University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics

Faculty - Catherine Connor

Catherine Connor

Catherine Connor

Professor of Spanish

  • Ph.D. University of Missouri - Columbia
  • C.V.
Area of expertise

Early Modern Spanish Literature and Culture; Performance Studies; Embodied-Mind Approaches to Studying Culture and Cognition.

Contact Information
Email: Catherine Connor
Office: 522 Waterman

Office Hours: Tues. and Thurs. 1:15-2:15; and by appointment

Catherine Connor came to the University of Vermont in 1998 after serving thirteen years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since arriving at UVM, she has taught Spanish majors and minors, introducing them to writing and reading about the literatures and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Moreover, she has regularly taught more advanced courses on the legacies of Spain’s multicultural past and cultural residues in literature or other cultural artifacts into the early modern period. In this sense, her years of scholarly research have informed her teaching as well as her publications.

Her scholarship in the 1980s dealt with the cultural traditions of Spanish humanists, with the lives and works of early Spanish women writers and with the periods of cultural cooperation in Spain. She has been interested in the roots of modern Spanish relations of class, gender and ethnicity, particularly with regard to the legacies of Judeo-Islamic and Christian cultures in Spain. Her scholarship in those areas culminated in numerous articles and the book Spanish Christian Cabala: The Works of Luis de León, Santa Teresa de Jesús, and San Juan de la Cruz. By the 1990s, most of Catherine’s publications explored new ways of interpreting cultural and gender relations in Spanish literature and in probing interpretative differences between performing classic plays and reading them. She was among the first scholars of Spanish drama to investigate how conditions of performance and differences among audiences necessarily alter the supposed interpretive unity and national identity of early Spanish theater.

In publications on the cultural and gender differences among audience members, she has demonstrated the range of interpretative meanings that individual spectators and performers create beyond the texts of classic plays. Since 2000, her publications in those areas naturally led to her inquiries into the field broadly known as embodied cognitive studies, i.e. how our bio-culturally developed mind-in-body experiences shape how we think and feel. Thus Catherine’s most recently published essays and current book project integrate spectator-performance studies and with growing evidence from a vast range of neural-humanistic research on how we all enact life and art.