I’m an Associate Professor of Old and Middle English at Rutgers University-Camden, where I study medieval English literature and culture. My first book will be published soon, on food and cooking in medieval English romance, primarily as they are used to discuss political theory. The title is Political Appetites: Food in Medieval English Romance and it is due out October 2017 from The Ohio State University Press.
I am currently working on several new projects: I am co-editing a volume called Practical Approaches to Teaching Beowulf with Dr. Larry Swain, a collection of essays by those teaching this poem the most, rather than by faculty at research-heavy institutions. I am also working on two new monographs. The first is called Old English Hip Hop, and it will be a study on the oral culture and poetics of Old English, using hip hop artists as my comparison, and discovering what new questions arise when we look at this vibrant tradition and its relation to composition, memory, tradition, form, voice, and authority. The second book is tentatively titled Decriminalizing Sin and presents the story of the deadly sin of Avarice as it progresses from radix malorum to proto-capitalist virtue from the Old English period through to Jacobean literature, using the penitential tradition in comparison with Marx’s historical narrative of primitive accumulation.
My teaching is heavily involved with the interplay between medieval and modern, demonstrating what sophisticated knowledge of the Middle Ages can reveal to our contemporary world. My classes reach a broad variety of RUC students, undergraduate and graduate, majors and otherwise, and include classes on ancient and medieval heroism, traveling in the Middle Ages, global collections of short stories, and the Icelandic sögur, as well as standard English fare as early literature surveys, Chaucer, and Old English literature. I see the medieval world as a global, multicultural phenomenon intricately wound with secular politics and religious experience, and believe this pre-capitalist, pre-fundamentalist, pre-colonialist, pre-Renaissance world contains valuable lessons about what the modern world can become.
In my spare time, I’m an avid translator of Anglo-Saxon poetry, and my work can be found on my webpage, The Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry Project (URL listed below). I have also opened up a project to translate the entirety of the extant Old English homilies in modern English, work that is much-needed.
461 Armitage Hall
311 North Fifth Street
Camden NJ 08102
Email (the best way to reach me):
The Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry Project
The Old English Homily Project