MA Oxon, MA York, DPhil Oxon
Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in English

Academic Background

I read English at Oxford and then spent a year abroad before reading for an MA in Medieval Studies at York. I returned to Oxford to study for a doctorate, focusing on Chaucer, which I gained in 2002. I was a Fellow by Examination (Prize Fellow) at Magdalen College, Oxford, and also taught at King's College London before returning to Oxford in 2007 to take up a Tutorial Fellowship at Jesus. I have held research fellowships from both the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust. For the academic year 2015-2016 I have been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to work on a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer for Princeton University Press.

Undergraduate Teaching

Old English, Middle English and early Tudor literature, Chaucer, Course II, special options on literature and medicine (Anchorites to Asylums: Writing Bodies, Writing Minds).

Postgraduate Teaching

Current MSt course: Placing Chaucer. I am interested in supervising doctorates on topics including Chaucer, Usk, the Gawain-poet, literature and medicine, and fourteenth-century secular and political literature. Interdisciplinary and theoretically-oriented projects are welcome.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in late medieval secular literature and history, especially Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, and political texts. My first book - Chaucerian Conflict - came out with Oxford University Press in 2007 and I recently edited A Handbook of Middle English Studies for Wiley-Blackwell, as part of their Critical Theory Handbook series. I have published many articles on late medieval literature and history. I am also interested in literature and medicine, and in the relationship between space and textual production. I have contributed to and edited a special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (JMEMS) on the topic, ‘Medical Discourse in Premodern Europe’. My current major project is a substantial biography of Chaucer for Princeton University Press. I am also Book Review editor for the major journal Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies.

Selected Publications


A Handbook of Middle English Studies (Wiley- Blackwell, 2013) [as editor]

Chaucerian Conflict: Languages of Antagonism in Late Fourteenth-Century London (OUP, 2007)

Special Issue

Medical Discourse in Premodern Europe (as editor), JMEMS 46:1 (forthcoming, 2016)

Journal Articles

‘Illness Narratives in the Later Middle Ages: Arderne, Chaucer, and Hoccleve,’ JMEMS 46:1 (forthcoming 2016)

‘Thomas Usk and John Arderne’, Chaucer Review 47 (2012)

‘Usk and the Goldsmiths’, New Medieval Literatures 9 (2008): 139-77

‘Troilus and Criseyde and the Treasonous Aldermen of 1382: Tales of the City in Late Fourteenth Century London’, Studies in the Age of Chaucer 25 (2003): 225-57

‘“Certaynly his noble sayenges can I not amende”: Thomas Usk and Troilus and Criseyde’, Chaucer Review 37:1 (2002): 26-39

Articles in Edited Books

‘The Senses,’ in A New Companion to Chaucer, ed Peter Brown (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2016)

‘The English Context,’ in Chaucer in Context ed. Ian Johnson (Cambridge, CUP, forthcoming 2014)

‘Writing Revolution,’ in The Blackwell Companion to British Literature, vol 1. 700-1450, ed. Robert DeMaria, Jr., Heesok Chang, and Samantha Zacher (Blackwell, forthcoming 2014)

‘Imagining Polities: Social Possibilities and Conflict,’ in Middle English Literature: Criticism and Debate, ed. D. Vance Smith and Holly Crocker (Routledge, forthcoming 2013)

‘Conflict,’ in Twenty-first Century Approaches to Literature: Middle English, ed. Paul Strohm (OUP, 2007), pp. 258-73

‘Greater London’ in Chaucer and the City, ed. Ardis Butterfield (Boydell and Brewer, 2006), pp. 25-40

‘Politics and London Life,’ in A Concise Companion to Chaucer, ed. Corinne Saunders (Blackwell, 2005), pp. 13-33

‘The Carnivalesque’ in Chaucer: An Oxford Guide, ed. Steve Ellis (OUP, 2004), pp. 384-99

Other Information

I enjoy speaking to diverse audiences, and have appeared on several television and radio programmes on the BBC and Channel 4, talking about Chaucer and other aspects of late-medieval culture. I have also given public lectures at museums and galleries, and have run workshops at sixth-form colleges, university taster days and sessions, and reading groups on social media.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also Faculty of English website.