, old-fashioned approach has earned him the dreadful fame of conservativeness and backwardness. He does not seem to deserve it. On the one hand, López’s models are excessively antique. His music is beyond the usual conservativeness (which entails keeping alive procedures one or two generations older). On the other hand, hidden behind old-style approaches, López’s musical language generally remains up-to-date in terms of melody, harmony, and tonality.

When considered outside of a teleological mainstream, López’s art appears to seek novelty in the very old-style writing for which he has been despised. Given that he was a Criollo and held concrete career ambitions that depended upon Peninsular approval, his artistic operations seem to be ways of constructing Criollo difference in music—by beating Peninsular composers at their own game, through a more elaborate and creative refashioning of the tradition that they all shared. The fact that subsequent composers reprised some of López’s ideas confirms the relevance of his approach for Mexico City cathedral and the identifying potential that they carry: the local, Criollo sound of church music was to a great extent shaped by López’s unique excess.

Elizabeth Teresa Howe, “Sor Juana, the Epistolary Autobiographer”
Tufts University

While Sor Juana’s Respuesta a Sor Filotea is the work most commonly consulted for the author’s revelations about her own ife, the more recent discoveries of additional letters penned by the nun (Carta de Monterrey and Carta de Sor Serafina) augment the few detaiils to be found in the aforementioned. Although some question whether the Respuesta or, indeed, any of Sor Juana’s works may rightly be called “autobiography,” I believe that they represent one of the forms utilized by other women to both explain and to defend their lives. Among those women who also relied on letters to convey the details of their lives, I have in mind the Discalced Carmelite nuns, Ana de San Bartolomé and María de San José, both followers of Santa Teresa (another prolific letter writer). By reading Sor Juana’s letters in the light of her female predecessors in Spain who also used the autobiographical epistle, I wish to shed light on her life and her contribution to the genre itself.

Saúl Jiménez Sandoval, California State University, Fresno
“Juego y différance en el Primero sueño de Sor Juana”

En el Primero sueño de Sor Juana, vemos cómo se entabla una dinámica del juego --en términos de Derrida-- entre el significante y el significado del cuerpo. Dicho juego desestabiliza el orden simbólico de la época, ya que Sor Juana presenta el cuerpo femenino como una máquina que funciona a la perfección. El funcionalismo del cuerpo femenino que usa Sor Juana se ve en la teoría médica de las últimas etapas del Renacimiento, y se basa en reconocer que todos los elementos del cuerpo tienen su propia efectividad. Por tanto, el cuerpo de la mujer y sus órganos no se compara a la perfección atribuida al cuerpo masculino, sino que se configura fuera del simbolismo dominante. Por ende, Sor Juana va a retar el par binario que establece el cuerpo masculino como poseedor de conocimiento al presentar las teorías médicas que enfatizan las funciones polivalentes del cuerpo --en vez de enfocarse en el modelo monológico y dominante. Al enfatizar las actividades instrumentales del cuerpo, mientras que minimiza o refuta su valor del orden simbólico, Sor Juana usa su cuerpo para perturbar la relación simbólica entre el cuerpo y la mente. Sor Juana utiliza su cuerpo, por tanto, como vehículo para explorar un conocimiento propio, y para desestabilizar el orden simbólico a base de un juego que sostiene el objetivo de buscar más allá de la inmediatez una forma de ser.

Pamela Kirk Rappaport, “Another Jesuit in Sor Juana’s Life: Juan Eusebio Nieremberg (1595-1658)”
St. John’s University, New York

Members of the Jesuit order occupy significant space in the life and work of Sor Juana. One need only think of her confessor, Antonio Núñez de Miranda, her intellectual debate partner in Carta Athenagorica, Antonio Vieira, her admiration of Eusebio Kino, her playful appropriation of Athanasius Kircher. In this paper I will be drawing connections from Sor Juana’s work to two books by another Jesuit, Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, as two of the many “mute” teachers contributing to her theological inspiration. Though a major 17th century Spanish theologian, frequently quoted in the Diccionario de Autoridades, Nieremberg, has subsequently been so thoroughly erased from the historical record that after two decades of studying Sor Juana, I only learned of his existence in the Rare Book Room in the New York Public Library while reading an edition of Sor Juana’s confessor, Antonio Núñez’s Ignation exercises for women. There at the end of one of the required meditations-- on creation--, he invites those readers wishing to pursue the topic in more depth to turn to Padre Eusebio [Nieremberg]’s De la Hermosura de Dios y su Amabilidad.

I was immediately intrigued. George Tavard ( Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Theology of Beauty), Michele Gonzalez (Sor Juana: Beauty and Justice in the Americas) and I, myself (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Religion, Art and Feminism) are among those scholars who have focused on Sor Juana’s theological aesthetics to varying degrees, teasing out themes and positions related to beauty and the Divine, from her villancicos, her plays, especially El Divino Narciso, and the Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz.. Whereas Sor Juana’s “theology of beauty” is more often implied than explicit, Nieremberg structures his entire lengthy treatise on God around the “fourth” transcendental, beauty. In a first section I will introduce Nieremberg and trace aspects of his thought that resonate into Sor Juana’s..

My study of a second work of Nieremberg’s, Prodigio del amor divino y finezas de Dios, sheds light on the provenance of Vieira’s Mandato Sermon, and Sor Juana’s subsequent, Carta Athenagorica on the benefits of Christ’s love. Published in 1641, Prodigio explores themes we find also in Vieira’s sermon. In the form of an extended meditation Nieremberg reflects on the manner in which God’s love is manifest in Christ’s incarnation, in redemption through his suffering death, in his presence in the Eucharist, etc. employing all his rhetorical and scholarly talent to communicate his boundless enthusiasm for the wonders of divine love. “The love of God for man exceeds all bounds of what is admirable, prodigious, astonishing.” For years I had been puzzled by the use of the word “fineza” in both Vieira’s sermon and Sor Juana’s critique, a term that was not part of patristic or scholastic theological tradition. Were there other 17th century theologians using the term? I found my answer in Prodigio. In addition to references to the philosophical and theological tradition, in addition to biblical references, of course, on nearly every page we find the word “fineza”.

Covadonga Lamar Prieto, “Hernán Cortés, el apóstol Santiago y una mujer, de la color dellos, artífices de la conquista de la Nueva España”
University of California, Los Angeles

Entre las múltiples digresiones que jalonan el Tratado del descubrimiento de las Indias y su conquista de Juan Suárez de Peralta, una de especial interés para comprender la evolución de la imagen de la virgen de Guadalupe en el período colonial. Tras extenderse acerca de los posibles orígenes de los indios novohispanos, el autor se detiene para hacer una justificación tanto de la conquista como de sus medios, en la línea de Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda.

La historia que intercala lleva por título “De cómo anduvo el señor Santiago en la guerra contra los indios, y Nuestra Señora” y en ella se relata la forma en que las dos entidades divinas favorecieron a los ejércitos de Cortés en sus ataques contra los indios de la Nueva España. Al referirse a la virgen, dice que se trataba “de una mujer de la color dellos”.

Esta referencia, muy posiblemente, alude a la Virgen de Guadalupe, aunque no se la menciona como tal. Con base en el relato intercalado de Suárez de Peralta, en el presente trabajo, analizaremos los elementos constructivos de esta primitiva referencia a una virgen “de la color dellos” en un texto novohispano como el que nos ocupa, datado a finales del XVI.

Margarita E. Nieto, “Sor Juana, Musician/Philosopher”
California State University, Northridge
This paper focuses on:

1. Sor Juana’s musical knowledge and its relation to her poetry.

2. Her Villancicos which were set to music and performed in Mexico.

3. Her Villancicos set to music by Juan de Araujo (Spain- Bolivia, 1646-1712)

While it seems evident that Sor Juana’s sensitive ear for rhyme is basic to understanding her poetry. In fact, in Octavio Paz’s “Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz o Las Trampas de la Fe,” he [presents a lengthy discussion on the usage of both rhythm and meter in Sor Juana’s works, specifically in the “Villancico,” “Jácara,” or in this case, a “Tocotín”(1676) since it is written in Nahuatl).

Through Paz we know as well that these Villancicos were sung at religious services. Paz names two sites: the cathedral of Oaxaca (1691) and the Cathedral in Mexico City (1676). Curiously, the composers of these works are not mentioned.

Casting new light on Sor Juana’s musical and philosophical background, Mario La Vista, (1943, México City), a contemporary composer cites the presence of Pietro Cerone’s El melobeo y el maestro, (1613) an important reference to the role of music in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Through this reference, he gleans an understanding and interpretation of how Sor Juana’s familiarity with the Arezzian Scale, Guido d’Arezzo’s monumental contribution to writing music on the five-line strophe with notes on it. His conception of the do,re, mi, etc. permits us today to read Mozart, Monteverdi and other great past musical masters.

He presents Loa 384 as an example. In it, she relates a musical sound to a word aligning consonants to perfection and numeric associations with space and time. By so doing, La vista asserts that Sor Juan understood music as part of the medieval Quadrivium, as a philosophical and mathematical art and science that linked the planet to the universe. As La Vista explains, musicians in the middle ages fell into two categories: music/philosophers and music/interpreters.

Finally, I will discuss an intriguing puzzle by casting light on the performances of musical compositions based on Sor Juana’s work by the Spanish/Peruvian and Bolivian composer, Juan de Araujo, whose compositions have been recorded as prime examples of the Latin American Baroque. The question however, is how Araujo was able to obtain her works. The closest he came to Mexico was after being banished from Peru by the Viceroy and traveling possibly as far north as Guatemala. Upon his return to South America in 1672 he was appointed Choirmaster of the cathedral at Lima, moving later to Cuzco and finally to the Cathedral of La Plata (now Sucre), Bolivia. The burning question is: how did this come about? How did her poetry rise above the exile and silence that the Church imposed upon her? I will conclude with recordings of these works on power point, or cd or (I hope) live.

Mario A. Ortíz, “Sor Juana en Guatemala: Recién identificadas composiciones de villancicos sorjuaninos”
The Catholic University of America

Los villancicos de sor Juana Inés de la Cruz gozaron de gran popularidad durante su vida y a lo largo del período colonial. Además de las composiciones originales que los Maestros de Música de las catedrales mexicanas hicieron, ninguna de las cuales ha sobrevivido, los textos de villancicos sorjuaninos continuaron siendo musicalizados a través de las Américas hasta finales del siglo dieciocho. Gracias a recientes investigaciones de archivo, se ha logrado identificar una lista de once villancicos de los ciclos considerados de sor Juana y diez de los que Méndez Plancarte clasifica como “atribuibles”)—aparte de otros textos de “Letras para ser cantadas” (Stevenson, Tello, Illari, Laird y Pérez-Amador). En esta ponencia quisiera introducir una valiosa colección de diez nuevas composiciones musicales del barroco tardío latinoamericano que recientemente he localizado en Guatemala, todas pertenecientes al Maestro de Capilla Rafael Antonio Castellanos (c. 1725-1791). Esta es, hasta la fecha, la colección más amplia de villancicos de sor Juana compuestos por un solo compositor. Aparte de su rico valor histórico, comento también algunas significativas reescrituras que estas composiciones guatemaltecas hacen de los textos sorjuaninos.

Jeanette Favrot Peterson, “Asymmetries of Power in the Baroque Spectacles honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico”
University of California, Santa Barbara

This paper analyzes the multi-ethnic rituals honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe as they were activated by, and also helped to generate, the architectural complex known by the eighteenth century as the Villa of Guadalupe. Just north of the capital of New Spain, Tenochtitlan/Mexico City, the Villa grew up around Tepeyac hill, the legendary site of Guadalupe’s miraculous appearance in 1531 to a Nahua neophyte, Juan Diego. As the devotion grew, the humble mid sixteenth-century shrine at Tepeyac was replaced by increasingly more substantive sanctuaries within an ambitious complex of spaces and buildings that included a large plaza, a college, convent, two chapels, and a network of processional paths. My study focuses on two large-scale paintings (1653 & 1709) that depict the ceremonial events to inaugurate new sanctuaries at the Villa of Guadalupe. In an interesting symmetry, the events are framed by the reigns of the two dukes of Alburquerque who served as viceroys in New Spain: VIII Duque de Alburquerque, Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva who served as the 22nd viceroy (1653-1660) and, two generations later, the X Duque de Alburquerque, Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva Enríquez took his post as the 34th viceroy (1702-1711). I argue that within the spaces of the built environment, the image of the Amerindian shifts dramatically, both reasserting the power of the ruling elite and simultaneously revealing the fissures in the colonial order, thus allowing the subalterns a means of negotiating their own place.

The first painting, attributed to José Juarez and executed in 1653, depicts the putative 1533 ceremonial procession that installed the miraculous image into her first shrine. The painting is carefully crafted to spacialize and contain social difference using architectural elements to demarcate landscape exterior from church interior. Dynamic ritual activity reinforces the movement from pagan past to Christian present. These rituals also distinguish different Indian types, the violent “mock” sea battle in the background features the bellicose barbarian (Chichimec) in contrast to the indigenous performers in the foreground, a trope of the Noble Aztec, marked by his demeanor, dress and equal footing with the upper echelons of Hispanic society.

Almost sixty years later, the tenth Duque de Alburquerque commissions a painting by Manuel Arellano that documents the gala inauguration of the new 1709 sanctuary. Less cartographic reality than sacred geography, Arellano’s canvas situates the four-towered church within a divine and human cosmos, as topography, sanctuary and devotees are embedded in a landscape animated by myth. A hierarchical procession of the ruling elite accompanies the sacred image of Guadalupe around the plaza and into her new home. In a strategy of containment, this official procession also establishes fixed boundaries around the dynamic celebrants in the plaza, including Indian dancers and, at the same time, excludes the teeming multitudes on the margins. Arellano’s depiction of the gentrified Amerindian “kings” within the plaza is in stark contrast to the heroic Indians in more authentic ritual attire, who were the focus of narrative action in the earlier 1653 painting.

Both paintings depict the volatility of ritual occasions in a heterogeneous colonial world, events that were increasingly considered not only a threat to proper decorum but to the orderly management of society. Yet in both, violence percolates through the illusory order, a challenge to the Bourbon reforms that attempted to neutralize, and if possible eliminate, natives from participating in all popular festivals. As these paintings demonstrate, these efforts were ultimately misdirected as natives became key to the increasing success of Guadalupe’s devotion and her broad appeal as an American Virgin whose devotion at home and abroad was color-blind.
Benito Quintana,“‘Tocan a guerra’: Júbilo y violencia al son de la música en las comedias de Indias”
University of Hawaii at Manoa

En la comedia nueva española la música jugaba un papel de importancia. Además de su uso en el corral animando los entremeses y bailes que formaban parte del espectáculo teatral, la música también cumplía funciones específicas que se integraban a la obra representada. Tras el encuentro con América y el establecimiento de las colonias españolas, los comediantes vaciaron sobre las tablas algunas obras históricas que retomaron aquellos eventos para reconfigurar y replantear la conquista dentro de los parámetros de la comedia nueva. En las comedias de Indias y muy particularmente en Arauco domado (1607-1609) de Lope de Vega y La aurora en Copacabana (1672) de Pedro Calderón de la Barca, la música se utiliza como un código que contrapone la ideología de dos mundos en conflicto: el del español cristiano y el del indígena pagano. A través de la música, el comediante codifica en estas obras el imaginario heroico y el celo cristiano del conquistador, así como una América imaginaria donde el indígena es asimilado a la cultura española dominante. La presente ponencia propone explorar, entonces, dichas configuraciones en las que el mundo español—cristiano y civilizado—y el americano—pagano y salvaje—quedan plasmados en las tablas mediante el código español musical que intenta evocar un ambiente exótico y dramático.

Su interés en las expresiones idiomáticas locales, en resaltar el origen indiano de Sor Juana y su obra, en vincular el ejercicio poético con la administración colonial, y en declararse vasallo y servidor de Sor Juana, son cuestiones claves que le permiten a Álvarez de Velasco articular sus intereses literarios y proyectarse legítimamente como poeta; su juego de reflejos lo autoriza a mostrarse como esclavo voluntario de Sor Juana y de algún modo heredero de su pluma.

Rachel Spaulding, “Revising the Role of Mary: The Surrogation of the Immaculate Mother in Sor Juana’s Villancicos of the Concepción, 1676”
University of New Mexico

Electa Arenal underscores the importance of “Fame/Woman/Lineage and Tradition”(140) in her work published in Stephanie Merrim’s Early Modern Women’s Writing and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1999). These concepts dominate Sor Juana’s discourse in her Villancicos of the Concepción, 1676. In this performance, Sor Juana actualizes her agency as the voice of the “other”-- the woman and the criolla--to participate in the discussion of the emerging Mexican national consciousness and the evolving theological doctrines. Sor Juana uses the uncriticized and often unscrutinized space of the Villancicos to articulate her theology: Specifically, Sor Juana uses the performance of Concepción as a vehicle to enter the debate about the nature of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; subsequently, her articulation of the conception of Virgin Mary, as performed in liturgical rites, promotes Mary as, what Joseph Roach terms, a Role Icon. This theory explains how Sor Juana creates a “Mexican Mary” which enters uniquely into the cultural memory of New Spanish society.

Moreover, Joseph Roach’s theory of surrogation also explains how Sor Juana actualizes her voice in this argument extolled in Concepción. In her Villancicos, with the use of metaphor and rhetoric, Sor Juana explores the interstices of humanity and divinity thus offering a space of discourse to understand the ways in which gender and race are perceived; she argues for an inclusion of women, blacks and other marginalized individuals’ participation within the church-- using the Church itself (The Holy Mother Church) in conflation and tandem surrogation with the Virgin of Guadalupe; thus, she offers a conception of the Church that embodies the society of marginalized individuals and represents an integrated collective.

Alison L. Stewart, Esq., “A Defense of Women’s Liberties in Sor Juana’s La respuesta”
Pepperdine University

This paper will explore, how, in late seventeenth-century New Spain, the well-known Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, writing from with the convent walls, conceptualizes justice in La respuesta as the freedom (“libertad”) for women to exercise certain basic rights or capabilities (i.e. thinking, interpreting) that are essential to human functioning. She equally argues for a woman’s freedom to enhance these human capabilities through education and learning. This paper explores notions of gender and women’s capabilities in understanding Sor Juana’s conceptualization of justice as embodied in the one freedom she cherishes, the “libertad de estudio”. I will explain how Sor Juana identifies and argues for the right to study within the communal space of the convent. I also demonstrate how she seeks to control her mind, by demanding the freedom to foster her “inclinación” by reading and thinking what she wishes without interference from the male patriarchy that seeks to control her. Finally, I explore how Sor Juana reconceptualizes the male-centered institution of the church by placing women in a dialogue and advocating their inclusion and participation within spheres of knowledge traditionally reserved for men.

Rhonda Taube, Riverside City College
“Gates of Heaven and Walls of Empire: Representations of Indigenous Space and Time in 17th Century Viceregal Art.”

The motivation for Seventeenth-century Nahua-Christian expressive and visual culture shifted focus from the mendicant period of the previous century, one of conversion, to centering on festivities rejoicing in victory of the new faith. This paper explores two different instances of European visions of Nahua society during the late 17th century, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora’s triumphal arch celebrating the entry of the new viceroy and the “Indian Village” biombo that represents an indigenous Corpus Christi ceremony and festival. An analysis of these two works, one public and intended for the local community, the other made for a domestic and possibly foreign setting, suggests the Creole creation of a narrative visual paradigm of Nahua society. The production of a fantasy physical environment allowed the dominant culture to construct and authenticate the imaginaire of Mexico as an earthly paradise and gateway to heaven.

Charlene Villaseñor Black, “Portraits of Sor Juana, and the Scholarly Imaginary: The dangers of Intellectual Desire.”
University of California, Los Angeles

In Miguel Cabrera’s posthumous portrait of 1750, Mexico’s renowned writer, muse, and scholar Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1755) sits regally at her desk, surrounded by her books and other scholarly accoutrements. Painted fifty-five years after Sor Juana was forced to abdicate her life as a scholar, Cabrera’s portrait, I argue, functions as a painted vindication. What pictorial strategies did Cabrera employ in defense of the colonial muse? How do we today and how did the eighteenth-century viewer understand this portrait? This paper attempts to unravel these questions by reading portraits of Sor Juana in dialogue with analogous depictions of scholars, nuns, and holy women (beatas). Literature of the period, most notably Sor Juana’s own writings, help us unravel both the dangers of intellectual desire as well as its symbolic and imaginary potential.

Nicolás M. Vivalda, “Sor Juana y el ‘pernicioso modelo de Faetón’: lecciones epistemológicas del escarmiento en Primero Sueño”
Vassar College

El viaje abstracto de anábasis que plantea Sor Juana en Primero Sueño comienza con la refiguración lírica de un escenario mitológico peculiar y complejo. Mientras en El divino Narciso el imaginario de la escritora mexicana se restringía a una versión más bíblica y cristianizada del castigo a la soberbia intelectual, para su extensa silva filosófica Sor Juana idearía todo un complejo tramado de referencias profanas del escarmiento. Primero Sueño pone así uno de sus principales focos poéticos en la figura del héroe transgresor, sujeto extremado que fuerza límites cognitivos y/o sociales. Las figuras de Nictímene, Prometeo, Ícaro y Faetón recrean entonces en el poema un renovado panteón mitológico de la contravención.

Centrándome en la imagen del Faetón caído me propongo llamar la atención sobre la transfiguración que la monja jerónima plantea para con el modelo de transgresión, pena y escarmiento de la tradición greco-latina heredada. Estilística y alegóricamente Primero Sueño dista de sugerir una reproducción moralizante del mito de la contravención. El poema revela, por el contrario, signos vitales de creatividad simbólica, contrafondos subrepticios de producción de sentido que acaban por configurar pistas textuales hacia una lógica alterna de lectura y aprecio del escarmiento. Ni Ícaro ni Faetón son considerados en el texto como simples ejemplos de lineal ejemplaridad ex contraria, sino más bien como estelas alegóricas extendidas, pulsiones simbólicas del afán cognitivo que complican y obturan una lectura meramente “punitiva” del impulso intelectual osado.

Mi hipótesis de trabajo sostiene que la profunda reelaboración barroca que Sor Juana ejerce sobre el volumen mitológico de su texto le permite trazar una novedosa trama de escarmiento fallido, castigo socavado por una persistente y problemática escena de transgresión y riesgo destinada a ser paradójicamente ejemplarizada. El objetivo amplio de este trabajo es contribuir a la argumentación contra lo que considero la fosilización de una larga impostura crítica, que ha sobre impuesto a la obra un horizonte final de frustración inatacable, de ímpetu epistemológico truncado por la aprehensión simple e inminente de que la empresa del conocimiento absoluto de las cosas está siempre destinada al más brutal fracaso (Diego Calleja, José Gaos, Octavio Paz, etc.)

El ensayo se propone entonces poner en cuestión la naturaleza epistemológica supuestamente terminal de este escarmiento. Mi línea de análisis sostiene que la transfiguración del mito transgresivo le permite a Sor Juana trazar canales alternativos para pensar la osadía intelectual en el muy peculiar marco de una sociedad novohispana atravesada de diversos debates epistémicos e ideológicos. La poetisa apuesta de esta manera a subrayar la ejemplaridad de un arrojo cognitivo destinado a mostrarse “segunda vez rebelde” para delinear una conciencia colonial y de género extremadamente crítica y contravencional, intento epistemológico plural y dinámico frente a las ya evidentes limitaciones ontológicas de un saber oficial, metropolitano y ajeno a la experiencia intelectual americana.

Mariana C. Zinni, “Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez: Aproximaciones a una geografía postcolonial”
Queens College – CUNY

Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez, puede ser leído como un ejercicio mimético situado en la relación problemática establecida en las dinámicas de dominación colonial, un ejercicio que no solo mima-imita cuestiones genéricas deformándolas en el proceso mismo de constitución del texto, sino que se inscribe en una serie de problemas de corte ideológico entre colonizadores y colonizados. Este ejercicio no sólo mima cuestiones genéricas (textuales, literarias), sino que también se inscribe en la necesidad de explicitar cierta autoridad epistemológica y representaciones del poder de parte de unos y otros.

Propongo una lectura planteando cómo este ejercicio mimético está condicionado por las relaciones de poder entre las colonias y la metrópolis y alcanzan a todas las instituciones coloniales, siendo una de ellas la literatura. En tal práctica, como en toda relación de poder hay siempre un punto de fuga, de resistencia, en el cual se utilizan los modelos dominantes para desnudar las estrategias de dominación.

Sigüenza y Góngora, a la hora de re-presentar (en el sentido de re-situar, de volver a situar) la colonia respecto de la metrópolis, utilizará el modelo del relato de viajes. En un ingenioso desplazamiento geográfico que se da a través del recorrido de Alonso Ramírez, Sigüenza establecerá las islas Filipinas como la periferia de Nueva España. Hará transitar a su personaje por fuera del poder metropolitano peninsular, por fuera de los habituales circuitos recorridos para de ese modo consolidar una afirmación de la existencia del Nuevo Mundo. El escritor recorrerá la periferia de la periferia del imperio con el afán de ubicar, de definir, de situar al Nuevo Mundo en la historia haciendo transitar a su personaje por fuera del poder metropolitano. Hablando del mundo, de la periferia del mundo, Sigüenza habla de México, sitúa a México en el circuito cultural, propone un movimiento de “metropolización” de la ciudad en relación a otra periferia desplazando, descentrando el imperio y volviéndolo a centrar al establecer la existencia de este otro suburbio en un hábil delineamiento de lo que llamaré “geografía poscolonial”.

Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 till 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.

During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya (Los enemigos), Colonial Mexico (Aguila Real), Spanish (Bodas de sangre), French (The Little Prince), and English (Under the Bridge). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.

On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”

Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world such as Mesoamerica and that of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards and a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. In the Spring 2012, the Gigi Caucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series will sponsor a two-day conference titled “2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes:  Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde.”  For more conference details, visit

El jardín de las delicias, Tlaxcala