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Faculty: Alisa Tigchelaar

Alisa Tigchelaar, Assistant Professor

(616) 526-7108
Office: Hiemenga 419A

Educational background

BA (Spanish and Philosophy) 1992
MA Indiana University (Hispanic Literature) 1995 
PhD Indiana University (Hispanic Literature) 1999 

Academic interests

I enjoy investigating what literature reveals about society and people, and, concurrently, how it gives its readers a platform from which to dialogue about their own environments, ideas, and realities. I also enjoy teaching the Spanish language fo a similar reason: the space that it gives its student speakers to broaden their cultural and relational perspectives. My own continuing study of the peoples that speak Castillian and their cultural production both informs my profession and my horizons. My scholarship is in the area of Early Modern Spanish religious literature. I deal mainly with the production of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish cloistered nuns, with an emphasis on what their literature reveals about their lives and the expression of their spirituality. Particular interests include contrasting the roles afforded secular women versus religious as suggested in their respective literary production.

Recent activities

Director, Study-in-Spain 2005-2007; presented a paper at the Renaissance Society of America conference in Los Angeles in March 2009 entitled Theater in the Post-Catholic-Reformation Spanish Convent: The Pastoral Influence in a Dramatic Text,by Cecilia del Nacimiento (1570-6146); presented a paper at NACFLA in San Diego entitled The World of the Early Modern Carmelite Nun Expressed in Poetry; currently working on a book chapter that is a continuation of the research that she did for the paper on the pastoral – the book examines the efficacy of the use of the pastoral mode in several lesser-known literary texts.


Reading, house and garden, crossword puzzles, good conversation, shopping, antiques.

Spanish-speaking countries visited

Mexico, Spain.

Additional information

One of her favorite quotes on literature:
De[l alma] han nacido en todos tiempos artes y letras; siendo aquellas tan necesarias para que el entendimiento perciba clara y distintamente las cosas, como luz para distinguir cuanto se encuentra al alcance de nuestras miradas…Hace que el espíritu vea determinadamente todo lo que deba ver y apreciar. Cuánto más activa no será esta impresión mediante la representación viva y real de los objetos mismos, fin a que se dirige el teatro?
One of her favorite Biblical personages is Simon Peter.