Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Comparative Literature and Spanish Literature
Wieboldt 409A

(773) 702-9354


PhD Comparative Literature
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1969

Special Interests

Golden Age Spanish literature; Renaissance studies; magic and the Hermetic tradition; ekphrasis; relations between Spanish Literature and Italian Art; and the interconnections between myth and empire during the rule of the Spanish Habsburgs

Frederick A. de Armas focuses on the literature of the Spanish Golden Age (Cervantes, Calderón, Claramonte, Lope de Vega), often from a comparative perspective. His interests include the politics of astrology; magic and the Hermetic tradition; ekphrasis; the relations between the verbal and the visual particularly between Spanish literature and Italian art; and the interconnections between myth and empire during the rule of the Habsburgs.

His books and edited collections include: The Invisible Mistress: Aspects of Feminism and Fantasy in the Golden Age; Return of Astraea: An Astral-Imperial Myth in Calderón; Prince in the Tower: Perceptions of "La vida es sueño"; Heavenly Bodies: The Realms of "La Estrella de Sevilla"; A Star-Crossed Golden Age: Myth and the Spanish Comedia; Cervantes Raphael and the Classics; and European Literary Careers: The Author from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Most recently he has published Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes (2005); and Quixotic Frescoes: Cervantes and Italian Renaissance Art (2006); Hacia la tragedia áurea: lecturas para un nuevo milenio (2008); Ovid in the Age of Cervantes (2010), Don Quixote among the Saracens: Clashes of Civilizations and Literary Genres (2011) and Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain (2013).

Awards, Honors, and Professional Experience

  • Co-editor of the Iberic Series for the University of Toronto Press (2010 - present)
  • PROSE award for Literature (honorable mention) for Don Quixote among the Saracens (2011)
  • Faculty Graduate Teaching Award (Chicago, 2007)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowships (1985, 1995, 2004)
  • Director, NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Faculty "Recapturing the Renaissance: Cervantes and Italian Renaissance Art" (Chicago, 2003)
  • Director, NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty "A Star-Crossed Golden Age: Myth and the Spanish Comedia" (Pennsylvania 1994)
  • President, Cervantes Society of America (2007-2009); Vice President, Cervantes Society of America (2004-2006)
  • Corresponding Member, Hispanic Society of America
  • Co-Founder and Co-Editor, Penn State Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures (1991-2002)
  • Has taught at Louisiana State University, the University of Missouri (Visiting Professor), Duke University (Visiting Professor) and Pennsylvania State University (Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature)

Selected Courses Taught

  • Geographic Puzzles and Narrative Mysteries in Cervantes' Exemplary Novels
  • Court Theater under Philip IV
  • Cervantes and the Renaissance
  • Luna/Diana: Myth, Astrology and the New Science in Seventeenth-Century Spain
  • Ekphrasis Onstage: From Terence to Calderon