María Antonia Garcés

Professor of Hispanic Studies

mg43@cornell.edumg43 Office: KLR K367 Phone: email only

MARÍA ANTONIA GARCÉS, Professor of Hispanic Studies; she holds a Ph.D. in Spanish and Renaissance Studies from the Johns Hopkins University (1994) and M.A. in English from Georgetown University (1987). Professor Garcés is a specialist in Cervantes and early modern Spanish literatures and cultures, with a distinguished record in publications spanning both Iberian and Hispanic American Colonial Studies. Appealing to history, literary theory, and cultural studies, her interdisciplinary work is enriched by additional contributions from psychoanalysis. Her research interests lie at the thresholds between cultural and religious traditions, such as the encounters between Christianity and Islam in Spain and the Mediterranean. Her attention to such issues has pressured her to study the question of the frontiers between geopolitical territories and communities, including the interactions between Christians and Muslims in North Africa. Her studies extend to the frontiers between autobiography and fiction in literary texts, such as those by Cervantes.
In 2003, Professor Garcés was awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) for her book Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale (Vanderbilt University Press, 2002; 2nd ed. 2005), a study of Cervantes’s Algerian captivity (1575-1580) and its effects on his fiction. This is the highest award conferred by the MLA to an outstanding book in any field of literary studies, published by one of its 33,000 members across the world. Her own revised and expanded translation of her original English book was published in Spain by Editorial Gredos in 2005: Cervantes en Argel: historia de un cautivo.
María Antonia Garcés’ archival research in Spain, Portugal, Malta, Sicily, and Italy has produced another major project on the socio-political world of Algiers and its relations with the Muslim and Christian Mediterranean, An Early Modern Dialogue with Islam: Antonio de Sosa’s Topography of Algiers (1612) (The University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). Funded by a $150,000,00 USD Collaborative Research Grant from the United States National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH), this collaborative project (with Professor Diana de Armas Wilson, translator) involved preparing a critical edition and English translation of two books from Sosa’s riveting five-volume work, composed during his captivity in Algiers in the 1570s.
In addition to these scholarly projects, Professor Garcés has published two books on the traditional gastronomy of the Cauca Valley in Colombia and some forty essays on Cervantes, Montaigne, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Guaman Poma de Ayala, and Juan Rodríguez Freyle in book collections and peer-reviewed academic journals―the last three authors are Mestizo, Indigenous, and Spanish American chroniclers of the Conquest.
Besides the NEH Collaborative Research Grant for the critical edition and English translation of Antonio de Sosa’s Topographia, e historia general de Argel (1612), Professor Garcés has held fellowships and grants from the Fulbright Program (Spain, 2004); the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities (2002, 2007);
and the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University (1997-1998; 2008).
In April 2009, Professor Garcés was interviewed and filmed by Danish Public TV for a documentary titled White Slaves, Muslim Corsairs, which was broadcast in 2011-2012 in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Czechoslovakia, among other European countries: María Antonia Garcés is currently working on a book on “renegades” (converts to Islam) in the early modern Mediterranean.

• Member Board of Directors of the International Institute in Spain, 2011-2014.
• Member Executive Council of the Cervantes Society of America, 2009-2011.
• Documentary: Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Director Anna Elizabeth Jessen, filmed and interviewed Professor Garcés on her book Cervantes in Algier for a documentary titled White Slaves, Muslim Pirates [Hvide Slaver], co-produced with the University of Copenhagen, Public Norwegian TV, Finnish TV, Icelandic TV, and Czech TV. This documentary was aired in 2011-2012 in various European countries.

• NEH Collaborative Research Grant for $150,000.00 USD, for a critical edition and translation of Antonio de Sosa’s Topographia, e historia general de Argel (1612), translated Diana de Armas Wilson (2007-2012).
• Abraham and Henrietta Brettschneider Oxford-Cornell Exchange Scholar, Oxford University, November 2007.
• Fulbright Fellow, Grant for archival research conducted in Spain, July-December 2004.
• MLA James Russell Lowell Prize (2003) awarded to Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale for an outstanding book in literary studies published in 2002.

Recent Courses

  • Cervantes’s Mediterranean: Combat, Captivity, Conversion
  • Holy Wars in the 16th- and 17th-Century Mediterranean
  • Tales of Love and Lust
  • Survey of Early Modern Iberian Literatures and Cultures
  • The Mediterranean in the Time of Cervantes
  • Cervantes: Don Quijote
  • Sin, Crime, and Scandal in Early Modern Hispanic Fictions
  • Spanish Golden Age Drama: Text, Theory, and Performance
  • Literatures of the Conquest

Research Interests

  • Early Modern Iberian literatures and cultures
  • Colonial Hispanic American literatures and cultures
  • Mediterranean Studies
  • Psychoanalysis and Trauma Studies
  • Cultural Studies

Selected Publications

  • Con cagüinga y con callana. Rescatando la cocina perdida del Valle del Cauca, 2nd rev. ed. Vol. of Biblioteca Básica de Cocinas Tradicionales de Colombia (17 vol.). Bogotá: Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia, 2013. 142 pp.
  • Cervantes en Argel: historia de un cautivo, Madrid: Gredos, 2005. 457 pp. [My own revised and expanded translation of Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale, 2002].
  • Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2002, 2005. xvi + 349 pp. Winner of the 2003 Modern Language Association of America’s James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding book in literary studies published in English, in 2002.
  • An Early Modern Dialogue with Islam: Antonio de Sosa’s Topography of Algiers (1612). Edited María Antonia Garcés. Trans. Diana de Armas Wilson. Introduction & notes by María Antonia Garcés. Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press, 2011. xxiii + 400 pp.
Current Research (in progress):
  • Critical English Edition (with Diana de Armas Wilson, translator) of Antonio de Sosa, History of Algiers in the Sixteenth Century (1612).
Selected Essays Published in Book Collections and Journals:
  • “Improvising Identities: Cervantes and the Renegades.” Fordham Cervantes’ Lectures: 50 Years. Ed. Leo Hoar. New York: Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2014.
  • “Luchas imperiales: Las traducciones del Inca Garcilaso (1625-1729).” In Sujetos múltiples: feminismo, indigenismo y colonialidad. Homenaje a Betty Osorio. Edited by Carolina Alzate Cadavid and David Mauricio Solodkow. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes, 2014. 39-82.
  • “Alabado por sus acciones”: Maḥmud Siciliano en El amante liberal.” Special issue Cervantes y el Mediterráneo, Guest editors Steven Hutchinson and Antonio Cortijo, eHumanista/Cervantes 2 (2013): 427-461.
  • “Cautivo y etnógrafo (malgré lui): Antonio de Sosa, autor de la Topografía de Argel (1612).” In La pluma es lengua del alma: Ensayos en honor de E. Michael Gerli. Ed. by José Manuel Hidalgo. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta, 2011. 131-162.
  • “Introduction” to An Early Modern Dialogue with Islam: Antonio de Sosa’s Topography of Algiers (1612). Edited with an Introduction and notes byMaría Antonia Garcés. Translated by Diana de Armas Wilson Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press, 2011. 1-78.
  • “‘Grande amigo mío’: Cervantes y los renegados.” U.S.A. Cervantes. 39 cervantistas en Estados Unidos. Ed. Georgina Dopico-Black and Francisco Layna Ranz. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Ediciones Polifemo, 2009. 533-580.
  • “‘En las manos de Dios y en las del renegado’: Frontiers and Frontier-Characters in Cervantes’ Mediterranean.” Special Issue Cervantes and his Racial Other. Annals of Scholarship 19.2. Guest Editor: Baltasar  Fra-Molinero (2009) [2011]: 79-121
  • “The Translator Translated: Inca Garcilaso and the English Imperial Expansion.” In Travel and Translation in the Early Modern Period. Ed. Carmine de Biase. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006. 203-225.
  • “Cervantes’s Veiled Woman.” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote. Trans. Burton Raffel. Ed. Diana de Armas Wilson. New Norton Critical Edition. New York: Norton, 1998. 821-30.
  • “Poetic Language and the Dissolution of the Subject in La gitanilla and El licenciado Vidriera.” Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry 2. 2 (1996): 85-104.
  • “Writing the Body of Mama Waku: Primal Scenes in Waman Puma.” Special issue La comunicación transatlántica. Guest Editor: Carlos Rincón. Dispositio 18.44 (1994): 125-52.
  • “Coaches, Litters, and Chariots of War: Montaigne and Atahualpa.” Special issue Dissenting Views of 1992. Guest Editor: Diana de Armas Wilson. Journal of Hispanic Philology 16.2 (1992): 155-83.