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Professor of Spanish

Graduate Spanish Language Advisor | Dey 226


PhD in Romance Languages, University of Michigan, 1980

Other Appointments

Affiliated faculty in Global Studies and American Studies


Rosa Perelmuter was born in Cuba, completed high school and college in Boston, and received her PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Michigan. As Professor of Spanish American Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, she writes about Colonial authors ranging from Columbus to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and teaches about both Colonial and contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American writers. She served as director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP)–a pipeline program that aims to increase the presence of minority students in PhD programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in the United States–from 2006-2019. She is the author of a variety articles published in literary journals and two monographs on Sor Juana: Noche intelectual: la oscuridad idiomática en el Primero sueño (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1982) and Los límites de la femineidad en Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Estrategias retóricas y recepción literaria (Frankfurt and Madrid: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2004). In early 2021 her long-awaited edition, La recepción literaria de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Un centenario de opiniones críticas (1910-2010), was published (New York: Idea, 2021). In over 600 pages comprising her introductory chapter and ten others by accomplished Hispanists, Sor Juana’s literary reception is scrutinized and a complete bibliography of Sor Juana for each decade, compiled by Dr. Luis Villar, is included. Currently she has turned her attention to her book-in-progress, “Yiddish Cuba: Culture, Identity, and Community (1920-1960)”, a project combining history, literary production, and public and personal memoir about the burgeoning Jewish community of Cuba.


  • Noche intelectual: La oscuridad idiomática en el “Primero sueño”. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1982.
  • Los límites de la femineidad en Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Estrategias retóricas y recepción literaria. Col. Biblioteca Áurea Hispánica, 29. Madrid and Frankfurt: Ed. Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2004.
  • Transmigraciones culturales: ideología y literatura en el Nuevo Mundo. Volume co-edited with Ignacio Arellano. Hispanófila 171 (Junio 2014).
  • La recepción literaria de sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: un siglo de apreciaciones críticas (1910-2010). Colección «Batihoja», 74. New York: IDEA, 2021.
  • “La estructura retórica de la Respuesta a Sor Filotea.” Hispanic Review 51 (1983): 147-58.
  • “El paisaje idealizado en La Araucana.” Hispanic Review 54 (1986): 129-46.
  • “El desierto en La Araucana.” Calíope 4: 1-2 (1998): 248-57.
  • “Narrative Voices in Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Approaches to Teaching Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. Eds. Daniel Balderston and Francine Masiello. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2007. 40-53.
  • “The Answer to Sor Philotea: A Rhetorical Approach.” Approaches to Teaching Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Eds. Emilie L. Bergmann and Stacey Schlau. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2007. 186-92.
  • “Tracking Columbus: The Descriptions of Nature in his Diario de abordo.” “Recuerde el alma dormida”: Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Essays in Honor of Frank A. Domínguez. Ed. John K. Moore and Adriano Duque. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2009. 239-50.
  • “Yiddish in Cuba: A Love Story.” Hispanófila 157 (December 2009): 133-40.
  • “Continuidad y novedad en espacios ideológicos y literarios del nuevo mundo.” Introduction co-authored with Ignacio Arellano to our edited volume of Hispanófila 171 (Junio 2014): 3-10.
  • “Becoming Cuban in Yiddish: the poetry of Eliezer Aronowsky.” Splendor, Decline and Rediscovery of Yiddish in Latin America. Malena Chinski and Alan Astro, eds. Jewish Latin America Vol. 10. Brill 2018. 193-224.

Typical Courses

  • ROML055H(Writing with an Accent: Latino Literature and Culture)
  • SPAN 373 (Survey of Spanish American Literature), Span 389 (Cuba’s Diasporic Literature and Culture)
  • SPAN 398 (Inside Cuba: Contemporary Literature and Culture)
  • SPAN 613 (Spanish American Literature from Colonial through Romanticism)
  • SPAN 620/WMST 620 (The Image of ‘Woman’ in Hispanic Literature of the 16th and 17th cc.)
  • SPAN 709 (Non-fiction Prose of the 16th and 17th Centuries in Spanish America)
  • SPAN 744 (The Aesthetics of the Baroque in the 17th and 20th cc.).

Awards & Honors

  • Inducted in Mexico into the “Sociedad Cultural Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz” (1995)
  • Class of 1996 Excellence in Advising Award (2002)
  • Faculty Mentoring Award (2009)
  • Principal Investigator of grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the MURAP program, 2007-2019.

Recently Directed Dissertations

  • Graham Ignizio, “Cuban-American Women’s Anglophone Female Novels of the 1990s.” 2009
  • Paul Worley, “Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Mexican and Maya Texts.” (English and Comparative Literature) 2009
  • Britton Newman, “The Narrative of Censorship in Cuban Novels of the 1990s.” 2012
  • Ken Gorfkle, “The Intersection of Life and Death in David Rosenman-Taub’s tetralogy Cortejo y Epinicio.” 2014
  • Rosa Ibañez, “Nuevos y viejos demonios en la novelística histórica (2000-2010) de Mario Vargas Llosa.” 2014
  • Xiomara Campilongo, “Ena Lucía Portela’s Contemporary Cuban Noir Novels.” 2015
  • Emily Clark, “Gambling and the Social Imaginary in mid-Nineteenth-Century Novels in Latin America.” 2016.
  • Julián Díez, “A Historical Re-reading of La Florida del Inca by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.” 2018.
  • John Samuel Krieg, “Images of Instability in the Literature of Viceregal Lima (1687-1797).” 2020

Graduate Students Advised by Professor Perelmuter

Professor Perelmuter is currently accepting new advisees.