Professor, English; Honours Co-ordinator
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I am Professor of Medieval and Sixteenth-Century Literature, and the Reverend William Purvis Chair of English Literature , in the Department of English Literatures at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. I specialize in interdisciplinary approaches to literature, and my current primary research area is in the field of literature and science. I am the author of two monographs: Eagle (Reaktion Press, 2015) and Unified Fields: Science and Literary Form (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014). In other research roles, I have guest edited a special issue of Canadian Literature (2014), and I have been a contributing editor of a special joint issue of two literary journals, The New Quarterly and Arc Poetry Magazine. My current teaching activities include courses and supervisions in medieval literature and science and literature, and I was awarded the J. E. A. Crake Teaching Award in the Faculty of Arts in 2010. I am the organizer of the Online Teaching Resource Page for the British Society of Literature and Science, and I have organized several academic and public events, including the President Speaker's Series at Mount Allison University in 2010 and 2011; from 2010 to 2012 I was also Director of "CultureWorks," an interdisciplinary funding program at Mount Allison supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. My current research is on the intellectual heritage of medieval manuscript culture in the history of science.
English Courses Taught
Critical Reading and Writing (first-year course) Literature,
Science and Technology (first-year course)
Introduction to Poetry (first-year course)
Literary Periods to 1800 (second-year course)
Survey of Medieval English Literature: Anglo-Saxon and Middle English (third-year course)
Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales (third-year course)
Later Medieval Literature (third-year course)
Sixteenth Century Literature (third-year course)
Senior Seminars in Science and Literature (fourth-year course)
Present Research and Teaching Areas:
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature, including: Science and Literature;
Medieval Literature, including Chaucer;
Early Renaissance Literature;
2015 Eagle . Reaktion Books Limited, London, UK. An interdisciplinary study of eagles in nature, art and culture. A volume in Reaktion's Animal Series. Release date: 15 July 2015.
Unified Fields: Science and Literary Form
. McGill-Queen's University Press. A peer-reviewed study of the relationship between scientific ideas and poetic and prose literary forms. Publication funded by the Aid to Scholarly Publishing Program (SSHRC).
SPECIAL JOURNAL ISSUE
2014 Editor, with Travis Mason (Dalhousie University) and Amanda Jernigan (McMaster University), of a special journal issue on "Canadian Literature and Science." Canadian Literature 221 (Summer), 2014.
PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE AND BOOK CHAPTER PUBLICATIONS
2012 co-authored with Charlotte Sleigh. The Review of English Studies 63.259 (2012): 293-310. doi: 10.1093/res/hgr106. Winner: Editors’ Selected Papers of RES for 2012. Published online November 2011:
2010 “Life Forms: Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Sestina’ and DNA Structure.” Mosaic 43.1 (March 2010): 93-109.
2009 “Beauty Bare: The Sonnet Form, Geometry, and Aesthetics." Co-authored with Matthew Chiasson. The Journal of Literature and Science 2 (October 2009): 48-64. http://literatureandscience.research.glam.ac.uk/journal/issue2-1
2009 “Lover, Poet, Astronomer: Collecting Poems and Stars with David Levy.” The Dalhousie Review 89.2 (Summer 2009): 155-168.
2009 “Secret Allies: Reconsidering Science and Gender in Cat’s Eye.” English Studies in Canada 33.3 (September 2007, printed Spring 2009): 145-170.
2006 “Riddling Erotic Identity in Early English Lyrics.” “And Never Know the Joy”: Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry. Ed. C.C. Barfoot. DQR Studies in Literature Series. Amsterdam: Ropodi Press, 2006. 1-12.
2004 “Getting There is Half the Fun: Travel and Female Pleasure in English Erotica.” The Dalhousie Review 84.3 (Fall 2004) Special Pleasure Issue: 349-370.
2003 “Medieval Methods: Teaching Codicology at a Small, Manuscript-less University.” The Proceedings of the Atlantic Universities’ Teaching Showcase, Volume VIII. Eds. Todd Pettigrew and Denise Nevo. Halifax, NS: Mount St. Vincent University, 2003. 31-38.
2003 “Sex and Text: Teaching Porno-Erotic Literature to Undergraduates.” Dalhousie Review 83.2 (Summer 2003): 189-214.
2002 “Courtesy Books, Comedy, and the Merchant Masculinity of Balliol College MS 354.” Medieval Forum 1 (October 2002). http://www.sfsu.edu/~medieval.
INVITED ARTICLES, LITERARY ESSAYS, and OTHER WRITING
2014 Editorial: "A Daring and Beauty All its Own: Note on Canadian Literature and Science." Special journal issue on "Canadian Literature and Science." Canadian Literature 221 (Summer), 2014: 6-16.
2012 "Baby-Snatching Eagle Hoaxers Tapped into an Ancient Myth." The Globe and Mai l, Globe Life (Dec. 24, 2012): L7.
Published online 23 December 2012: www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/baby-snatching-eagle-hoaxers-tapped-into-an-ancient-myth/article6653176/
2011 "All that is Made: The Ova Aves Collection." Essay for The Ova Aves Project. QuArc: Special Joint Issue of The New Quarterly 119 and Arc Poetry Magazine 66, on Literature and Science (Summer 2011): TNQ 81-84.
2011 "An Egg is Miracle Enough." Interview of Gay Hansen for The Ova Aves Project. QuArc: Special Joint Issue of The New Quarterly 119 and Arc Poetry Magazine 66, on Literature and Science (Summer 2011): TNQ 96-98.
2011 "A Picture That Hummed Around My Head: 'Annie the Ant' and Interdisciplinary Child's Play." Introduction to "Annie the Ant" by Margaret Atwood. QuArc: Special Joint Issue of The New Quarterly 119 and Arc Poetry Magazine 66, on Literature and Science (Summer 2011): Arc 5-6.
Grants, awards, & honours
2015-2020 Reverend William Purvis Chair of English Literature
2015 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Aid to Small Universities Program Grant: "MTA Connects" (for Exhibiting Nature: Science, Aesthetics, and the Museum").
2014 Paul Paré Excellence Award for Research.
2013 Publication Grant, Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
2013 Winner, with Charlotte Sleigh, of one of the Editors' Selected Papers for 2012, Review of English Studies (Oxford Journals), for "'Here is my Honey-Machine': Sylvia Plath and the Mereology of the Bee Hive."
Recipient of the 2010 J.E.A. Crake Teaching Award in the Faculty of Arts, Mount Allison University.