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Mary E. Barnard

Associate Professor of Spanish

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1180


Mary E. Barnard earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, with a specialization in the lyric poetry of early modern Spain. Her research interests include visual and material culture, the poetry of ruins, text and image in early modern print culture, and the interconnections of classical myth and cultural and intellectual history under the Habsburgs. She is the author of The Myth of Apollo and Daphne from Ovid to Quevedo: Love, Agon, and the Grotesque (Duke University Press). Her book, Garcilaso de la Vega and the Material Culture of Renaissance Europe (University of Toronto Press) was selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2015. As a pioneer of the “new poetry” of Renaissance Europe, aligned with the court, empire, and modernity, Garcilaso was fully attuned to the collection and circulation of luxury artifacts and other worldly goods. This volume explores how a variety of objects, including tapestries, paintings, statues, urns, mirrors, and relics serve as sites of discourse for social networking, for engaging cultural memory, and for examining the connections between orality and writing, between history and the ideology of empire. She edited, with Frederick A. de Armas, Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain (University of Toronto Press). This collection of essays originated with a series of panels she organized for the Renaissance Society of America Conference. Her current book project, A Poetry of Things: The Material Lyric in Habsburg Spain, forthcoming with the University of Toronto Press, extends her interest in material culture to canonical and non-canonical poets of early modern Spain, including Francisco de Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, Juan de Arguijo, and Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza. 

Her scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in PMLARenaissance Quarterly, Hispanic ReviewRevista de Estudios HispánicosBulletin of Hispanic Studies, among others, and she has contributed chapters to edited collections. She has received grants from the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC), the American Council of Learned Societies, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Among her internal grants are an H. Rubinstein University Endowed Fellowship in the Humanities and a research fellowship from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

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