Professor of Spanish & Chair
Director, International Studies
Co-Director, Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP)

Chad M. Gasta (Ph. D., Michigan State University) is Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. He also serves as Director of International Studies and Co-Director of the Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP) program. He also was Director of U.S. Latino/a Studies.

I founded and currently co-direct Iowa State’s largest study abroad experience, the ISU on Mediterranean – Summer in Valencia, Spain program, which features coursework in Spanish, engineering, film studies, business, and biology. This study abroad program has been a finalist for prestigous awards.

With respect to teaching, I offer courses on Spanish for Professionals, Spanish Conversation for Professionals, contemporary Spain as well as other courses related to the literatures and cultures of early modern Spain and Latin America including Cervantes' Don Quixote, the picaresque and Golden Age theater.

My research and speaking engagements focus on transatlantic approaches to early modern literature, culture, and history of Spain and the New World. In particular, I have published on early opera and musical culture, theater, Cervantes, and the picaresque. Additionally, I also write on global education and international engagement through study abroad. Among my major publications are the following books, which are detailed below: Imperial Stagings: Empire and Ideology in Transatlantic Theater of Early Modern Spain and the New World (UNC Press, 2013), Transatlantic Arias: Early Opera in Spain and the New World (Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2013), and an annotated critical edition of Lazarillo de Tormes (Waveland, 2013). Along with Julia Domínguez, I edited Hispanic Studies in Honor of Robert L. Fiore (Juan de la Cuesta, 2009).

For more information on my publications, please see below.


Email :

Phone : (515) 295 - 0918 (office)

Address : 
Department of World Languages & Cultures
Iowa State University
3102 Pearson Hall
Ames, IOWA 50011 USA



Outstanding Early Achievement in Department Leadership - 2016

Emerging Leaders Academy, Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost - 2013-2014

Iowa State University International Service Award - 2012

Iowa State University Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Teaching - 2005


LAS International Service Award - 2011

LAS Master Teacher - 2008-2009

LAS Outstanding Early Achievement in Teaching - 2005

Cassling Family Award for Outstanding Early Achievement in Teaching - 2005



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

Employing current theories of ideology, propaganda and musical reception, Transatlantic Arias examines the development and impact of early opera in Spain and the Americas through close examination of the New World’s first three extant operas. What emerges is an amazing history of extraordinarily complex lyrical and musical works for their time and place, which are also critical for illuminating inimitable perspectives on the cohabitation and collaboration of indigenous groups and Europeans.

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

The promotion of state ideology was pervasive in early modern Spain and its New World colonies. One cultural medium affected, theater--the most popular and viable form of mass entertainment at the time--frequently played a role in the advancement of imperial rule. However, despite censorship and the state control of theaters, early modern dramatists also found novel and covert methods to criticize Spain's handling of its imperial affairs by proposing alternative solutions to the problems with which they dealt. Imperial Stagings shows how the dramas of Lope de Vega, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz confronted the economic, legal, socio-political, and religious problems of Spain and its colonies. It studies how drama, a reciprocal transatlantic phenomenon, interacted with Spanish imperial ideology as it attempted to foster the creation of a national identity.


La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades. Annotated Critical Edition / Long Grove, IL (Waveland Press) - 2013. Paper and E-Book.

Lazarillo de Tormes is considered the world’s first picaresque novel and its prototype. Published in 1554 concurrently in Spain and Antwerp by an unknown author, the book tells the story of Lazarillo, an orphaned boy who becomes an apprentice to a series of masters, each of whom train him in the ways of the world. As the adult narrator, Lázaro explains how through cunning, deception, and wit, he has been able to overcome his ignoble birth to ascend socially and prosper materially. But in the process of reading his story, we become mindful of the difficulties of living in imperial Spain. This edition contains solid historical background material places the text in its cultural milieu and helps learners of Spanish master this fantastic story. The text is further annotated with abundant vocabulary glosses, end-of-chapter questions for comprehension and analysis, and helpful and informative notes.


Hispanic Studies in Honor of Robert L. Fiore. Edited by Chad M. Gasta and Julia Domínguez. Long Grove, IL (Juan de la Cuesta) - 2009

A collection of 32 essays on topics ranging from colonial Latin American literature to Golden Age theater to contemporary Spanish film written by some of the world's most reknown hispanists in honor of Prof. Robert L. Fiore.


since 2008

“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. Print.

“Writing to be Heard: Performing Music in Don Quixote.” Perspectives on Cervantes. Ed. Julia Domínguez. Madrid: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2012. Print.

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

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

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

“Early Opera in Spain and the New World.” Hispanic Studies in Honor of Robert L. Fiore. Newark, DE: Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs, 2009. Print.

“Cross-Cultural Knowledge, Business Practices and Student Learning Via Study Abroad.” Global Business Language 13 (2008): 29-44. Print.

“Entrepreneurship, Immigration and Street Vendors in Spain” with Leland L’Hote. Journal of Contemporary Iberian Studies 20.1 (2007): 3-22. Print.

“Opera and Spanish Evangelization in the New World.” Gestos 44 (2008): 1-23. Print.