Congratulations to Prof. Yolanda Iglesias for the John K. Walsh Award

January 22, 2021 by Berenice Villagómez

Our most heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Yolanda Iglesias, who has won the John K. Walsh Award for her essay “Revalorización de los conceptos de pecado y delito en Las Siete Partidas y Las Cantigas de Santa María”.

Prof. Iglesias's article (co-authored with Prof. David Navarro) was published in La corónica: A Journal of Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. This award is given annually to the author of an outstanding article published in the previous volume of La corónica. The selection of the recipient of this award is made by the Executive Committee of the MLA Forum, LLC Medieval Iberian in memory of distinguished medievalist John K. Walsh (1939-1990). The tribute is celebrated every year with a reception at the Modern Language Association Convention.

According to the abstract, the article examines the new notion of the terms sin, sinner and crime from the perspective of adultery in Siete Partidas and in Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X (1212–1284). The legal text shares the semantic value of sin according to the canonical moral dogma, but deviates in terms of the role played by crime as a social order transgression. We argue this allowed the monarch to utilize the ecclesiastical discourse of the Cantigas as a conduit to establish his sole authority in the regulation and interpretation of the laws. Furthermore, the artistic and visual expression of the concepts of sin and crime in the poetic framework of the Cantigas may serve as a vehicle for transmitting Alfonso’s new legal agenda to an audience wider than the public legal body.

Prof. Iglesias received the award, along with a cash prize, in a formal award ceremony on January 8 during the MLA's annual convention. The convention and the award ceremony were held online this year due to COVID-19 travel and social gathering restrictions.

Prof. Iglesias's article appears in La corónica 48 (2020): 69-102. Current and previous award winners are published in La corónica each spring.