I am Ussher Assistant Professor in Medieval Literature at Trinity College Dublin. My research focuses on the long twelfth century, a period that has been called ‘the deadest century for English literature of any from the seventh to the twentieth’. One major strand of my research has consequently involved (re)discovering lost English texts written in this period. Another has been rethinking the nature of Old English textual culture and the extent to which this was inherited by early Middle English writers. Yet another has been thinking what is involved in writing the literary history of a period in which vernacular texts were not considered literature. All three strands feature prominently in my New Literary History of the Long Twelfth Century: Language and Literature between Old and Middle English, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.
My work spans literary studies, manuscript studies, and linguistics, adopting an approach I would call philological. Over the last four years, I have increasingly been adopting corpus-based approaches to philology, working with datasets that are, by the norms of Old and Middle English studies, massive. Thus a recent article on standard Old English in Transactions of the Philological Society is based on 110,000 spellings from over 250 eleventh-century manuscripts.
This website offers access to a selection of my papers, as well as to several relevant digital resources.