Barbara L Mujica


Professor, Emeritus Faculty


Department of Spanish and Portuguese
General profile


+1 202-687-5778

Alt. phone





405 ICC

Office hours

TuTh 10-11:15


Barbara Mujica is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and critic. Her lastest novel is I Am Venus, inspired by The Rokeby Venus of Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. Her novel Frida is based on the tumultuous relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and the rivalry between Frida and her sister Cristina for Diego's affection. Published by Overlook in 2001 and in paperback by Plume in 2002, the book has appeared in seventeen languages and has been a bestseller in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Barbara Mujica's previous novel, Sister Teresa, was published by Overlook in 2007. The paperback edition came out in 2008. Sister Teresa was adapted for the stage by Coco Blignaut, of the Actors' Studio, in Los Angeles, under the name God's Gypsy. The play opened at the Elephant Theater in Los Angeles in November, 2013, and is now touring. "Gotlib,Bombero," one of Dr. Mujica's stories, was recently adapted for the stage by Ronda Spinak of the Jewish Women's Theater in Los Angeles.

A Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, Dr. Mujica is a specialist in Early Modern Spanish literature and contemporary Latin American Culture. She is President Emerita of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater and Editor of Comedia Performance, a journal devoted to early modern theater. She has written extensively on Spanish literature, mysticism, the pastoral novel, early modern women,and seventeenth-century theater. Her her articles have appeared in many academic journals and essay collections.

Dr. Mujica's books on early modern literature include A New Anthology of Early Modern Spanish Theater: Play and Playtext (Yale University Press, 2014); Shakespeare and the Spanish Comedia (Bucknell University Press, 2013 [editor]),Teresa de Avila, Lettered Woman (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), Teresa de Jesus: Feminismo y espiritualidad (Orto / Univerisity of Minnesota, 2007), Women Writers of Early Modern Spain (Yale Univeristy Press, 2004), Et in Arcadia Ego: Essays on Death in the Pastoral Novel (University Press of America, 1990, co-authored with Bruno Damiani), Iberian Pastoral Characters (Scripta Humanistica, 1986), and Calderon's Characters: An Existential Point of View (Puvill, 1980). She has also edited El texto puesto en escena: Estudios sobre la comedia en honor a Everett W. Hesse (2000, with Anita Stoll), Looking at the Comedia in the Year of the Quincentennial (1993, with Sharon Voros), and Texto y espectáculo (1989). She also edited Comedia Studies at the End of the Century, a special issue of the journal Hispania (Sept. 1999).

Bárbara Mujica has published eight anthologies of Spanish and Spanish American literature: Milenio: Mil años de literatura española (2001), Antología de la literatura española: Siglos XVIII y XIX (1999), Premio Nóbel: Once grandes escritores del mundo hispánico (1997), Texto y vida: Introducción a la literatura hispanoamericana (1992), Antología de la literatura española: Edad Media (1991), Antología de la literatura española: Renacimiento y Siglo de Oro (1991), Texto y vida: Introducción a la literatura española (1990), and Readings in Spanish Literature (1975). Her anthologies have been published by Georgetown University Press, Oxford University Press, Yale University Press,John Wiley & Sons, and Harcourt College Publishing. Her articles have appeared in many scholarly journals and collections. She has also published numerous language books, the most recent being El próximo paso, published by Harcourt in 1996. In 2001 she published Hispanomundo, an overview of Latin American culture.

She is director of El Retablo, Georgetown University's Spanish-language theater group. From 2003-2006 she was a Helen Hayes judge. She serves on the board of GALA Hispanic Theater.

As book review editor of Américas, the cultural magazine of the Organization of American States, Dr. Mujica reviewed new books from Latin America and interviewed Latin American authors for fifteen years. Over 130 of her reviews and interviews were published in Books of the Américas: Reviews and Interviews from Américas Magazine, 1990-1995 (1997). She now frequently reviews for Sixteenth Century Journal and Washington Independent Review of Books. She was theater editor of the Latin American Handbook. Mujica's articles on Hispanic culture and language have appeared in hundreds of major newspapers and magazines.

Barbara Mujica has written several book-length works of fiction not mentioned above: The Deaths of Don Bernardo (novel, 1990), Sanchez across the Street (stories, 1997), Far from My Mother's Home (stories, 1999; French edition 2005); Spanish edition (2016). Mujica's stories have appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including The Minnesota Review, Pangolin Papers, The Literary Review, Letras Femeninas, Saint Ann's Review, and anthologies such as Where Angels Glide at Dawn, eds. Lori Carlson and Cynthia Ventura, Intro. Isabel Allende (1990, 1993), What Is Secret: Stories by Chilean Women, ed. Marjorie Agosín (1995), Two Worlds Walking, ed. C. W. Truesdale and Diana Glancy (1994), and The House of Memory, ed. Marjorie Agosín (1999).

Mujica has won numerous prizes for her writing. In 2015 her story "Jason's Cap" won first prize in the Maryland Writers' Association national fiction competition. In 2016, "Ox" took second. In 2012 I Am Venus was a winner in the category Historical Fiction, and "Imagining Iraq," in the category Short Story. She has also won The Trailblazer's Award for Frida and other writings, the Pangolin Prize for Best Short Story of the Year, and the E. L. Doctorow nternational Fiction Competition. In addition, she has won grants and awards from Poets and Writers of New York, the Spanish Government, Georgetown University, and other institutions. She is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize for Fiction. Mujica's essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning Star, and hundreds of other publications. Her essay "Bilingualism's Goal" was named one of the best 50 op-eds of the decade by The New York Times.

Dr. Mujica is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Comedia Performance, the journal of the Association of Hispanic Classical Theater, and a member of the editorial board of Bulletin of the Comediantes.

Since her son returned from Iraq, Dr. Mujica has become active in veterans issues. She is faculty adviser of the Georgetown University chapter of Student Veterans of America and Associate Facilitator of the Veterans Support Team, a group of administrators, faculty, and students interested in veterans issues. She works closely with the administration to make Georgetown a veteran-friendly campus and frequently speaks and publishes on veteran-related topics. In February 2015 she was awarded a Presidential Medal by Georgetown University for her work on behalf of student veterans. In 2016 she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown University.


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  • Ph.D. (1974) New York University, Spanish


  • French (speak, read, write)
  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Italian (speak, read, write)
  • Portuguese (speak, read, write)
  • Spanish (speak, read, write)