Esther M. Villegas de la Torre, PhD
Historian, Linguist, Theorist, Teacher
I am originally from Valencia, Spain, but my passion for knowledge and all things foreign led me to leave my beautiful, coastal hometown in my teens, in order to complete my education in the UK. My area of expertise lies in the field of Early Modern Studies: I graduated with a first-class honours bachelor's degree in Hispanic Studies from The University of Manchester; my MA (also in Hispanic Studies) and PhD in Luso-Hispanic Intellectual and Cultural History were fully funded by The University of Manchester and The University of Nottingham. In addition, I have proven interests in the field of Language Studies: I have qualifications and experience in ELE teaching and writing, as well as in translation and interpreting.
More specifically, my research investigates premodern knowledge practices and their dissemination via publication from an interdisciplinary, comparative stance, rooted in new advances in book history. My doctoral thesis, Women and the Republic of Letters in the Luso-Hispanic World, 1447-1700 (Nottingham, 2012), sought to correct the gender imbalance in Luso-Hispanic book history by charting the rise and consolidation of women's authority, especially as authors, in Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish, within the Respublica litteraria, with parallels from England, France, and Italy (see under 'Publications'). Following my doctoral studies, I was invited to collaborate on a number of international research projects, led from three different countries (the UK, France, and Spain), and in February 2019, I was awarded one of the prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships, hosted by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, to support my new research. Building on my doctoral findings, #REVERE revisits the Respublica litteraria in the seventeenth century transnationally, with a focus on women's scholarly and commercial contributions via print across the Anglo and Luso-Hispanic contexts (see under 'Projects').
I have presented my work widely and my best (hopefully) through publication in English and Spanish. In October 2018, for instance, I was commissioned by Editorial Austral to produce an edited anthology of premodern poetry by women publishing in several language traditions, in Spanish translation, within a five-part anthology series on women's poetry from Sappho to the twentieth century. Drawing on my doctoral findings, El canto de la décima Musa: Poesías del Renacimiento y el Barroco (Barcelona, 2020) showcases a representative corpus by four sixteenth-century and four seventeenth-century leading poets, whose work was originally published in English, French, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish. The anthology appeared along with Grecorromanas: Lírica superviviente de la Antigüedad clásica and Gacelas de arena: Poesías árabes de la Edad de Oro, edited and translated by Aurora Luque and Margarida Castells Criballés, respectively. A sample is available under 'News & Resources'. In addition to my research-led publications, I have a significant number relating to the field of Spanish Language Studies, based on four modern Hispanic novels and three films. This material can be found at dolanguages.com.
Last but not least, I consider teaching and its pedagogy essential parts of my scholarly work - i.e. in October 2022, I joined The European Commission as an expert evaluator for the MSCA European and global fellowships, as well as Nagwa Ltd. as a lead Spanish content writer. At tertiary level, specifically, my most recent experience includes running, from scracth, research-led undergraduate seminars and a master's course in gender and sexuality studies (literature focus), as well as leading core undergraduate lectures on early modern Hispanic literary culture at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.