Associate Professor of English Literature and Culture, Volda University College, Norway
Welcome to my website. I created these pages in the hope they will allow at least some of the work I do among the fjords and fjells of western Norway to venture out upon the seven seas and come to the attention of a slightly wider audience.
I have lived in Volda since 2011. Before that, I spent four and a half years at the University of Tromsø (also in Norway), an institution that sits well within the Arctic Circle and is, indeed, the northernmost university in the world. In an earlier life, I was born in Bristol (England), grew up in Somerset, and studied classics first at the University of Oxford (BA) and then at the University of Bristol (MA and PhD). After completing my doctorate, I spent 9 months as a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. From there I proceeded to dip my toes for a few years in the alternative career streams of academic administration and publishing. During that time, I also lived for 10 months in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. This was not a formal part of my education, but it explains why I have since published a couple of articles on the Russian poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky.
As that last anecdote indicates, my academic interests have to some degree been as itinerant as my postcodes. I arrived in Norway in 2006 as a classicist with a particular interest in the Roman poet Virgil and in the reception of classical culture in modern European literature. I have continued to sustain both of those interests since, although my move to Norway has resulted in my being drawn into the field of English studies in particular. I therefore tend now to pay especial attention to how these and other areas of interest (such as the depiction of the natural world and the practical challenges and philosophical questions raised by issues of literary form) play themselves out in English-language literature and culture more than any other.
My publications include the monograph Bucolic Ecology: Virgil’s Eclogues and the Environmental Literary Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2008), the co-edited volume Romans and Romantics (Oxford University Press, 2012), and articles and book chapters on such things as borders, ecology and metaphor, as well as the reception of classical antiquity in later European writers such as Dante Alighieri, Joseph Brodsky, Brian Friel, and Percy Shelley. I am currently working on a study of the evocation of classical mythology and literature in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and am guest editing a special issue of the journal Scandinavica on the reception of Nordic literature and culture in Britain and Ireland.
I am also involved in the development of a number of online digital resources to help students interpret and write about the literature and culture of the English-speaking world.
To read more about my publications and research projects, please follow the links above and below.