Mary Quinn

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Associate Professor

Department of Spanish and Portuguese


PhD, Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Berkeley

MA, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago

BA, Music, University of California, Davis

BA, Spanish, University of California, Davis


Mary Quinn’s current research focuses on the literary, aural, and visual cultures of early modern Spain.

She is the author of the forthcoming monograph, Sense and Spectacle in the Age of Philip IV: Performing Empire in Word, Music, and Image (Amsterdam University Press), which studies the outpouring of celebrations in the Habsburg Empire upon the 1657 birth of Prince Felipe Próspero. Sense and Spectacle shows that an array of people across the globe took advantage of this festive moment to question the empire’s policies in surprising ways.

Her first book, The Moor and the Novel: Narrating Absence in Early Modern Spain (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), engages both literature and history to uncover fundamental connections between nationalist violence, religious identity, and the birth of the novel. She is co-editor (with Steven Hutchinson) of Aural Culture and Poetics in the Early Modern Hispanic World: Sound, Rhythm and Music, a special double issue of the Bulletin of Spanish Studies. She has also published articles in the journals MLN, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Calíope, ehumanista, and contributed chapters to edited volumes.

Quinn is currently working on a book about Don Quijote for Cambridge University Press’s series, Elements of the Novel. In 2017-2018 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Humanities Institute of University College Dublin, Ireland. She has given invited talks and seminars across North America and Europe. She was recently elected to the board of the Cervantes Society of America (2021-2024).

An award-winning teacher, Quinn is dedicated to her UNM students and takes great joy in helping them puzzle through challenging texts, especially Don Quijote and Baroque poetry. As the only Peninsularist in UNM’s Department of Spanish & Portuguese, she teaches courses on Spanish literature and culture from the pre-modern period through the twenty-first century. Her pedagogical enthusiasm stems from her belief that engagement in the humanities makes for a better world.

Research Interests

  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Music (vihuela, Baroque zarzuela, Baroque opera) and sound studies
  • Painting (Rubens and Velázquez)
  • Festival culture of the 17th-century Habsburg Empire


Phone: 505-277-5907
Fax: 505-277-3885

Physical Address

Room N/A
Ortega Hall
Building # 79 on the UNM map

Mailing Address

1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1070