Carmela Mattza | LSU Foreign Languages and Literatures

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Carmela Mattza 

Associate Professor of Spanish

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2009
Phone: 225-578-6638
Office: 308 Hodges Hall


Carmela V. Mattza is Associate Professor of Spanish at Louisiana State University. She holds a PhD in Spanish from the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Chicago. One of her main research areas is the representation of women in Early Modern Iberia literature. In 2017, her book, Hacia La vida es sueño como Speculum Regina. Isabel de Borbón en la corte de Felipe IV was published by Verbum Editorial in Madrid, Spain.

Since 2018, her research has focused on the interplay of emotions and environment in the Early Modern Period. In «Emotion Object and Space (Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s La vida es sueño and Tang Xianzú’s The Peony Pavillion).» published in 2019, she takes a comparative approach to study the role of dreams, emotions and portraits in the works of two Early Modern playwrighters, Tang Xianzu and Calderón de la Barca. In «Emotional Objects in the Episode of the Cave of Montesinos», published in 2020, she studies Don Quixote’s episode in the cave of Montesinos to show how Don Quixote’s ekphrastic speech depicts displaced objects that Cervantes selects from literary tradition. They are reshaped and reinserted so as to engage with issues such as poetics, emotions and language. 

She is the assistant director of the research project «Aging, Rejuvenation and Environment in Chinese and European Early Modern Literature» at the University of Chicago Yuen Hong Kong Center and MLA Field Fellow Bibliographer.

She has taught a very wide range of classes, and lately Spanish course on environment, food and faith in Spanish culture. She is one of the recipients of the 2020 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Humanities and Social Science.

A more complete list of her publications can be accessed on ORCiD.

Research Areas

Spanish Golden Age drama and prose, in particular, Lope de Vega's tragedies, Calderon de la Barca's mythological comedias and Cervantes's Works.


Translation, Reception and Influence of the Classics in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain.

Presence and influence of Late Medieval Hagiography and Religious Iconography in the Court of the Spanish Hapsburg.

Transatlantic Perspectives and Women Studies in Early Modern Iberia.

Selected Publications


Hacia La vida es sueño como speculum reginae: Isabel de Borbón en la corte de Felipe IV, Madrid,
Verbum Ed., 2017.

Variedades Intermediate/ Advanced Spanish Conversation. Madrid, Editorial Academia del Hispanismo, 2020. Now in Open Access 

Learn more about Variedades and LSU Open Access initiative here: 

Articles and Book Chapters Published in Peer-Review Collections

«Emotional Objects in the Episode of the Cave of Montesinos.» Peculiar Lives in Early Modern
Spain: Essays Celebrating Amy Williamsen, ed. by Robert Bayliss, Judith Caballero, Esther Fernandez and Yuri Porras, New Orleans, University Press of the South, 2020, vol. 1, p. 29-44.

«La revolución de lo ordinario: el yelmo de Mambrino». Anuario de estudios cervantinos, vol. 16, 2020, p. 225-234.

«Emotion, Object and Space (Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s La vida es sueño and Tang Xianzú’s
The Peony Pavillion).» Faraway Settings: Spanish and Chinese Theaters of the 16th and 17th century, ed. by Juan Pablo Gil-Oslé and Frederick A. De Armas. Madrid/Frankfurt, Iberoamericana/Vervuert,  2019, p. 109-136.

«Belleza y guerra: Écfrasis de autoridad, género y poder en La gran Cenobia». Theatralia, vol. 20,
2018, p. 109-122.

«¿Juega Don Quijote al fútbol americano? Apuntes sobre traducción y mediación en la adaptación cultural de Don Quixote para la televisión mexicana.» Cervantès et don Quichotte depuis le XXIe siècle/ Cervantes y don Quijote desde el siglo XXI, ed. Emmanuel Marigno et al. Villeurbanne, France, Editions Orbis Tertius, 2017, p. 241-260.

«A Stage for Isabel de Borbón: From Paris to Aranjuez.» Beyond Spain’s Borders: Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters, ed. Anne J. Cruz and María Cristina Quintero. New York: Routledge, 2016, p. 213-238.

  • Review of Henke, Robert. "Beyond Spain’s Borders: Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters, ed. by Anne J. Cruz and María Cristina Quintero (review)." Bulletin of the Comediantes, vol. 69 no. 2, 2017, p. 133-137. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/boc.2017.0031
  • Review of Thacker, Jonathan. "Beyond Spain’s Borders: Women Players in Early Modern National Theaters ed. by Anne J. Cruz, María Cristina Quintero (review)." Early Modern Women, vol. 13 no. 2, 2019, p. 147-150. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/emw.2019.0028

«Écfrasis y mitología: El mito de Céfiro y Cloris en La vida es sueño». Anuario Calderoniano vol. 8
No. 1, 2015, p. 311-334.

«Las Américas en las Geórgicas de Juan de Guzmán.» Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance
and Baroque Hispanic Poetry, vol. 20 no. 1, 2015, pp. 29-50. Project MUSE, 

Service to the Community and LSU

MLA, LLC 16th- and 17th-Century Spanish and Iberian Drama (D071), Executive Committee Member (2021 – 2026).
MLA IB, Field Bibliographer (2021 to present).
Faculty Adviser for Alpha Lambda, Sigma Delta Pi chapter at LSU  (2012, 2017; 2021 to present).
Co-organizer XIX Cervantes Symposium, Newberry Library April 2021.  
LSU Summer in Spain 2021, Program Director.

Committee Assignments

Committee Member, Faculty Retention and Recruiting Committee/ Minority Faculty Cohort Subgroup. (September 30, 2020 - Present).
Dept. of WLLC, Spanish, Graduate Studies Committee.
Dept. of WLLC, Spanish, B.A. Review Committee.
Faculty Recruiter, LSU DISCOVER Fair Presentation To The Freshmen Class. (August 18, 2021).
Faculty Recruiter, Dean of Students, Summer Presentation. (July 28, 2021).
Committee Chair, Spanish Instructor Hiring. (April 1, 2021 - July 1, 2021).
Committee Chair, Spanish Instructor Hiring. (May 1, 2020 - July 30, 2020).

Awards and Honors

MLA IB Bibliographer Fellow (2017-2020).
2020 Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Humanities and Social Science.
Newberry Library Fellowship, Newberry Library (2015).
Casa De Velazquez Atelier Doctoral Bourse, Casa De Velazquez (2014).

Courses Taught

CPLT 8900 Comparative Literature Independent Study (Don Quixote)
HNRS 2404 Medieval Civilization

HNRS 2406 Renaissance to Revolution
HNRS 4000 Honors Thesis
Span 2155 Commentary of Texts in Spanish 
Span 2156 Advanced Conversation in Spanish 
Span 3010 Spanish Grammar and Composition
Span 3020 Literary Analysis or Introduction to Spanish Literature 
Span 3070 Spanish for Professions
Span 3071 Spanish Literature Survey I – Medieval and Early Modern 
Span 3980 Spanish Culture: Environment, Faith and Culture in Latin America and Spain
Span 4007 Seminar Special Topics in Spanish Medieval Literature
Span 4053 Seminar Special Topics in Spanish Golden Age: Spanish Golden Age Plays 
Span 4053 Seminar Special Topics in Spanish Golden Age: Don Quijote
Span 4915 Independent Study (Cognitive Cervantes)
Span 4915 Independent Study (Representations of Black Bodies in Contemporary Spanish Art, Film and Music)
Span 4915 Independent Study (El Siglo de Oro y el barroco español en la novela corta latinoamericana del siglo XX)
Span 4915 Independent Study (The Question of Honor in Garcia Lorca’s Trilogy)
Span 7950 Graduate Seminar Authority, Power and Wisdom in Medieval & Early Modern Iberia 
Span 7950 Graduate Seminar Ekphrasis and Geography of Authority and Power in Spanish Golden Age Plays
Span 7990 Graduate Seminar Hispanic Criticism and Don Quixote

Recent Conference Presentations

The Sercets of Taste and Likes of Secrets in 16th and 17th Century Spain and the Viceroyalties, international colloquium co-organizer, September 22, 2023. 

«Social Networks‚ Social Distances and Global Connections: Authentic Audiovisual Materials and the Spanish Classroom,» 2021 SAMLA 93, Atlanta, GA, Zoom presentation, Nov. 6, 2021.

«Variedades: Cultural and Literary Awareness in the Spanish classroom,» 2022 Washington Association of Foreign Language Teachers (WAFLT), Seattle, Zoom presentation, October 8, 2021. 

«Del teatro a la Televisión: El Don Quijote de George Almar, » Re-creando el Siglo de Oro: adaptaciones áureas en la literatura y en las artes (música, cine, cómic...)/ Re-creating the Golden Age: Early Modern Spanish adaptations in literature and the arts (music, cinema, comics ...), U of Louisiana, Monroe, GRISO – U de Navarra e IDEA, 1 de octubre de 2021. 

«Para vestir el poder: Isabel Clara Eugenia en Gante,» I CONGRESO INTERNACIONAL DE HISTORIA, ARTE Y DISEÑO DE MODA: MUJERES EN EL PODER; VESTIR EL PODER EN FEMENINO, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Museo del Traje de Madrid, Centro Superior de Diseño de Moda de Madrid, Zoom presentation, April 13, 2021.

«Towards the Development of Cultural Empathy, Analytical Thinking and Global Connections in Spanish Class,» 41st Cincinnati Conference on Romance & Arabic Languages and Literatures, Department of Romance & Arabic Languages and Literatures - University of Cincinnati, Zoom presentation, April 2, 2021.