I attended Queen’s University at Kingston, graduating in 1984. I completed my MA and PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and in 1990 took up a position in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, where I am now Professor of English.
My research interests include Anglo Latin literature (especially Geoffrey of Monmouth), Arthurian literature, John Gower, and manuscript studies and book history. My book history work crosses periods, often focusing on how medieval texts are received in later periods. I also think a lot about how library practise affects how we work with the artefacts of the past. When I am wearing my Gower hat, I work particularly on the implications of Gower’s trilingual poetic practise, and have a special interest in his Latin poetics. And in the Arthurian world, I often explore the liminal space between “history” and “literature” in medieval historical texts.
My Arthurian work includes Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and The Arthur of Medieval Latin Literature (edited, University of Wales Press, 2011). Gower publications include A Companion to Gower (edited, D.S. Brewer, 2004). In book history, I’ve published Printing the Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) and The Book Unbound (edited, University of Toronto Press, 2004). I’ve also published chapters and journal articles in all these areas.
I hold a Killam teaching prize, a Killam research prize, and am a Distinguished University Scholar.
I would welcome students interested in medieval studies and/ or book history. Like many medievalists, I am interdisciplinary by training and inclination, so am also very interested in working with students outside my chronological focus, whose theoretical and methodological interests intersect with my own.
Recent and representative
- “Containing the Book: The Institutional Afterlives of Medieval Manuscripts.” In The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches, edited by Michael Johnston and Michael van Dussen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 96-118.
- “The Long and the Short of it: On Gower’s Forms.” In John Gower in England and Iberia: Manuscripts, Influences, Reception, ed. Ana Sáez-Hidalgo and R.F. Yeager (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2014), pp. 245-60.
- “Remembering Brutus: Aaron Thompson’s British History of 1718.” Arthurian Literature 30 (2013): 141-69.
- “Whose History? Naming Practices in the Transmission of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britannie.” Arthuriana 22.4 (2012): 8-24.
- The Arthur of Medieval Latin Literature: The Development and Dissemination of the Arthurian Legend in Medieval Latin. Edited. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011.
- “BOOM: Seeing Beowulf in Pictures and Print.” In Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination, ed. David Clark and Nicholas Perkins (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2010), pp. 129-45.
- “‘Whyche thyng semeth not to agree with other histories…’: Rome in Geoffrey of Monmouth and his Early Modern Readers.” Arthurian Literature 26 (2009): 109-29.
- Printing the Middle Ages. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
- “Gower’s ‘bokes of Latin’: Language, politics and poetry.” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 25 (2003): 123-56.
- “House Arrest: Modern Archives, Medieval Manuscripts.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 30 (2000): 185-210.