professor kirk

Stephanie Kirk

Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature
PhD, New York University
research interests:
  • Literature & culture of colonial Latin America & the early modern Atlantic world, with a focus on gender studies & religion

contact info:

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1077
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899
image of book cover

​Professor Kirk's main teaching and research interests include the literature and culture of colonial Latin America with a focus on gender studies and religion. She is the author of two books.

Stephanie Kirk earned her Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from New York University. Her main teaching and research interests include the literature and culture of colonial Latin America with a focus on gender studies and religion. She is the author of two books: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Gender Politics of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico (Routledge, 2016) and Convent Life in Colonial Mexico: A Tale of Two Communities (Florida UP, 2007).  She has also published numerous articles and essays on gender and religious culture in colonial Mexico, and on the life and work of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She has edited two collected volumes: Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas (Penn Press, 2014) and Estudios coloniales en el siglo XXI: Nuevos itinerarios (IILI, 2011). She is currently preparing a translation and critical edition of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora’s convent chronicle Paraíso occidental. Stephanie Kirk is the editor of the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos.

Selected Publications

Books

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Gender Politics of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico. Routledge, 2016.
Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas, ed by Stephanie Kirk and Sarah Rivett. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
Convent Life in Colonial Mexico: A Tale of Two Communities. Florida University Press, 2007.

Articles and Book Chapters

“The Gendering of Knowledge in New Spain: Enclosure, Women’s Education, and Writing.” Routledge Research Companion to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Eds. Emilie Bergmann and Stacey Schlau. Routledge, 2017.
“Benedict XIV and New World Convent Reform.” The Enlightenment and Benedict XIV: Art, Science and Spirituality. Eds. Rebecca Messbarger et al. University of Toronto Press, 2016.
“Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Filotea de la Cruz and the Construction of Clerical Masculinity in Colonial Mexico.” Lives and Works of Early Modern Women. Eds. Adrienne Martín and María Cristina Quintero. Artepoética Press, 2015.
“Gender and the Writing of Piety in New Spain.” American Literary History 26 (1) Spring 2014: 6‐27.
“Mapping the Hemispheric Divide: The Colonial Americas in a Collaborative Context.” PMLA, Vol. 128, no. 4, October 2013.
“Theorizing Transatlantic Religious Women’s Writing: Imperial Crossing and the Production of Knowledge.” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 8, 2013 (with Mónica Díaz): 53‐84.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Gender Politics of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Gender Politics of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico

Each of the book's five chapters evokes a colonial Mexican cultural and intellectual sphere: the library, anatomy and medicine, spirituality, classical learning, and publishing and printing. Using an array of literary texts and historical documents and alongside secondary historical and critical materials, the author Stephanie Kirk demonstrates how Sor Juana used her poetry and other works to inscribe herself within the discourses associated with these cultural institutions and discursive spheres and thus challenge the male exclusivity of their precepts and precincts. Kirk illustrates how Sor Juana subverted the masculine character of erudition, writing herself into an all-male community of scholars. From there, Sor Juana clearly questions the gender politics at play in her exclusion, and undermines what seems to be the inextricable link previously forged between masculinity and institutional knowledge. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the Gender Politics of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico opens up new readings of her texts through the lens of cultural and intellectual history and material culture in order to shed light on the production of knowledge in the seventeenth-century colonial Mexican society of which she was both a product and an anomaly.