Dr Imogen Choi

Associate Professor of Spanish; Queen Sofía Official Fellow, Exeter College; Lecturer, Keble College



My research to date has been concerned with the question of how poetry can be used to think through notions of the body politic, violent conflict and the resistance to it, faith and identity. The monograph based on my doctoral thesis connects the ‘new wars’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to political thought and the literary culture of early modern globalisation in the connected communities of Hispanic Europe and the Americas. It uses the epic poetry of Peru as a gateway into this web of questions. The communities represented in these epics — Amerindian polities, Spanish colonists, conglomerate armies, African maroon settlements, the Ottoman Empire and English pirates among others — are extremely heterogeneous, and the emergent conflicts between them demonstrate the need for both a new ethics of warfare and a new language for political community. I have also been engaged in co-editing a volume dedicated to the study of early American poetry more generally.


My next project, ‘Epic Testaments: Textual Communities and Judaeo-Christian Identities in the Hispanic World, 1580-1680’, sets out a new approach to sacred epic poetry written in Spanish. This diverse body of poems created a space in which minority groups, such as the Sephardic diaspora, might formulate a distinctive identity and sense of community.




All areas of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spanish literature (papers VII, X, XII, XIV), as well as translation and the Prelims (first-year) course.


Graduate Teaching


I am keen to hear from potential graduate students interested in exploring early modern Hispanic literature and culture, especially those who may wish to focus on poetry, religious culture and/or colonial Latin America.






Conflict Ethics and Political Community in Early Peruvian Epic, awarded the AHGBI/Spanish Embassy Publication Prize for a Doctoral Thesis 2017-18, in preparation for publication by Tamesis



Rodrigo Cacho and Imogen Choi, eds, The Rise of Spanish American Poetry, 1500-1700: Literary and Cultural Transmission in the New World (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019)




Articles and book chapters


‘La presencia oculta de Torquato Tasso en la Tercera parte de La Araucana de Alonso de Ercilla (1589-90)’, Bulletin Hispanique 121. 1 (2019), 73-101


Os lusíadas and Armas antárticas: Eros, Eris and the Art of Imitation in Colonial Epic’, in Rodrigo Cacho and Imogen Choi, eds, The Rise of Spanish American Poetry, 1500-1700: Literary and Cultural Transmission in the New World, pp. 222-238


‘Épopée, guerre coloniale et communauté politique dans le vice-royaume du Pérou, 1560-1610’, trans. Aude Plagnard, Receuil Ouvert (2018)



‘The Spectacle of Conquest: Epic Conflicts on the Seventeenth-Century Spanish Stage’, in Fiona Macintosh, Justine McConnell, Stephen Harrison, and Claire Kenward, eds, Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 336-350



‘¿”Adonde falta el rey, sobran agravios” (IV.5)? The Siege of Saint-Quentin and Two Worlds of War in Alonso de Ercilla’s La Araucana’, in Stephen Boyd and Terence O’Reilly (eds) Artifice and Invention in the Spanish Golden Age (Oxford: Legenda, 2014), pp. 173-84



‘”De gente que a ningún rey obedecen”: Republicanism and Empire in Alonso de

Ercilla’s La Araucana’, BHS 91.4 (2014), 417-35


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