Felipe Valencia
Assistant Professor of Spanish 

Contact Information:
0720 Old Main Hill
Utah State University
Logan, Ut  84322-0720

Office: Main 002A


Ph.D., Brown University, 2013
A.M., Brown University, 2010
Lic. (B.A.), Complutense University of Madrid, 2006 


Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Utah State University, 2015-present

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish, Swarthmore College, 2013-2015


Research Interests

·         Early modern Spanish and colonial Latin American literature

·         Renaissance Poetics and Rhetoric

·         Poetry

·         Lyric theory

·         Melancholy

·         Early modern medicine

·         Tragedy

·         Pastoral

·         Góngora

·         Cervantes


Research Summary

My book project, tentatively titled The Melancholy Void: Lyric and Poetics in Age of Góngora, proposes a new interpretation of the great period of crisis and change in Hispanic poetry. Roughly situated between 1580 and 1620, this period was marked by daring new poetic languages and heated controversies, and is best exemplified by Góngora’s work and impact. I contend that a key and hitherto overlooked development that enabled these changes was the emergence of the lyric as a defined category in poetic theory. My research shows that the interest on lyric theory that began in the 1560s was not only simultaneous, but rather closely linked, with the interest in melancholy in many disciplines—medicine, politics, theology, poetics, astrology and occultism— that intensified in the 1560s as well. Melancholy, as a notion where different disciplines converged, lent itself as a privileged site to think of poetry and the poet in their full affective, physical, political, ethical and religious complexity. Due to the centrality of melancholy in poetic thinking of the time, the lyric headed in the direction of the introspective and subjective qualities that we have come to associate with the mode since Romanticism. Yet, as recent research and my own demonstrate, the attention to melancholy at the end of the 16th century focused on its negative aspects. Thus, the lyric also became associated with darker stances in aesthetics, politics, ethics and religion. The Melancholy Void explores the lyric’s difficult predicament, and brings early modern philosophy, medicine, astrology, political theory and ethics to bear in the reading of early modern poetry and poetics. Breaking with the lyric and major-author bias of modern criticism, the book examines collections of lyric, such as those by Juan de Arguijo and Francisco de la Torre, but also epic poems, such as La Araucana by Ercilla, the Polifemo and the Soledades by Góngora, and works that alternate prose and verse, like Cervantes’s pastoral romance La Galatea and Diego Dávalos y Figueroa’s Miscelánea austral in Peru.


Other research interests include the relevance of medicine in early modern discussions of poetry; the intersection of political and poetic theory in Spanish Senecan tragedies at the turn of the 17th century; and the importance of Erasmus’s thought in the conception of friendship and the relationship between writer and reader in Lazarillo, Cervantes, Alemán and Quevedo.


Courses Taught

Span 3300: Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Literary Analysis

Span 3600: Survey of Spanish Literature I: Medieval and Early Modern



Peer-reviewed articles

“‘Furor’, ‘industria’ y límites de la palabra poética en La Numancia de Cervantes.” Special issue: El teatro profano del siglo XVI. Ed. Julio Vélez-Sainz. Forthcoming in Criticón (2016).

“Las ‘muchas (aunque bárbaras)’ voces líricas de La Araucana y la índole poética de una ‘historia verdadera’.” Revista de estudios hispánicos 49.1 (2015): 147-71.

“‘Acoged blandamente mi suspiro’: El beso de almas en la poesía petrarquista española del siglo XVI.” Dicenda: Cuadernos de Filología Hispánica 26 (2008): 259-90.


Manuscripts under peer-review

“‘No se puede saber nada’: Sincerity, ‘Persona’ and Theory of the Lyric in Cervantes’s La Galatea (1585).”


Book reviews

In Revista de estudios hispánicos 48.3 (2014): 43-46: review of Isabel Torres, Love Poetry in the Spanish Golden Age: Eros, Eris and Empire (2013).

In Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry 18.3 (2013): 165-70: review of David R. Castillo, Baroque Horrors: Roots of the Fantastic in the Age of Curiosities (2010) and Christopher D. Johnson, Hyperboles: The Rhetoric of Excess in Baroque Literature and Thought (2010).

In Dicenda: Cuadernos de Filología Hispánica 29 (2011): 331-33: review of Adrienne Laskier Martín, An Erotic Philology of Golden Age Spain (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2008).

Curriculum Vitae