112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Erogenous Economy in La Celestina of Fernando de Rojas

Marina Najera, University of California, Riverside

This paper presents an economical perspective for evaluating Fernando de Rojas’s work La Celestina. I propose to show how Celestina was able to transcend the patriarchal structure through the commodification of sex, while creating a sexual empire, acquiring substantial power and influence, overall acquiring agency.


La Celestina of Fernando de Rojas displays a woman who was able to transcend the patriarchal structure through the acquisition of capital and goods. Celestina is known as an “alcahueta” a third person who facilitates illicit amorous relationships, typically personified as a woman. Professor Leyla Rouhi in her book, Mediation and Love, A Story of the Medieval Go-Between in Key Romance and Near Eastern Texts, states that the image of the go-between has always evoked sexual exchange, greed and corruption, similarly it has evoked the idea of a certain kind of knowledge sexuality and the female body. Celestina knows that sex is an integral part of human life and views it in terms of absolute necessity, thus converting the act into a good which can be bought and sold at one’s wishes. What is evident here, is that Celestina has assumed agency, something generally reserved for men. Using the theory Dr. Marina Dshade holds of how economics influences sex, as well as other literature that comment on the entrepreneurial spirit of Celestina, I propose to analyze Fernando de Rojas’s work La Celestina through an economical perspective in order to gain an insight into the sexual economy put forth in the work.

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