Associate Professor, Department of English
Adjunct Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Editor, Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Sycamore Hall, Rm.
Ph.D., English. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1995
M.A., English. UCSB, 1992
M.A., Systematic Theology. Graduate Theological Union, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
B.A., History. Loyola University, Los Angeles, 1980
My research and teaching focus on both on Chaucer and on texts of Medieval Romance from the high to the late Middle Ages, particularly in light of psychoanalytic, postcolonial, gender, and cultural theory. My first book, Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2001) offers a systematic reconsideration of Arthurian literature in Britain in the context of the shared dreamings and political contestations between England and Wales from the twelfth century onwards. My work is impelled both by an interest in what counts as history and with how contemporary theories might help us to deepen our understanding of the past.
I am currently at work on two book-length projects, each of which continues my interest historicism and its vicissitudes. All Things New asks why, despite evidence regarding the innovations of medieval culture, the category of the "medieval new" still seems such an oxymoron. The project engages both narratives of periodization (and the current turn to St. Paul’s in the service of a "new universalism" by scholars such as Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek) and the material innovations of technology, art, and text. Chaucer’s Haunted Aesthetics takes up the hoary question of "medieval aesthetic" so as ultimately to recast claims about the "timeless" quality of Chaucer’s poetry in favor of its untimeliness, its multiple engagements with past, present, and future.
Courses Recently Taught
- ENG-L 213 Masterpieces of Literature: Ancient and Medieval
- ENG-E 301 English literature to 1600
- ENG-L 305 Chaucer
- ENG-L 399 Honors Seminar: Literary Secrets and Lies
- ENG-L 371 Critical Practices: Theories of Meaning and Pleasure
- ENG-L 612 Chaucer’s Haunted Aesthetics
- ENG-L 613/713 Race and Romance
- ENG-L 613 Romancing Troy: History, Fantasy, and Trauma
- ENG-L 680 Arthurian Romance
Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
Postcolonial Moves: Medieval Through Modern, with Michelle Warren, eds. Postcolonial Moves: Medieval Through Modern. New York: Palgrave Press, 2003.
with Karma Lochrie, eds. “Medieval and Early Modern Utopias,” Special Issue. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Fall, 2006.
“Amorous Dispossessions: Truth, Desire, and the Poet’s Dead Body,” Post-Historicisms in Medieval Studies, eds. Scala, Elizabeth and Sylvia Federico, The New Middle Ages Series (New York: Palgrave Press, forthcoming)
“Making all things New: Past, Progress, and the Promise of Utopia.” Introduction to the Special Issue on “Medieval and Early Modern Utopias,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. 35.3 (2006), 479-492.
“Losing French: Translation, Nation, and Caxton’s English Statutes,” Caxton's Trace , ed. William Kuskin (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006). 275-298.
"Psychoanalytic Criticism." Chaucer: An Oxford Guide, ed. Steve Ellis (Oxford UP, 2005). 463-478.
“Contrapuntal Histories,” Postcolonial Moves: Medieval Through Modern, eds. Ingham and Warren. (New York: Palgrave Press, 2003.) 47-70.
with Alexander Doty, "The Evil/Medieval: Gender, Sexuality, and Miscegenation in Val Tourner’s Cat People” BAD: Infamy, Darkness, Evil, and Slime on Screen, ed. Murray Pomerance (New York: SUNY Press, 2003). 225-237.
“Pastoral Histories: Conquest, Utopia, and the Wife of Bath’s Tale,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 44.1 (2002), 34-46.
“‘In Contrayez Straunge’: Colonial Relations, British Identity and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” New Medieval Literatures, 4 (2001), 61-93.
“Marking Time: ‘Branwen, Daughter of Llyr’ and the Colonial Refrain,” The Post-Colonial Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey J. Cohen New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 225-46.
“Homosociality and Creative Masculinity in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale,” Masculinities in Chaucer, ed. Peter G. Beidler, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 1998, 23-35
“Masculine Military Unions: Rivalry and Brotherhood in the Avowing of King Arthur,” Arthuriana, 6, 4 (Winter, 1996): 25-44.