University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Exploring the Underworld of Golden Age Spain with Miguel Cervantes

Date & Time:
September 27, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Senate Room, 7th floor Hotel Alma
Mary Elizabeth Perry is the author of four books on Spanish history:  Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville; Crime and Society in Early Modern Seville; The Handless Maiden:  Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain; and, with Anne Cruz, Culture and Control in Counter-Reformation Spain.  She taught Spanish and European history for many years at Occidental College in Los Angeles.  Now retired, she continues to teach occasional seminars. She is also writing a novel based on the people that she met in the archives and in the writings of Miguel Cervantes.

“Exploring the Underworld of Golden Age Spain with Miguel Cervantes” begins with recognizing the critical roles of two dogs, Scippio and Berganza, and also two runaway boys, Rincon and Cortado because these four were my long ago introduction to “little people” who played such an important role in Spanish history, but are often excluded as “non-historical.” I read their stories as a special challenge to acknowledge and try to explain the importance of Miguel Cervantes’ writings for my own historical work on thieves and killers, prostitutes and the persecution of Moriscos, plus a brutal father who ordered the amputation of his daughter’s arms.