Payton Phillips Quintanilla

A photo of Payton Phillips Quintanilla
E-mail: Office: Rolfe Hall 4319

I am a graduate of UCLA’s doctoral program in Hispanic Languages and Literatures (Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 2018) and a former Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2018-19). As a specialist in the literatures and cultures of early modern Spain and colonial Latin America, I am particularly interested in the ways in which individuals and communities—from Moriscos and Sephardim in the wider Mediterranean, to Indigenous and Mestizo subjects in the Andes—communicated a transatlantic and trans-imperial consciousness through their production and consumption of textual, visual, and material culture.

I have participated in various working groups at UCLA, including: The Comedia in Translation and Performance, Indigenous Material and Visual Culture of the Americas, ucLADINO, and the Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group (aljamiado texts are written in Romance languages, such as Spanish, but using Hebrew or Arabic alphabets). I have taught all levels of Spanish language as a Teaching Associate on campus, and I was a Teaching Fellow in the Department’s summer study abroad program in Granada, Spain. Prior to studying and teaching at UCLA, I was a Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Southern California, a social science instructor in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and a creative writing instructor in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall.


PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. University of California, Los Angeles. 2018.

MA in Spanish. University of California, Los Angeles. 2012.

MPW (Master of Professional Writing) in Screenwriting. University of Southern California. 2008

Preliminary California State Teaching Credential in Secondary Social Science. California State University, Northridge. 2004.

BA in Urban and Environmental Policy. Occidental College. 2002.


Research & Interests

  • Early modern literature and visual/material culture, with a focus on the transatlantic Iberian world
  • Mestizaje (various forms, functions, products, and practices of sociocultural mixing)
  • Rebellion and resistance in Andalucía and the Andes, particularly among minoritized indigenous communities
  • The figure of the Virgin Mary in conquest, conversion, and colonization
  • Hispanic classical theater (comedia), including its translation and performance
  • Diasporas and diasporic cultures of Sephardic and Morisco communities, in the Mediterranean and beyond
  • Romance-language texts written in Arabic and Hebrew scripts (aljamía), and their contexts and transmission

Research & Working Groups (UCLA)
2017-Present, Founding Member | The Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group
Employ digital tools to locate, catalog, and analyze medieval and early modern Spanish-language texts written in Hebrew scripts, and organize symposia and workshops to share this cannon and teach these skills to others

2014-Present, Founding Member | The Comedia in Translation and Performance
Work with graduate students, regional faculty, and local theater practitioners to translate Spanish Golden Age plays into English for publication, adaptation, performance, and undergraduate and K-12 instruction

2017-2019, Co-Organizer | Indigenous Material and Visual Culture in the Americas
Connected UCLA students across disciplines with visiting scholars and local research institutions by organizing work-in-progress presentations, guest lectures, and practical workshops

2015-16, Co-Director | 2013-16, Member and Symposia Co-Coordinator | ucLADINO
Organized weekly Judeo-Spanish language workshops, quarterly cultural events, and our annual symposium while building and sustaining dynamic relationships with on-campus and off-campus partners and stakeholders


My dissertation, “Imperial Occlusions: Mestizaje and Marian Mechanisms in Early Modern Andalucía and the Andes” (Diss. UCLA 2018), employs the theme of mestizaje (various forms and functions of genealogical and sociocultural mixing) to unpack the conflation of ethnic, religious, and political loyalties in the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Hispanic world. Specifically, I offer a comparative study of the interrelated experiences of Peninsular Moriscos and Andean Mestizos and examine how the Virgin Mary—an emblematic figure of mestizaje—came to play a role in their dramatically divergent destinies. Through my subsequent Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (2018-19), I incorporated relevant seventeenth and eighteenth-century English-language materials into my scholarship, such as theatrical works, polemical treatises and pamphlets, and translations. As such, I am currently transforming my dissertation into a monograph that addresses the interconnected material lives of empires, and of their increasingly globalized subjects.


  • Article. “Rebellions of the Colonized and Converted: Calderón de la Barca’s Amar después de la muerte in 20th and 21st Century Spain.” Bulletin of the Comediantes (72.1). Forthcoming, 2020.
  • Introduction (with Jesús Silveyra). To Love Beyond Death. Edition and translation of Calderón de la Barca’s Amar después de la muerte, by the Working Group on The Comedia in Translation and Performance. Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs. Forthcoming, 2020.
  • Introduction (with Laura Muñoz). The Force of Habit. Edition and translation of Guillén de Castro’s La fuerza de la costumbre, by the Working Group on The Comedia in Translation and Performance. Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs. Forthcoming, 2019.
  • Translation. Feitler, Bruno. “The Portuguese Inquisition and Colonial Expansion: The ‘Honor’ of Being Tried by the Holy Office.” In Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization. Eds. Anna More, Rachel O-Toole, and Ivonne del Valle. Vanderbilt Press Hispanic Issues. Forthcoming, 2020.
  • Translation. Wilde, Guillermo. “Jesuit and Indigenous Subjects in the Global Culture of Letters: Production, Circulation, and Adaptation of Missionary Texts in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” In Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization. Eds. Anna More, Rachel O-Toole, and Ivonne del Valle. Vanderbilt Press Hispanic Issues. Forthcoming, 2020.
  • Review. Constable, Olivia Remie. To Live Like a Moor: Christian Perceptions of Muslim Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. In Digital Philology 7.2 (2019): 265-268.
  • Review. Suárez García, Raquel. El compendio islámico de Mohanmad de Vera. Un tratado morisco tardío. In La Corónica 47.1 (2018): pp. 125-128.
  • Review. Navarro, Andrea Mariana. Ciudades de Andalucía: paisajes e imágenes. Siglos XIII-XVII. In Comitatus 49 (2018): pp. 255-258.

Recent and Upcoming Presentations (2018-20)

  • “To Love—and Translate—Beyond Death.” Iberian Theater and Performance Network. London, England. June 25-27, 2020. (Upcoming)
  •  “D’Avenant’s Monster: The Play-house to be Let in Early Restoration England.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association. San Diego, California. November 15, 2019. (Upcoming)
  •  “Remembering Women and Children in Two Chronicles of the Alpujarra.” Modern Language Association International Symposium. Lisbon, Portugal. July 25, 2019.
  • “The Virgin Mary in the Rebellion of the Alpujarra.” Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies. Barcelona, Spain. July 11, 2019.
  •  “Real and Imagined Rebellions of Mestizos and Moriscos.” Renaissance Conference of Southern California. Pasadena, California. March 9, 2019.
  •  “Mining the Theatre: Metals and other Matters in the New World and the Old.” Making Worlds: Material Flows. Los Angeles, California. February 1, 2019. (By invitation)
  •  “Music and Song in Modern Performances of Calderón’s Amar después de la muerte.” Euterpe at Play/Euterpe Comediante. Los Angeles, California. November 29, 2018. (By invitation)
  •  “Moorish Mestizos: Legacies of Medieval Conversion and Mixing in Early Modern Spain.” International Congress on Medieval Studies. Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 11, 2018.
  • “The Cornerstone of Copacabana: Mary and Zion in the Andes.” Renaissance Society of America. New Orleans, Louisiana. March 22, 2018.