Joined Eastern: 2015
Ph.D., Marquette University
M.A., University of Mississippi
B.A., Marquette University
Masterpieces of European Literature I
Survey of British Literature I
Chaucer and Medieval Literature
Milton and the Seventeenth Century
Students are being pulled in so many different directions—school, family, faith, and finances. Such demands can alter the ways we view the world, causing us to focus on ourselves and immediate goals. A recent article in Science by Kidd and Castano discussed the idea that reading literature changes a reader’s ability to understand emotions and motivations of other people. Reading literature, then, allows us to see the world in new ways, seeing new perspectives, and forcing us to investigate our own responses to people, beliefs, and ideas. I believe that literature also offers an ability to understand the human experience through ways that employ critical judgment, illuminating specific concerns within a historical context. So literature not only allows these students to view the human experience in broader terms than they might normally, but literature also gives students the opportunity to understand that we leave behind cultural artifacts that reflect the beliefs and interests of our world.
My research interests range from medieval aesthetics to Ricardian politics, and from medieval poetry to theories of space and place. These interests mean that I look at how authors/artists attempt to create beauty for an audience, how politics influence culture and literature, how medieval poets create their works, and how authors/artists understand their surroundings. To be more specific, my work focuses on the intersection of important societal and cultural institutions and literature, primarily of the later fourteenth century and the court of Richard II; however, the middle ages spanned over a thousand years—depending on the location and who is defining it—so such concerns can be seen beyond the years of 1377-1400 and the narrow confines of English society. I am currently working on two larger projects. The most immediate is the revision of my dissertation into a book that looks at how medieval authors “create” heaven in ways that extend beyond theological or doctrinal concerns. I have also begun research on literary representations of marriage that populate the works of Chaucer, Gower, Lydgate, the Pearl-poet, and various romances.
- "The Arbor and the Pearl:Encapsulating in 'Spot,'" Glossator: Practice and Theory of Commentary. Volume 9, 2015.
- "Medieval Narratives Digitally Altered for 21st Century Gaming," Essays on Memory in Popular Culture, ed. Heather Urbanski (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, Expected 2015)
- "The Construction of Parliamentary Spaces in Piers Plowman," Sixth International Piers PlowmanConference, Seattle, July 2015
- "Competing Families in Pearl," 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 2015
- "The Unmasking of John Gower," III Gower International Congress, Rochester, July 2014
- "The Quest for the Commedia in Dante's Inferno," PCA/ACA National Conference, Chicago, April 2014
- "Reframing the Narratives of Richard II and George W. Bush: Parallel Portraits of Ineffective Leaders," 2nd International Marginalised Mainstream Conference, London, September 2013