Professor Emerita of Spanish

Catherine Connor came to UVM in 1998 (after serving thirteen years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and retired in 2017. At UVM she taught Spanish majors and minors, introducing them to writing and reading about the literatures and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. She regularly taught 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.
Catherine's scholarship in the 1980s dealt with the cultural traditions of Spanish humanists, the lives and works of early Spanish women writers and 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, Catherine 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 bioculturally developed mind-in-body experiences shape how we think and feel. 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.



Spanish Christian Cabala: The Works of Luis de León, Santa Teresa de Jesús, and San Juan de la Cruz. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, December 1986 - January 1987.

Books in Progress

“Cervantes Re-Membering Don Quixote

 “Performing & Spectating: Embodied Cognition & Early Modern Women”

Book Chapters:  

“Gendered Gazing: Zayas and Caro Go Back to the Future of the Artful Brain and Body," Prismatic Reflections on Spanish Golden Age Theater. Ed. Gwyn E. Campbell and Amy R. Williamsen. New York: Ibérica Series 44, Peter Lang, 2016. 151-63. Print.

“Why Autopoiesis and Memory Matter to Cervantes, Don Quijote and the Humanities,” Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature. Ed. Isabel Jaen-Portillo and Julian J. Simon. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016.

“Seeing Like Sancho: Embodiment, Cognition and Cervantine Creativity.” Cervantes y su mundo III, ed. A. Robert Lauer and Kurt Reichenberger. Kassel, Germany: Reichenberger, 2005, 61-79.

”Preface,” to Daniel Breining, Censorship and the “Género Chico” Dramas of Sixteenth- Century New Spain.  New York & London:  Edwin Mellen, 2002. ix – xvi.

“Prolegomena to the ‘Popular’ in Early Modern Public Theater: Contesting Power in Lope and Shakespeare.” The Golden Age Comedia: Text, Theory and Performance. Ed. Charles Ganelin and Howard Mancing. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue U P, 1994. pp. 262-75. 

“Hacia una teoría del espectador aurisecular,” [Toward a Theory of the Early Modern Spanish Spectator] in El texto puesto en escena [Staging the Text]. Estudios sobre la comedia del siglo de oro en honor a Everett W. Hesse.  Ed. Barbara Mujica and Anita K. Stoll.  London: Támesis, 2000. pp. 3-13.

"Censorship in Spanish Literature,"Dictionary of the Literature of the Iberian Peninsula. ed. Germán Bleiberg, Maureen Ihrie, and Janet Pérez.  Vol I. Westport, Connecticut & London:  Greenwood P, 1993: 373-78.

Published Essays: Journals and Other Peer-reviewed 

“Beyond Cognition: Don Quijote and Other Embodied Minds.” Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America.” 32.1 (Spring 2012), 231-61).

“Embodying Rape & Violence: Your Mirror Neurons and 2RC Teatro’s Alcalde de Zalamea.” Comedia Performance 7.1 (Spring 2010), 9-52.

“Creative Cognition for Staging Comedia,” Comedia Performance 4.1 (Spring 2007): 67- 96.

“The UnPOSSESSED,” based on Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, performed by Double Edge Theatre (Massachusetts); a performance review in Comedia Performance 4.1 (2007): 237-42.

“Cervantes’ Legacy of Creative Cognition: ‘All Things Are Possible’ (‘Todo puede ser’). CIEFL (Central Institute for English and Foreign Languages, India) guest-editors Sonya Gupta and Antonio Robert Lauer. 2007 Special Number.

“The Scientific Arts of Theater: The Bio-Social World-Theater with Examples from Lope, Calderón and Others.” Bulletin of Comediantes  58.2 (2006 [2007]) 457-67.

“Seeing Red: The Role of Color in Cross-Cultural Performance.”

“Why We Don’t Get No Respect and What We Are Doing about It, or The Rapprochement of Body and Mind and the Return of Comedia Studies” in “Back to Basics” a special section in the Bulletin of Comediantes, ed. Amy Williamsen. 56.1 (2004): 153-62.

“Realities of Art/ Arts of Reality: Taking the Pulse of Cuban Theatre Today.” Latin American Theater Review 38 (spring 2004): 147-57.

“Bridging the Performance Gap: The Body, Cognitive Studies and Comedia Theory.” Bulletin of the Comediantes  55.2 (2003 [2004]): 11-53.

“Thinking/Feeling Ourselves: The Embodied Cognitive Revolution and Some Examples for Gender and Cultural Studies.” Feministas Unidas, 23.2(Fall 2003): 42-47.

 “The Preceptistas and Beyond:  Spectators Making Meanings in the Corral de Comedias.”  Hispania 82.3 (1999): 17-28.

"La Deidad enamorada: Un estudio de los romances 'a lo profano' de San Juan de la Cruz."  Homenaje a Antonio Vilanova, vol. II.  Barcelona: Facultad de Filología, Universidad de Barcelona, 1989.

"Luis de León y el enredo de las letras sagradas: Descifrando el significado de De los nombres de Cristo." Bulletin Hispanique 89 (1987 [1989]): 5-25.

"Rojas' View of Women:  A Reanalysis of La Celestina," Hispanófila 85 (1985): 1-13.

"Doubling, Reincarnation, and Cosmic Order in Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra," Hispanófila 79 (1983): 95-104.

"Terra Nostra:  Carlos Fuentes' Kabbalistic World," Symposium 35 (1981): 155-67.

"A Short-Title Index to Medieval Manuscripts in Bartolomé José Gallardo's Ensayo de una bibliografía de libros raros y curiosos."  La Corónica 7 (1978):  51-55.

Associations and Affiliations

2004-2007 Elected to Executive Committee, Cervantes Society of America
1998-2001 Elected to Executive Committee, Cervantes Society of America
1991-1996 Modern Language Association, Divisional Committee on 16th- & 17th Century Spanish Drama (elected)
1990-1992 Golden Age Drama Symposia, Board of Directors
1987- Association for Classical Hispanic Theater
1987-1990 Board of Directors
1984- Cervantes Society of America
1984-1999 Secretary-Treasurer
1983-1984 Acting Secretary-Treasurer
1986- Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas
1986- Renaissance Society of America
1983- Modern Language Association
1978- American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese
Professor Catherine Connor

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Early modern Spanish literature and culture; performance studies; embodied-mind approaches to studying culture and cognition


  • Ph.D. Spanish, University of Missouri - Columbia


Courses Taught

  • SPAN 052: Intermediate II
  • SPAN 101: Composition and Conversation
  • SPAN 109: Spanish Grammar
  • SPAN 140: Analyzing Hispanic Literatures
  • SPAN 141: Intro to Literature of Spain
  • SPAN 155: Masterworks I
  • SPAN 202: Topics in Spanish Language Study
  • SPAN 235: Golden Age of Drama and Prose: Golden Age Theatre
  • SPAN 235: Perform Early Cultural Identity
  • SPAN 236: Poetic Voices/Cultural Change
  • SPAN 237: Issues in Early Spanish Literature
  • SPAN 246: Reading Cervantes
  • SPAN 291: Early Cultures of Spain
  • SPAN 299: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: The Don Juan Myth
  • SPAN 299: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: Multicultural Spain
  • SPAN 299: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: Spanish Regional Cultures
  • SPAN 299: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: Three Cultures, One Spain?
  • HCOL 185: Honors College Sophomore Seminar: Humanities and Neuroscience
  • WLIT 014: Spanish Literature in Translation: TAP: Legendary Spain