Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez


Ph.D., M.A. University of Michigan, Spanish Literature
B. A. University of Huelva (Spain), English Literature & Linguistics


I specialize in medieval and early modern literature with an emphasis on 15th century Iberia. My research interests include literary and cultural representations of love and death, courtly love literature, and early modern literacy. Beyond medieval studies, my research interests also extend to Pilgrimage Studies, Material Culture, and Linguistics.

I have published on the literary reception of Don Quijote in 18th century England, on the connections between early modern desire and death, and on early modern narratives of mourning. I have presented conference papers in Europe and the US on reading practices in Cervantes' time, epistolary writing, exile, courtly love, spectatorship theory, narratives of mourning, the material culture of pilgrimage, and narratology. I've also assisted with a critical edition of a popular Golden Age drama by Lope de Vega, Las bizarrías de Belisa (Ediciones Cátedra). My research currently focuses on the intersections among semiotics, material culture, and medieval literature, and on narratives of personal transformation on the Camino de Santiago.

I particularly enjoy working with students as they pursue individual areas of interest. I have directed a variety of independent studies on Iberian Medieval Studies and Linguistics. Recent topics include: Medieval Suffering, Medieval Literary Theory, the Cult of Death in Medieval Iberia, and the Middle Ages in Modern Visual Arts. In Linguistics I have worked with students on the evolution of Spanish from the Ibero-Roman Period to the Middle Ages, Sociolinguistics of the Southern Cone of Latin American, and Sociolinguistics of Cuban and Mexican Spanish in the United States

In addition, I have served as the director of numerous Senior Theses and Senior Honors Theses. Recent topics include: Muslims in Al-Andalus, humanistic responses to death, the ambivalence of the beloved in Courtly Love literature, verbal and non-verbal communication in 15th Century Iberia, Medieval memory and violence, lovesickness in love poetry, and heroes and saints in Medieval Iberia.

I enjoy engaging with students both inside and outside of class. On campus I have served as the academic adviser of OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students), faculty adviser of the Spanish Language and Culture Living Community in Duke Residence Hall, and as a member of ODK (Omicron Delta Kappa). I have been honored to have been named John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Assistant Professor, and to have received the Student Government Association Pre-Major Faculty Advising Award.


My research interests inform my teaching as well. Since coming to Davidson in 2004, I have taught a variety of courses on Spanish language, culture, and literature.

SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish
SPA 260 Conversation and Composition
SPA 270 Textual Analysis
SPA 302 Advanced Grammar
SPA 303 Advanced Grammar and Composition
SPA 320 Spanish Literature Through the Golden Age
SPA 354 Dying of Love in Medieval Spain
SPA 357 Spain's Cultural Identity: The Country Behind the Myths
SPA 357 Cultures of Southern Spain
SPA 361 Cultures and Civilizations of Spain
SPA 402 Transformation and Travel in Spain
SPA 490 Geographies of Emotion in Medieval Iberia