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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Albert Lloret

Second Advisor

Nieves Romero-Diaz

Subject Categories

Spanish Literature


My research focuses on the literary production of women in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. My dissertation studies the life and works of three religious women in their respective communities: Teresa de Cartagena, Sor María de Santo Domingo, and Santa Teresa de Ávila. I examine how these women interact with other members of their orders, thus creating symbolic, intellectual, and emotional communities. I argue that their contact with friends and enemies inside and outside of their order and the church displays a variety of empowerment strategies. To deploy these series of strategies, religious women fashioned images of themselves that prove to diverge from their personal opinions and feelings. My dissertation thus frames the life and works of three early-modern women in the theory of female community developed over the last ten years by critics such as Stephanie Tarbin, Susan Broomhall, Stephanie Kirk, or Melissa Harkider. The three early-modern female authors I study deployed power strategies that rely on divergent uses of God. Their positions varied in accordance with the accusations they had to confront from their male detractors, such as authorship denials or the questioning of their spiritual experiences. Key words: female community, Sor María, Teresa de Cartagena, Teresa de Ávila, empowerment, confessors, detractors, aristocrats, sisters.