My primary area of specialization is Indigenous Latin American Studies with an emphasis on the colonial period (1492-1800). I also study and include in my classes works by and about Indian authors and artists of the Americas up into the early decades of the 20th century. My research keeps a specific focus on indigeneities and mestizo studies, not only in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean, but additionally with regard to other indigenous groups of the Americas.
My scholarly work is organized around the following thematic areas: Indigeneities and Mestizo Studies; Gender and Gendering (self) representations; Ways of Knowing, and Media and Popular Culture. In my books and essays, these topics and elements often intertwine and interact in a more or lesser degree. With my research and teaching in these four areas, I intend to uncover clues to the diverse and unresolved issues of contemporary (Latin) American societies and compare them with the colonial experiences of others from North America, Southeast Asia or Australia. Such observations shed light on Latin American colonialidad and provide tools to deconstruct Latin American transactions with its colonial mindset of past and present. My latest publications and presentations also intend to build a bridge among expressions and representations of indigeneity and the mestizo across national borders.
Lastly, my work benefits from the interdisciplinary connections among various fields, including intellectual history, anthropology, literary theory of the colonial texts, art history and iconography, visual studies, semiotics, and postcolonial and subaltern studies.
Publications | Books
Women’s Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799. Eds. Mónica Díaz & Rocío Quispe-Agnoli. New York: Routledge, 2017.
Even though women had been historically underrepresented in official histories and literary and artistic traditions, their voices and writings can be found in abundance in the many archives of the world where they remain to be uncovered. The present volume seeks to recover women’s voices and actions while studying the mechanisms through which they authorized themselves and participated in the creation of texts and documents found in archives of colonial Latin America.
Available in Routledge and Amazon. Featured in: “Esa literatura escrita por mujeres y muy poco conocida del periodo colonial.” Interview by Daniel Avila, La Mula. First published on September 25, 2017.
Nobles de papel: Identidades oscilantes y genealogías borrosas en los descendientes de la realeza Inca. Madrid: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2016.
2017 Flora Tristan Book Award, LASA-Peru Section
This book examines the oscillating identities of the colonial descendants of Inca kings in the eighteenth-century borders of the Spanish empire, by means of discursive analysis of the petitions of nobility by the Uchu Túpac Yupanqui family of Lambayeque, Perú. The unpublished manuscript of such record, classified as Mexico 2346 in Seville’s Archivo General de Indias, depicts the twelve-year legal and social journey of doña María Joaquina Uchu Inca in viceregal Mexico. The study of written and visual iconic texts reveals the history of the Uchu Túpac Yupanqui family from 1544 to 1801.
For more information, visit: “La historia de María Joaquina Uchu, una noble inca en México del siglo XVIII” Interview with Javier Torres Seoane. In addition to Iberoamericana Vervuert, available in Libros Peruanos (Perú); Librería Sur (Perú); and Amazon.
La fe andina en la escritura: identidad y resistencia en la obra de Guamán Poma de Ayala. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2006.“This book is one of the best examples of interdisciplinary work. Discursive and Visual Semiotics, Critical textual analysis and historiographical research come together to approach the work of the distinguished Andean author of sixteenth-century Peru, don Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala. Quispe-Agnoli observes the author’s obsession with the Spanish script and how it affects the recording and transmission of information in the Andean world. The analysis of Guamán Poma’s use of alphabetic writing in his verbal and iconic reflections of the Spanish-Andean colonial world follows. The book concludes with a reflection on the political and economic power of alphabetic writing , and the colonization of Andean record-keeping system by the Spanish script in Guamán Poma’s times” (Marcel Velázquez, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos). Available in Libros Peruanos (Perú)
Durmiendo en el agua (short fiction). Lima: Mundo Ajeno Editores, 2008. “This is R. Qespi‘s (aka R. Quispe-Agnoli) first collection of short fiction. The eight short stories in this book deal with love in multiple variants, tanathos–love’s relation with death–and children’s gaze. The characters in these stories defy in very subtle ways social rules of the dominant patriarchal hierarchy. Children (especially “niñas“) and women who fall in love, look at, remember and reconstruct theirs and the family past, who confront male power, and adults who think their lives away from what society rules as “normal” and “usual,” come together in this collection and let us know what they think, what they see, hear and feel, and their final choices.” (José Donayre, Presentación). Available in Amazon.
Publications | Invited Editor of Monographic Issues
Más allá de los 400 años: Guamán Poma de Ayala revisitado. Monographic issue. Letras, Revista de Investigación de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Vol. 91, 133 (2020) (in collaboration with Carlos García Bedoya).
Monographic issue on the life and works of colonial Peruvian Indigenous writer Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala. It includes 12 essays and 30 images that examine the Nueva corónica y buen gobierno (1615) beyond the 400th anniversary of its production. In 2007, UNESCO added Guamán Poma’s work to the Memory of the World Register.
Mirrors and Mirages: Women’s Gaze as an Artistic Topos in Hispanic Letters. Co-edited with María Claudia André. Monographic issue. CIEHL-International Journal of Humanistic Studies and Literature, Vol. 22 (2015).
Monographic issue. Includes one Introduction, nine essays and one short fiction. Published by the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Humacao. Introduction “Mirrors and Mirages: Women’s Gaze in Hispanic Literature and Visual Arts” co-authored by María Claudia André and Rocío Quispe-Agnoli.
Women’s Gaze: Visual Narratives and Narrations of the Visual in the Luso-Hispanic World. Co-edited with María Claudia André. Special issue Letras Femeninas, 40.1 (Summer 2014).
This special issue seeks to explore how visual/iconic narratives from women’s authors and characters interact with their written counterparts to convey views and perceptions of the women’s experience in the Hispanic world across time. The relationship between individuals and their writings of both, their intimate and public worlds, is undoubtedly connected to their visual experiences and what Nicholas Mirzoeff calls “visual practices.” Articles in this special issue bring visual art analysis and literary studies together by showing the interrelation between the visual image, the ‘ars rhetorica’ and written texts that either depart from visual images or are used for the production of iconic images and imagery.
Beyond the Convent Walls/Más alla del convento. Monographic issue CIEHL-International Journal of Humanistic Studies and Literature, Vol 5 (2005-2006).
This collection of articles on colonial women’s studies beyond the convent walls, has a special focus on women’s daily lives and challenges in Spanish America. It includes 10 essays in addition to an introduction by the editor, “Más allá del convento: voces femeninas coloniales y desafíos diarios en Hispanoamérica.”