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Photo of Marsha Collins, taken by Sarah Boyd


PhD Romance Languages (Spanish), Princeton University

MA Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison

AB Comparative Literature, Smith College


A Professor of Comparative Literature, Marsha S. Collins specializes in the literature of Early Modern Europe, especially the Literature of Early Modern Spain in its European context. Her research focuses on romance and other idealizing fictional forms, literature and the visual arts, early modern lyric poetry, and Early Modern European court culture. She has written on romance, pastoral, ekphrasis, and early modern subjectivity, among other topics, as well as on authors such as Cervantes, Unamuno, Galdós, Góngora, Lope, and others. She is currently writing a book on “Friendship and Community in Don Quijote.”


  • Imagining Arcadia in Renaissance Romance (New York: Routledge, 2016)    
  • The “Soledades”: Góngora’s Masque of the Imagination (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2002)
  • “Metaphor and Matter(s) Arising: Gongorine Metaphor and the Cultivation of theImagination.” Co-authored with Isabel Torres. Bulletin of Spanish Studies 93.7-8(2016): 1129-56.
  • “Playing with Time: Asynchronicity in Don Quijote.” Cervantes 36.1(2016): 39-65.
  • “Maese Pedro y su espectáculo comunicativo en Don Quijote.” eHumanista/Cervantes 4 (2015):82-98.
  • “Echoing Romance: James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) as Ecoromance.” Mosaic 47.2 (2014):103-19.

Teaching Awards

  • John L. Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Service (2000).


  • Royster Distinguished Professor for Graduate Education (2016-2018)
  • Marcel Bataillon Distinguished Term Professor of Comparative Literature (2009-2014)
  • Fellow of the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities
  • Fulbright Fellowship for Study in Spain

Courses Taught:

  • CMPL 121 Great Books I: Romancing the World
  • CMPL 122 Great Books I: Literature and the Visual Arts
  • CMPL 223 Global Cervantes
  • CMPL 275 Literature of Pilgrimage
  • CMPL 454 Literature of the Continental Renaissance
  • CMPL 462 Realism