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“You Imagine Me, and I Exist”: The Afterlives of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Nov 22 Fri
lectures-symposia, opera
"You Imagine Me, and I Exist": The Afterlives of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Royce Hall 314 Watch Livestream

A two-day symposium and dramatic prequel to the world premiere of JUANA, the opera based on the novel “Sor Juana’s Second Dream,” by UCLA Professor Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and presented by Opera UCLA.

Click here to visit the symposium website.

Click here to visit the Day 2 Event.


Friday, November 22

Royce 314

Kerckhoff Art Gallery

  • 2:30pm-3:30pm – Sor Juana Exhibition Walkthrough and Reception, Presentation by artist Alma López (UCLA LGBTQ Studies and Chicana/o Studies)

Freud Playhouse

  • 8pm – Juana premiere, tickets available here.

This symposium explores the multiple “afterlives” of Sor Juana, i.e., the many ways in which the famous/infamous nun has been represented – from 17th- and 18th-century visual and literary portraits to 20th- and 21st-century historical novels, poetry, plays, films, musical performances, visual arts, and even a Netflix mini-series. The title of the symposium, ‘You Imagine Me, and I Exist,’ comes from the English translation of an unfinished poem that was found in Sor Juana’s cell after her death in 1695 (proving that she never stopped writing). It was addressed to her supporters in Spain, and she was thanking them for “breathing another spirit into [her],” that is, giving her work new life by representing her, not as she was – a nun struggling (as she put it) to “learn more [and] be ignorant about less” – but as they wanted to imagine her: a great intellectual, a sublime poet, a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Designed for the campus community, particularly students and faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music, and those in the divisions of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as the broader Los Angeles community, this is a great opportunity to listen to music produced in colonial Mexican convents and learn about the life, history, and culture of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.


Presented by the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities.

Like most of UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE! Let us know you’ll be coming by RSVP. Seating is first-come, first-seated. Early arrival recommended. RSVPs do not guarantee entry.

Attending this Program?


This event is FREE! Let us know you’ll be coming by RSVP. Seating is first-come, first-seated. Early arrival recommended. RSVPs do not guarantee entry.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2 for events in Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music welcomes visitors to take non‐flash, personal‐use photography except where noted. Share your images with us @UCLAalpert / #UCLAalpert on Twitter + Instagram + Facebook


Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!

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