Scholar Bio

I am a specialist in medieval English, but my curiosity ranges from Late Antiquity to contemporary writing. I am fascinated by the ways education shapes literature, and literature depicts education. Other related obsessions include: second-language learning, linguistic disability, representations of violence, metapoetics, short forms, and wit. I’m working on a monograph about transgressive charisma in the Middle Ages that draws from performance and celebrity studies, and pursuing a variety of feminist projects alongside it.

I received my BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, where I was a graduate fellow of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. At Yale, I completed an MPhil in Medieval Studies and a PhD in English, receiving the English department’s James A. Veech Prize for best dissertation. In my final year I was a Whiting Fellow and a graduate fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center.

During my doctorate I was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, and from there I moved on to a tenure track in the English department at Southern Methodist University. I was an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin, and am now Professor and head of English Medieval Studies at the University of Bonn.

At Bonn, I am head of a sub-project of Sonderforschungsbereich 1167 “Macht und Herrschaft – Vormoderne Ordnungen in transkultureller Perspektive” and an associated member of the Junges Kolleg of the Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste.

My articles have appeared in New Literary History, postmedievalAngliaThe Chaucer Review, PMLAExemplaria, and The Forum for Modern Language Studies, as well as in essay collections published in the UK, USA, France, Luxembourg, and Germany.

My monograph, The Experience of Education in Anglo-Saxon Literature, was published by Cambridge University Press. I am also the editor of Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi, a collection of essays and poems on the humanities in times of crisis. With Eric Weiskott I edited The Shapes of Early English Poetry: Style, Form, History, and with Bruce Holsinger a special issue of New Literary History titled “In Brief.”

You can find a full list of my research publications here.