Jeanne Gillespie

Professor of Spanish

Jeanne Gillespie is Professor of Spanish and American Indian Studies and serves as Co-Director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi.


She is currently investigating the documentation of plant materials and healing practices in indigenous Mexican narratives, especially poetic and dramatic texts. She also studies the oral narrative of the Isleños.  These are descendants of Spanish-speaking settlers that arrived along the Gulf Coast in the late 18th century.  The have maintained a connection with their Canary Island roots for more than 3oo years.


Gillespie is the author of Saints and Warriors: Tlaxcalan Perspectives on the Conquest of Tenochtitlan (2004) and is co-editor of Women’s Voices and the Politics of the Spanish Empire (2009). She has served as guest editor of the Southern Quarterly for the issue “And We Are Still Here” (Summer 2014) on American Indian communities throughout the Gulf South from the contact to contemporary times, and “The Unexpected South” (Fall 2015) on the diversity of Southern arts and cultures. Her most recent publications include: “In the shadow of Coatilcue’s smile or reconstructing female indigenous subjectivity in the Spanish colonial record.” Women's Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799.  Monica Diaz and Rocio Quispe-Agnioli, eds. New York: Routledge. 2017; and “Where have all the (Chocolate and Popcorn) Flowers Gone? Recovering Healing Botanicals in Nahuatl Poetry,” The Body, Subject & Subjected. Debra Andrist, ed., Sussex, UK: Sussex Press, 2016.


Gillespie exhibits a passion for finding fascinating stories and rendering them into accessible narratives for reflection and further investigation.