Department of English
office: Linsly-Chittenden 306
office hours: Tues. 1:45-3:45
Most of my current work centers on the metrical form of Middle English alliterative poetry: its historical development, its variant realizations, and its reception both in the Middle Ages and after. Among the Middle English poems, I am interested especially in the metrical form of Piers Plowman and in that of rhymed alliterative verse. Other aspects of this project interface with Old English metrics, the classical and medieval disciplines of grammar and rhetoric, and the history of metrical scholarship, from the eighteenth century to the present. A monograph, titled Pursuit of Form: Historical Understandings of Middle English Alliterative Verse, is under review.
I write as well on a number of other topics, all centered in medieval England, along the boundaries between literary history, philology, and cultural studies: the history of rhetoric and education; the history of ethics; manuscript and textual studies; medieval multilingualism; and the reception of classical literature. And I am interested in almost anything having to do with Piers Plowman. These research areas are currently represented by articles in New Medieval Literatures (on the teaching of Latin prose composition in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), Medium Ævum (on the manuscript rubrics and versional development of Piers Plowman; forthcoming), and the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (on the reception of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy; also forthcoming); an article in progress on John Gower's Vox Clamantis and the 1381 Rising; and conference papers and organized sessions, as detailed in other pages of this website.
Although it does not figure prominently in my current writing, I continue to be interested in modern philosophy and theory, where my attachments are principally to Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, more distantly to Hegel, Marx, and Lacan.
At Yale I teach a survey of English poetry (Chaucer to Donne), freshman composition, and an array of undergraduate seminars on late medieval English literature. I have also taught graduate seminars on medieval multilingualism and on Piers Plowman.
The header image is by Mira Calix, one of my favorite artists; the photos are by Meg Studer and Zach Stone.