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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Maya Feile Tomes

Photo of Dr Maya Feile Tomes
Fellow, Christ’s College
Teaching Associate in Colonial Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies
Director of Studies in Spanish and Portuguese, Emmanuel College
Spanish & Portuguese
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 

Faculty of Modern & Medieval
Languages and Linguistics

Room 301
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom


Maya Feile Tomes is Teaching Associate in Colonial Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages & Linguistics (Spanish & Portuguese Section) and Director of Studies in Spanish and Portuguese at Emmanuel College. She originally read Classics at King’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently became Junior Research Fellow in Classics and Modern Languages at Christ’s College, Cambridge, upon completion of her PhD in 2017. Her research focuses on the literary culture of the early modern Iberian world (C16th-18th) across the global colonial context – with particular emphasis on the Hispanic sphere – in plurilingual perspective (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Latin). She is especially interested in the representation of ‘new world’ space, and the emergence of America as a literary space, in early modern poetry. Select publications in this area are listed below. Current projects include an edition for OUP of the texts of the C16th ‘Valladolid Debate’ conducted between Bartolomé de las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, which will be the first time that these key texts have been made fully available in English. As well as her many years in Cambridge she has lived or spent time in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy and, most recently, Belgium. Teaching in 2020-21 will include Sp3 and Sp7.

Research interests: 

Early modern Iberian global literature

Comparative literature

Poetry (esp. epic) and poetics

Colonial studies

Literary culture of the Southern Cone (esp. Argentina)

Classical reception

Published works: 

Selected publications:

Neo-Latin America: the poetics of the ‘New World’ in early modern epic.
Támesis (in preparation). Winner of the 2018-19 Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland (AHGBI) and Spanish Embassy Publication Prize.

Sepúlveda on the Conquest of the Indies, eds Luke Glanville, David Lupher and Maya Feile Tomes. Oxford University Press (under contract).

Brill’s Companion to Classics in the Early Americas, eds Matthew Duquès, Maya Feile Tomes and Adam Goldwyn. Brill (under contract).

‘A lady of letters? Re-reading “Clarinda” in the light of Ovid. Putting the Discurso en loor de la poesía back into the Parnaso Antártico (1608)’ (in preparation).

‘The other arena: poetics goes global in the early modern Iberian Atlantic, 1500-1650+’, in Artes Poeticae: Formations and Transformations 1500-1650, eds Micha Lazarus and Vladimir Brljak (in press).

‘Plurilingual poetry and the hinterland of intertextuality: Europeanising reading culture in the early modern Iberian world’, pp. 227-48 in The Edinburgh History of Reading (vol. 1: Early Readers), ed. Mary Hammond. Edinburgh: EUP (2020).

‘The angel and Ameri(c)a: performing the “New World” in José Manuel Peramás’s De Invento Novo Orbe (1777)’, pp. 121-46 in Changing Hearts: Performing Jesuit Emotions between Europe, Asia and the Americas, eds Yasmin Haskell and Raphaële Garrod. Leiden/Boston: Brill (2019).

‘Südamerika: Die spanischsprachigen Länder’, pp. 920-32 in Der neue Pauly. Das 18. Jahrhundert: Lexikon zur Antikerezeption in Aufklärung und Klassizismus, eds Joachim Jacob and Johannes Süßmann. Stuttgart/Weimar: J. B. Metzler (2018).