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Elena Peña-Argüeso

Ph.D. Student

At UNC since 2017
Advised by Professor Carmen Hsu
Dey Hall 217


2019: M.A. Spanish, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2014: M.A. Teaching English as a Foreign Language, University of Sevilla

2013: M.A. English, University of Sevilla

2012: B.A. English Studies, University of Sevilla

About Elena

Elena Peña-Argüeso is Ph.D. candidate and Graduate Teaching Fellow. Her research focuses on the literary and cultural productions of Early Modern Iberian Spain and Colonial Latin America. She is particularly interested in theatre, flamenco, lives of saints, “relaciones de sucesos” (news pamphlets), nation building, the construction of cultural identities, and European expansions and exchanges between Catholic Spain and the Protestant world.


Peer-Reviewed Articles (under review)

“La vida de San Pedro Nolasco de Lope de Vega: un modelo de santidad a través de la hibridación genérica.” Bulletin of the Comediantes

Articles in progress

“Gold prospecting and the Black Legend in Fernando de Zárate’s La conquista de México (1668)”


2019 ¡ANDA! Curso elemental by Audrey L. Heining-Boynton, Glynis S. Cowell, Sonia S. Torres-Quinones


2018 Aracil Varón, Beatriz. “Yo, don Hernán Cortés.” Reflexiones en torno a la escritura cortesiana. Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2016.


Panel Chair

2022 “Lyric as Power: Narratives of Spanish Music.” Carolina Conference for Romance Studies. UNC-Chapel Hill


Andalucía: History and Culture of Muslim Spain

2020: “Contemporary Connections: Issues of in(migration) in Contemporary Spain.” The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, UNC Center for European Studies, and National Humanities Center


2023 “Tricks in La vida de Estebanillo González, hombre de buen humor (1646).” MLA, San Francisco

2022 “Comedy-news or dramatized news pamphlets?” The Performance of Genre across Renaissance Europe and Beyond, MEMS conference. UNC-Chapel Hill

2020: “Expansión transoceánica de la Iberia católica y su representación en La conquista de México (1668) de Antonio Enríquez Gómez.” Asociación Internacional Siglo de Oro. ONLINE

2019 “Catarismo, redenciones y milagros en La vida de San Pedro Nolasco de Lope de Vega.” Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas. Hebrew University, Israel

2018 “War and the Supernatural: Shaping Sainthood in La vida de San Pedro Nolasco (1629).” Carolina Conference for Romance Studies. UNC-Chapel Hill

2014: “The Actress and her Character: The Prologues and Epilogues of Charlotte Butler (1680-1693).” 25 International SEDERI Conference. University of Oviedo, Spain

Awards & Honors


2023-24 The Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship

2023 Dana B. Drake Award for Excellence in Teaching Spanish, Romance Studies department

2023 Jack O. Spies and Family Jewish Studies Grant, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies

2023 Travel Grant, Romance Studies department

2022 Dana B. Drake Summer Fellowship, Romance Studies department

2021 The Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship

2020 Travel Award, Graduate and Professional Student Government

2020 Nominated to the Best Teaching Award, Romance Studies department

2020 Nominated to the Boka W. Hadzija Award

2020 Gutherie Summer Award, Romance Studies department

2019 The Graduate Student Transportation Grant

2019 Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students Award, Graduate and Professional Student Federation

2018 Nominated to the María Salgado Award at the Carolina Conference, Romance Studies department


2023 Modern Language Association Convention Grant

Typical Courses Taught

Instructor of Record

Spanish for High Beginners (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2022)

Elementary Spanish (Fall 2019, Fall 2021)

Intermediate Spanish (Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2023)

Spanish Conversation (Spring 2020, Fall 2022)

Spanish for Medical Professions (Fall 2020)

Intermediate Spanish for Health Care (Spring 2021, Spring 2023)

Advanced Spanish in Context (Fall 2021)

Spanish for Professional and Community Engagement (Spring 2022)

Teaching Assistant

Love and Conflict in Spanish Literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century (Fall 2022)