Elena Peña-Argüeso

Ph.D. Student

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


M.A. in Romance Studies (Spanish), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 2019.

M.A. in Teaching Methodologies of a Foreign Language (English), University of Seville (Spain). 2014.

M.A. in English Studies (Early Modern English Literature), University of Seville (Spain). 2013.

About Elena

Elena is a PhD student specializing in 16th- and 17th-century Spanish literature. Her interests include theatre, life 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. She is particularly interested in the study of cross-national perceptions and images as expressed in literary discourse.


2019: Collaboration on ANDA Curso Elemental by Audrey L. Heining-Boynton, Glynis S. Cowell, Sonia S. Torres-Quinones.


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


“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. November 2020.

“Contemporary Connections: Issues of im(migration) in Contemporary Spain.” The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, UNC Center for European Studies, and National Humanities Center. Interdisciplinary workshop: Andalucía: History and Culture of Muslim Spain. March 2020.

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

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

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

Awards & Honors

2021: The Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship.

2020: Nominated to the Best Teaching Award, Romance Studies.

2020: Nominated to the Boka W. Hadzija Award.

2020: Gutherie Summer Award, Romance Studies.

2019: The Graduate Student Transportation Grant, Graduate School.

2019: GPSF Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students Award.

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


2019-present: President of the Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi – Chapter Zeta Psi.

2021: ROML700 Class panel on the conversation platform Boomalang.

2021: ROML700 Class panel on work/life balance and time management.

2020: ROML700 Class panel on coursework management.

2020: Organization of Lope de Vega Marathon reading (El Quixote festival literary marathon).

2019-2020: President of the Graduate Romance Association of students at UNC Chapel Hill.

2019: Organization of José Martí Marathon reading (El Quixote festival literary marathon).

2019: ROML700 Class panel on time and class management.

2018: Organization of Sor Juana Marathon reading (El Quixote festival literary marathon).

Typical Courses Taught

SPAN 101: Elementary Spanish I

SPAN 105: Spanish for High Beginners

SPAN 203: Intermediate Spanish I

SPAN 255: Spanish Conversation

SPAN 261: Advanced Spanish in Context

SPAN 321: Spanish for Medical Professions

PUBH 613: Intermediate Spanish for Health Care