Mehl A. Penrose
Associate Professor

Mehl Penrose holds a doctorate in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA. His research focuses primarily on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural and literary studies of Spain. He also studies and writes about non-normative discursive representations of masculine gender expression and male sexualities; the intersections of legal, medical, journalistic, and literary discourses; French and German cultural, philosophical, and political influences on modern Spanish thought; and queer theory as it relates to modern and contemporary Spain.

His monograph, Masculinity and Queer Desire in Spanish Enlightenment Literature (Ashgate 2014), examines the non-normative male figure in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Spanish cultural discourse. His latest publications include (1) “Found in Translation: Homoerotica and Unconventional Muslim Masculinities in Gaspar María de Nava Álvarez’s Poesías asiáticas.” The Routledge Companion to the Hispanic Enlightenment. Eds. Elizabeth Franklin Lewis, Mónica Bolufer Peruga, and Catherine M. Jaffe. Abingdon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge, 2020, 342-54 and (2) "Performing the Closet in Clarín's La Regenta," Decimonónica 15.1 (Winter 2018): 32-49. 

He has published articles in such refereed journals as Decimonónica, DieciochoRevista Hispánica Moderna, and Romance Quarterly.

His current book project examines the origins of the medical and psychiatric image of the queer "invert" subject in nineteenth-century Spanish medical treatises and hygiene and sexology manuals and their influence on the development of Realist-Naturalist prose fiction in Spain. He received support for the project in the form of a UMD Research and Scholarship Award for Fall 2014 and a UMD sabbatical in Spring 2015.

Dr. Penrose teaches upper-division undergraduate courses in Spanish culture, history, and literature of all periods. He also teaches graduate seminars on Spanish Romanticism; gender, sexuality, class, and nationality in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Spanish literature; gender and sexuality in German, French, and Spanish literature of the Enlightenment; and the Realist and Naturalist novel in Spain.

He is currently a member of the Modern Language Association, the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the Ibero-American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Jimenez Hall