Current Research

My current projects include:

  • Collaboration with Antoni Biosca i Bas (University of Alicante) to prepare a critical edition and English translation of the Disputa del bisbe de Jaen contra los jueus sobre la fe catolica, an anonymous fifteenth-century Valencian work attributed by popular tradition to an apocryphal thirteenth-century saint, Sant Pere Pasqual (now referred to as Pseudo Pere Pasqual).
  • Work on a short biography (for Reaktion Press) of Abu Abdallah Muhammad, also known as Muhammad XI (or formerly, XII), popularly known as “Boabdil,” the last Muslim ruler of Nasrid Granada, who handed over the kingdom to Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1492.
  • Collaboration with Jorge Ledo (Basel) and Cándida Ferrero Hernández (Barcelona) to prepare a critical edition of the Confutación del Alcoran y secta mahometana (Confutation of the Qur’an and the Muhammadan Sect) by Lope de Obregón (Granada, 1555). This work is under contract with Brill for the series “Heterodoxia Iberica.”
  • Work on a monograph, tentatively entitled In the Name of the Father: Translation and Anxiety in Medieval Castile, 1252-1369, that studies the intersection of translation and the politics of dynastic succession in Castile between the reigns of Alfonso X and Pedro I of Castile. This project focuses on the writing at the court of King Alfonso X (ruled 1252-84) and the two generations after his rule, tracing the intersection of power, language, and identity in his compositions and translations from Arabic. I argue that beginning with Alfonso’s reign and continuing for nearly a century after (including Sancho IV, the Libro del Caballero Zifar, Juan Manuel, and Sem Tob de Carrión), translation became in Castilian writing a tool of conquest and polemic, a secular and often political form of supersession. To substantiate this argument, my analysis of the discourse of translation (both translations themselves and discussions of translation by writers) during and immediately following Alfonso’s reign focuses on two different but related concerns: genealogical purity and literary authorship. I argue that these two concerns served as a means to insert political discourse into otherwise non-political texts. While earlier studies have focused on Alfonso’s use of translation as a tool for political power, my study will connect this strategy to literary discourses of genealogy and to Castile’s own troubled dynastic politics.
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