Participant Info

First Name
Esther M.
Last Name
Villegas de la Torre
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Website URL
Fifteenth-, Sixteenth-, and Seventeenth-Century Cultural and Intellectual History, Female Authorship, Critical Theory, Gender Studies, Comparative and Transnational Approaches.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

My area of expertise lies in the field of Cultural History, with a focus on the interface of authorship, publication, and gender during the late medieval and early modern period, from a comparative, transnational stance. My doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Women and the Republic of Letters in the Luso-Hispanic World, 1447-1700’, was supervised by Prof. Jeremy Lawrance at the University of Nottingham; my examiners were Dr Glyn Redworth and Prof. Catherine Davies. This work charted, chiefly through a study of paratexts, the rise and consolidation of the image and position of women as authors, in Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish, within the new república literaria in the Spanish empire 1447–1700, with parallels from England, France and Italy — I am currently revising this work to be published as a research monograph, The Rise of the Woman Author: Publication in the Early Modern Iberian World. My new research, furthermore, examines authorial and editorial practices in seventeenth-century literary production, with a focus on women authors in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Following my doctoral studies, I participated in two important research projects. I collaborated on the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Library of the Count-Duke of Olivares: A Mirror of Power, Patronage, and Baroque in Golden Age Spain’. Thereafter, I was invited to join the ANR-funded project, ‘Les Idées du Théâtre’ (2011-2015), which constructed a history of drama precepts in Europe (1500-1700); the Spanish division was led by Professors Anne Cayuela and Christophe Couderc from Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3 ILCEA and Université Paris Ouest Nanterre GREAC, respectively. For this latter project, I edited a number of paratexts from Tragicomedia: los jardines y campos Sabeos (Lisboa, 1627), by Feliciana Enríquez de Guzmán. I am currently a research fellow in a MINECO-funded project on the rise of female authority at court and the convent, led by Prof. María Morrás (University of Oxford / Universitat Pompeu Fabra) — my role is to examine its manifestation in contemporary female-authored print publications.

In addition, I have proven interests in Spanish language teaching (I was trained at The University of Manchester and the Instituto Cervantes) and translation, and regularly engage in the writing and teaching of Spanish as a foreign language (using literature and film) at AS/2 and university-degree levels.

Recent Publications

‘Autoría femenina y campo literario en la primera mitad del siglo XVII’, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. Forthcoming.

‘Gender in Early Constructions of Authorship, 1447-1518’, El autor en la modernidad, special issue of Theory Now: Journal of Literature, Critique and Thought. 1, 2, Jan. 2019, pp. 33-50.

‘Writing Literature for Publication, 1605-1637’, in A Maturing Market: The Iberian Book World in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century, ed. A. S. Wilkinson & A. Ulla Lorenzo (Leiden: Brill, 2017), pp. 124-40.

‘Transatlantic Interactions: Seventeenth-Century Women Authors and Literary Self-Consciousness’, in Identity, Nation, Discourse: Latin American Women Writers and Artists, ed. C. Taylor (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2009), pp. 104-21.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Iberian Peninsula (main), England (main), France (secondary), Italy (secondary), and Mexico (main).
Expertise by Geography
Central America, England, France, Spain, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Medieval, Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Gender, Women