Chad M. Gasta

Department Chair & Professor of Spanish, Director of International Studies


Dept:Liberal Arts & Sciences Administration

Area of expertise: Cervantes, Early Modern Spanish literature, Latin American literature, Study Abroad

Topics of interest: Spanish for the professions, Spanish Golden Age, Spanish historical and contemporary culture


Chad M. Gasta (Ph. D., Michigan State University) is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the department. He also serves as Director of International Studies and Co-Director of the Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP) program. Gasta founded and currently co-directs Iowa State’s largest study abroad program, the ISU on Mediterranean – Summer in Valencia, Spain program, which features coursework in Spanish, engineering, business, and biology as well as internships in Spanish.

Gasta teaches a wide array of courses including Spanish for Global Professionals, Spanish Conversation for Professionals, Spain Today, Spanish Civilization and Culture as well as advanced courses on the literatures and cultures of early modern Spain and Latin America.

Gasta’s research focuses on transatlantic approaches to early modern literature, culture, and history of Spain and the New World. In particular, he has published on early opera and musical culture, theater, Cervantes, and the picaresque. He also writes on global education and international engagement through study abroad. 

Grants and Awards

  • ISU Award for Outstanding Early Achievement in Department Leadership (2016)

  • ISU International Service Award (2012)

  • LAS International Service Award (2011)

  • Master Teacher Award (2009)

  • ISU Award for Early Achievement in Teaching (2006)

  • LAS Award for Early Achievement in Teaching (2006)

  • Cassling Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006)

Recent / Major Publications


  • Transatlantic Arias: Early Opera in Spain and the New World (Madrid: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2013)

  • Imperial Stagings: Empire and Ideology in Transatlantic Theater of Early Modern Spain and the New World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013)

  • La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes. Annotated Critical Edition. Ed. Chad M. Gasta. (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2013)

  • Hispanic Studies in Honor of Robert L. Fiore. Ed. Chad M. Gasta and Julia Domínguez-Castellano. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs, 2009


  • “La visión de los novatores en Bances Candamo: La astrología como experimento teatral.” Atardece el Barroco: Ficción experimental en la España de Carlos II (1665-1700). Ed. Jorge García López and Enrique García Santo-Tomás. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2021. In press.

  • “Empire, Politics, and Literature.” Oxford Handbook of Spanish Golden Age Literature. Ed. J.A. Garrido Ardila. Oxford University Press. In press.

  • “Opera in Early Modern Iberia.” Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World. In press.

  • “Performing Musical Theater in the Bodas de Camacho in Don Quixote.” Living the Comedia: Essays Celebrating Amy Williamsen. Vol. II. Ed. Esther Fernández and Yuri Porras. University Press of the South, 2020. 165-76.

  • “Best Practices for Planning, Developing, and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Language-Based Study Abroad Programs.” Study Abroad: Traditions, Directions, and Innovations. New York: Modern Language Association, 2019. 119-36. Print.

  • “Transatlantic Opera in Spain and the New World in the 17th and Early 18th Centuries.” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. William Beezley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

  • “Cervantes and the Picaresque: A Question of Compatibility.” The Picaresque Novel in Western Literature: From the Sixteenth Century to the Neopicaresque. Ed. J. A. G. Ardila. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015. 96-112.

  • “Cervantes’s Theory of Relativity in Don Quixote.” Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America 31.1 (2011): 51-82.

  • “The Picaresque According to Cervantes.” Philological Quarterly 89.1 (2010): 31-54.

  • “‘Señora, donde hay música no puede haber cosa mala:’ Music, Poetry and Orality in Don Quijote.” Hispania 93.3 (2010): 357-67.