Payton Phillips Quintanilla

A photo of Payton Phillips Quintanilla
E-mail: Office: Rolfe Hall 4328


  • Candidate in Philosophy. Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Los Angeles (2014)
  • M.A. Spanish, University of California, Los Angeles (2012)
  • M.P.W. (Master of Professional Writing) Screenwriting, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (2008)
  • California Single Subject Teaching Credential Social Science, California State University, Northridge (2004)
  • B.A. Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College, Los Angeles (2002)


My dissertation project, “Strategic Mestizaje in Andalucía and the Andes, 16th-17th Centuries,” explores articulations and exploitations of mestizaje on the Peninsula, in the Viceroyalty of Peru, and in the legal, religious, and cultural spaces shared by both. I argue that mestizaje is experienced, represented, and responded to as a transatlantic phenomenon, and that it engenders a diverse, yet shared, set of tools/weapons in Spain and its colonies to promote or marginalize those who carry supposed markers of mixing. My dissertation foregrounds texts and contexts not commonly included in discussions of mestizaje, and it incorporates  mestizos into a line of comparative scholarship dominated by indios and moros/moriscos. Finally, though centered in the early modern era, my research is in constant communication with medieval Iberia, the pre-Hispanic Andes, and the modern world.

I am an active member of the Comedia in Translation and Performance Working Group, an initiative of Diversifying the Classics (; 
ucLADINO (; and the Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group. I am also the current co-leader of the Indigenous Material and Visual Culture in the Americas (IMVCA) Working Group (  



Diversifying the Classics: Bringing the Hispanic Golden Age to the Los Angeles Community (Roundtable Discussion).” 114th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA). Pasadena, California. November 12, 2016.
“Love, Violence, and Islam: Amar después de la muerte in 21st-Century Madrid.” Performing Spain: Theaters of Memory in Iberian Cultures. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. September 23, 2016. (By invitation)

“Gender in the Classroom: Breaking Habits with the Comedia.” 62nd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (RSA). Boston, Massachusetts. March 31, 2016.

“LadinoUSA: Reaching the Academy and the Community through Narrative.” 5th Annual Judeo-Spanish Symposium. University of California, Los Angeles. March 2, 2016.

“Performing Africa, Islam, and the Alpujarra through Calderón de la Barca’s Amar después de la muerte, 1633-2005.” Modern Language Association (MLA). Austin, Texas. January 7, 2016.

“Words, Works, and Wakas: Performative Encounters in Calderón de la Barca’s La aurora en Copacabana.” Modern Language Association (MLA). Austin, Texas. January 9, 2016.

“Judeo-Spanish in Current Interfaith Contexts.” 3rd Annual Judeo-Spanish Symposium. University of California, Los Angeles. March 6, 2014.

“Sex, Sanctuary, and Central America in Demetria Martínez’s Mother Tongue: Truth and Contradiction in Chicana Solidarity Fiction.” XXX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). San Francisco, California. May 25, 2012.

“At the Crossroads of Testimony and Romance: Claribel Alegría’s Despierta mi bien despierta.” XXXVII Annual Symposium of Hispanic Literature. California State University, Dominguez Hills. March 9, 2012.


“Moorish Mestizos: Legacies of Medieval Conversion and Mixing in Early Modern Spain.” 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies. Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 10-13, 2018. (Panel date TBA)
“The Cornerstone of Copacabana: Mary and Zion in the Andes.”64th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America(RSA). New Orleans, Louisiana. March 22, 2018. 

Fellowships & Awards

Dissertation Year Fellowship | 2017-2018

Graduate Research Assistantship (The Pine Tree Foundation) |Summer 2017

Ben and Rue Pine Research Travel Award | Fall 2016

University of California Humanities Research Initiative Grant |Summer 2016

Maurice Amado Fellowship in Sephardic Studies | 2014-2016

Mellon Summer Institute Fellowship in Spanish Paleography |Summer 2015

UCLA Arts Initiative Graduate Research Assistantship | Summer 2015

Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship | 2013-2014

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship in Arabic |Summer 2013

TA of the Year Award, Spanish & Portuguese | 2012-2013

Award for Excellence in Instruction, Spanish & Portuguese | 2011-2012

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship | Summer 2011