Emily S. Beck

Associate Professor of Spanish|Director, Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) | Affiliate Faculty, Women and Gender Studies Program | Affiliate Faculty, Comparative Literature Program


Columbia University, New York, NY
Ph.D. in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature and Culture

Columbia University, New York, NY
Ph.D. Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Columbia University, New York, NY
M.A. in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature and Culture

University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. in Comparative Literature, Minor in Spanish Literature, Phi Beta Kappa

Research Interests

My research focuses on Medieval and Early Modern Spain, particularly the chivalric tradition in Iberia and its pan-European context, the court of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand and the Age of the Catholic Monarchs, Iberian religions and la convivenciaof Christians, Jews and Muslims in the peninsula, the intersection of literature, politics, and history, and gender theory. I am interested in works that attempt to define and impose idealized behaviors, and my research examines the implications that these expectations have for those at the margins of Iberian society, including women and minorities. My current book project studies the court of Queen Isabel and explores theories of idealized femininity and masculinity as the Iberian court extended political influence beyond the borders of the Peninsula.

I am committed to active social engagement in the Carolina Lowcountry and Southeastern Region. In 2016, I co-founded the South Carolina Medievalists Group, a group of professional scholars of all disciplines to engage current academic approaches and discuss the state of medieval research and teaching in South Carolina. I teach a service learning course (Span 400) for graduating undergraduates to have the opportunity to complete internships with the Spanish-speaking population in the Charleston region. This course allows students to work one-on-one with immigrants to the area, examine the institutions that serve immigrants, and consider the ways to be active and engaged citizens in our society beyond graduation. Since July 2018, I have served as the Director of the M.Ed. Program in Languages, a cross-disciplinary program offered through the School of Education and the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. The curriculum focuses on the processes of learning languages, develops cross-cultural competency, and helps our graduates to work with speakers of other languages with the most effective strategies and methodologies in language acquisition.

Courses Taught


“Religious Medievalisms in RTVE’s Isabel.” In Premodern Rulers and Postmodern Viewers: Gender, Sex, and Power in Popular Culture. Eds. Janice North, Karl Alvestad, and Elena Woodacre. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018: 159-178.

“Contemplating the Noble Ethos: Implications for Jewish Converts in the Writings of Alfonso de Cartagena,” in Revisiting Convivencia in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia. Ed. Connie L. Scarborough. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2014: 355-372.

“El espejo del estadista traicionero: Reexaminación de Vida de Marco Bruto de Quevedo,” Hispania 97.3 (Fall 2014): 441-451.

“Historiographical Approaches to Iberian Multiculturalism and Castilian Imperialism during the Siglo de Oro,”  eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies 24 (Fall 2013): 479-490.

“Debating Arms and Letters: Curial e Güelfa and Noble Ambitions in the Fifteenth Century,” La corónica 40.1 (2011): 63-85.

“‘Porque oyéndolas les crescian los corazones’: Chivalry and the Power of Stories in Alfonso X and Ramon Llull,” Bulletin of Spanish Studies 88.2 (2011): 159-176.