Columbia SPPO

Seth Kimmel

Assistant Professor

Seth Kimmel studies the literatures and cultures of medieval and early modern Iberia. He earned his B.A. in Comparative Literature and Religion here at Columbia and his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. Before joining Columbia’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures in 2012, Seth spent two years as a member of Stanford University’s Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, where he taught classes on theories of secularism and religion, the history of reading, and cultural exchange and conflict among Iberian Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

Seth’s current book project is an intellectual history of New Christian assimilation. The book argues that canon law, Oriental Studies, and history writing were all transformed by hotly contested debates over eradicating Islam and Judaism from the Iberian Peninsula and converting non-Christians elsewhere in the Spanish empire. Other research and teaching interests include the history of science and Mediterranean and Transatlantic Studies. In addition to his book manuscript, Seth is currently working on two new essays, one on the intersection between cartography and bibliography in the early sixteenth century, and another on the representation of Jewish converts to Christianity in late fifteenth-century polemical literature.

Selected Recent Publications:

“‘In the Choir with the Clerics’: Secularism in the Age of Inquisition.” Comparative Literature 65:3 (Summer 2013): 285-305.

“‘No milagro, milagro’: The Early Modern Art of Effective Ritual.” Modern Language Notes 128.2 (Hispanic Issue, 2013): 433-444.

 “Local Turks: Print Culture and Maurophilia in Early Modern Spain.” The Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 13.1 (2012): 21-38.

“Writing Religion: Sacromonte and the Literary Conventions of Orthodoxy.” Poiesis and Modernity in the Old and New Worlds. Hispanic Issues 39. Edited by Anthony J. Cascardi and Leah Middebrook. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012, 117-138.

“Interpreting Inaccuracy: The Fiction of Longitude in Early Modern Spain.” The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 40:2 (Spring 2010): 299-324.

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