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Leah Middlebrook

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish
Comparative Literature, European Studies, Romance Languages, Spanish
Phone: 541-346-3103
Office: 355 PLC Hall
Office Hours: F 2023 - W 11-1, on sabbatical leave W/S
Research Interests: poetry and poetics; comparative modernities; critical race studies; early modern literature and culture of Spain, the Spanish Americas, France and Great Britain


B.A., 1989, Spanish Literature, Columbia University
M.A., 1991 and Ph.D., 1998, University of California, Berkeley


Leah Middlebrook received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1998 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she specialized in sixteenth-century Spanish, French and English lyric poetry. She spent 1994-95 in Madrid as a Fulbright scholar. From 1998-2000 she was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities in the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where she continued on as a lecturer in 2000-2001, before joining COLT and Romance Languages in 2002. Dr. Middlebrook’s research and teaching interests include the lyric, poetry and poetics, early modern translation, theories of the subject, and critical constructions of Western modernity, particularly as those constructions shape our ideas about the “early” modern. She has published essays on early modern poetry and poetics, on Cervantes, and on comparative issues in seventeenth-century Spanish and French theater. Her books include Imperial Lyric: New Poetry and New Subjects in Early Modern Spain (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009. Print.) and Poiesis and Modernity in the Old and New Worlds, co-edited with Anthony J. Cascardi (Nashville: Hispanic Issues. Vanderbilt University Press, 2012. Print.)  Amphion: Lyre, Poetry, and Politics in Modernity is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in 2024. Her current book project sets Velazquez's 1636 painting Las Meninas at the center of an extended consideration of gender and woman-ness as tropes of early, high, and late modernity; a second project situates Ovid's Metamorphoses in extra-European contexts. In addition to her primary research fields, Dr. Middlebrook finds real joy in reading literature with UO students. There is always something new to discover in Don Quijote, in the novellas of Maria de Zayas, in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, or in pretty much any poem. Let's take a look.

Leah Middlebrook states:

"Inclusion, respect and humility across the spectrum of our collective human experience are crucial to me and to the courses I teach. I hope you will join me in setting them at the center of your experience at UO. I also hope that each and every student in my classes, from COLT 101 and 102 through advanced seminars in SPAN, COLT, and the Honors College will count on me as an ally as you negotiate this big, burgeoning, inspiring and sometimes a little overwhelming campus. Let's work together."

Leah Middlebrook received the Herman Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Oregon in 2016. She received the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching at the junior faculty level in 2007.

Look for Professor Middlebrook’s courses in COLT, SPAN and RL!