Ryan Giles

Ryan Giles

Professor, Spanish and Portuguese


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005
  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of North Carolina at Asheville, 1999


  • Medieval Studies Institute
  • Renaissance Studies Program

About Ryan Giles

My main area of research is medieval and Renaissance Iberian literature and culture, and more specifically parody and satire, intersections with sanctity and popular devotion, material culture, ritual and theology. As an Hispanomedievalist, I primarily analyze the works of premodern Iberian authors such as Gonzalo de Berceo, Alfonso X, and Juan Ruiz. Because much of my work examines cultural phenomena in changing contexts from the Middle Ages into the early modern period, I also research the works of later Spanish writers from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth century, including Fernando de Rojas, Francisco Delicado, Quevedo, and others.


  • Medieval/Renaissance Literatures
  • Parody and Satire
  • Early Picaresque Writing
  • Sanctity and Popular Devotion
  • Myth and Ritual
  • Material Culture
  • Art in Literature
  • Theology and Literature
  • Inscribed Power: Amulets and Magic in Early Spanish Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017.
  • The Laughter of the Saints: Parodies of Holiness in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.
Edited volumes
  • A New Companion to the Libro de buen amor. Eds. Ryan D. Giles and José Manuel Hidalgo. Leiden: Brill, 2021. 
  • The Routledge Hispanic Studies Companion to Medieval Iberia: Unity in Diversity. Eds. E. Michael Gerli and Ryan D. Giles. New York: Routledge, 2021. 
  • Beyond Sight: Smell, Taste, Touch and Hearing in Iberian Literatures and Cultures, 1200-1750. Eds. Ryan D. Giles and Steven Wagschal. Toronto University of Toronto Press, 2018.
  • Charlemagne and his Legend in Early Spanish Literature and Historiography. Eds. Matthew Bailey and Ryan D. Giles. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2016.
Selected articles, essays, and published papers (2012-present)
  • “Thirty Pieces of Silver: Interpreting Anti-Jewish Imagery in the Poema de mío Cid. Bestsellers and Masterpieces: The Changing Medieval Canon. Eds. Heather Blurton and Dwight F. Reynolds. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2022. 113-39. 
  • “Divine Food: Making and Tasting Honey in the Cantigas de Santa Maria.” The Gastronomical Arts in Spain: Food and Etiquette. Eds. Frederick A. de Armas and James Mandrell. Toronto: U Toronto P, 2022. 29-44. 
  • “'No hay quien vele a Alonso': Imitatio Mariae and the Problem of Conversion in Leonor López de Córdoba’s Memorias." Gender and Exemplarity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. Eds. María Morrás, Rebeca Sanmartín Bastida, and Yonsoo Kim. Leiden: Brill, 2020. 193-211.
  • "The Problem of Interreligious Peacemaking in the Works of Ramon Llull." Religions 11.4 (2020): 1-10.
  • “‘Faith Then Cometh by Hearing’: Latin Orality and the Typological Framework of the Milagros de Nuestra Señora.” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 96.10 (2019): 1031- 43.
  • "Advocate of Eve: Marian Parturition in Medieval Iberian Literature and Culture." Christ, Mary, and the Saints: Reading Religious Subjects in Medieval and Renaissance Spain.  Leiden: Brill, 2018. 37-56.
  • “'Coraje y denuedo': Don Quijote’s Battle of the Sheep and Francisco Antonio’s Avisos para soldados y gente de guerra (1590).” Los cielos se agotaron de prodigios: Essays in Honor Frederick A. de Armas. Eds. Christopher B. Weimer, Kerry Wilks, and Benjamin J. Nelson. Newark, DE: Juan de la cuesta, 2018. 293- 304.
  • "'Aquellos antiguos libros': Approaches to Parody in Celestina." A Companion to Celestina. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 161-72.
  • “'Nuestra captividad': Captivity and Religious Difference in an Early Seventeenth-Century Translation of the Epistola Rabbi Samuelis (1339)". Romance Quarterly 64.2 (2017): 55-65.
  • “’Royendo los santos’: The Parody of Holy Madness in the Celestina.” Hermeneutics of Textual Madness: Re-Readings / Herméneutique de la folie textuelle: re-lectures. 2 vols. Fasano: Schena editore / Paris: Alain Baudry & Cie Editeur, 2016. 2: 515-30.
  • "The Chancellor’s Chains: Ex-Votos and Marian Devotion in the Rimado de Palacio". Medievalia 18.2 (2016): 27-42.
  • "Las nuevas y viejas tecnologías del manuscrito: comentarios sobre el códice digital del Auto de los reyes magos." Hispanismos del mundo: diálogos y debates en (y desde) el Sur. Coord. Leonardo Funes. Buenos Aires: Editorial Mino y Dávila, (2016): 287-94.
  • “'Mira mis llagas': Heridas divinas en las obras de Brígida de Suecia y Teresa de Jesús." eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies 32 (2016): 36-49.
  • “Garden Spaces and Textual Materialities: The Exorcistic Prelude to the Razón de amor”.  La corónica 44.1 (2015): 115-33.
  • “Apocalyptic Sealing in the Lozana andaluza." In and Of the Mediterranean: Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies.  Eds. Núria Silleras-Fernández and Michelle Hamilton. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, (2015): 208-23.
  • “The Archpriest of Hita’s ‘Dueñas Chicas’ and the Mulierculas of Latin Preachers.”  Revista canadiense de estudios hispánicos 38.2 (2014): 315-28.
  • "Return to Commentary: On the Tears of Moses in the Libro de buen amor" Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures 3.1 (2014): 121-41.
  • "Sewn without a Needle: The Chasuble of St. Ildephonsus in the Milagros de Nuestra Señora". La corónica 42.1 (2013): 281-97. 
  • “Picaresque Fatherhood: Racial and Literary Heritage in Guzmán de Alfarache 1.1.” Neohelicon 40.1 (2013): 227-44.
  • “The Prayer of the Immured Woman and the Matter of Lazarillo de Tormes.” Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain.  Eds. Mary E. Barnard and Frederick A. De Armas. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, (2013): 229-52.
  • "Parodia e impotencia en la Carajicomedia y las Elegías de Maximiano."  XVII Actas de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas. Ed. Patrizia Botta. Rome: Bagatto Libri, (2012): 2. 244-50.
  • El Triunfo de Átropos en La Celestina”.  Anales de Historia del Arte 22, Núm. Especial (2012): 285-94.
  • “The Wineskin of Love: Errors and Hybrid Prayers in the the Libro de buen amor, MS S.”  Bulletin of Spanish Studies 89.3 (2012): 335-46.
  • “The Apple that Fell from Aristotle’s Hand: Fruits of Love and Death in the Libro de buen amor.” Hispanic Review  80.1 (2012): 1-20.

Honors & Awards

  • Collaborative Fellowship, jointly awarded, Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2016."
  • John K. Walsh Prize for outstanding essay, 2008 and 2016. Division of Medieval Spanish Language and Literature/LLC Iberian Medieval Forum of the Modern Language Association.
  • Fellowship, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago, 2009-10.
  • National Endowment of the Humanities, Summer Seminar, 2003 and 2009.


Graduate Courses
S618: Topics in Medieval Spanish Literature: Love in Medieval Spanish Literature, before and after the Plague.
S628: Topics Early Modern Spanish Literature: La novela picaresca: trayectoria y debates críticos
S618: Topics in Medieval Spanish Literature: El mester de clerecía y el Libro de buen amor
S618: Topics in Medieval Spanish Literature: Tradiciones épicas de la Edad Media
S528: Spanish Literature of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
S518: Spanish Medieval Literature

Undergraduate Courses
S474: Hispanic Literature and Society
S407: Cultural Icons of Spain
S334: Panoramas of Hispanic Literature
S328: Introduction to Hispanic Literature
S324: Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Cultures

Current Research Projects

  • "Fictions of Peace in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia."
  • Co-edited English translation and Spanish edition of Juan de Mena's Laberinto de Fortuna.