Professor of English
Ph.D., Loyola University
M.A., University of Missouri-Columbia
M.A., Stanford University (Communication)
B.A., Carnegie Mellon University
Anglo-Saxon, Medieval Literature, Evolutionary Epistemology, Fantasy and Science Fiction, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin
- Anglo-Saxon Literature, particularly the tenth-century Benedictine Reform.
- Traditions, their creation and reproduction.
- Darwinian theories of culture.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, his medieval sources, scholarship and literary influence.
- Anglo-Saxon medicine.
Anglo-Saxon, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, Beowulf, Early Drama, Science Fiction, Fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin.
Birding, fishing, ice hockey.
Books and Edited Volumes
J.R.R. Tolkien. Beowulf and the Critics, ed. Michael D.C. Drout. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 248 (Arizona Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies: Tempe, AZ, 2002). Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inkling Studies, 2003.
Tolkien Studies 1 (2004). Founding editor, with Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger. West Virginia University Press.
Tolkien Studies 2 (2005). with Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger. West Virginia University Press.
How Tradition Works: A Meme-Based Poetics of the Anglo-Saxon Tenth Century. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 306 (Arizona Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies: Tempe, AZ, 2006).
Tolkien Studies 3 (2006). with Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger. West Virginia University Press.
J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, ed. Michael D. C. Drout.(New York: Routledge, 2006). A complete encyclopedia in one volume, 774 pages.
Tolkien Studies 4 (2007). with Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger. West Virginia University Press.
Tolkien Studies 5 (2008). with Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger. West Virginia University Press.
[under consideration] King Alfred's Grammar. Introductory textbook for Old English. Companion to King Alfred electronic learning assistant. Text used at University of Leiden, the Netherlands; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Wheaton College. On-line version available here.
[under consideration] The Dark is Rising Companion. With Photographs by Andrew Howard.
Articles in refereed journals
"Hoisting the Arm of Defiance: Beowulfian Elements in Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion," Western American Literature 28. 2 (1993), 131-41.
"Piers' Good Will: Langland's Politics of Reform and Inheritance in the C-Text." Ed. Thomas Hall. Essays in Medieval Studies Vol. 13.. Chicago: Illinois Medieval Association, 1996.
"Reading the Signs of Light: Anglo-Saxonism, Education and Obedience in Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising," The Lion and the Unicorn 21 (1997), 230-50.
"The Fortunes of Men 4a: Reasons for Adopting a Very Old Emendation" Modern Philology 96.2 (1998), 184-87.
"How They Do Things With Words: Language, Power, Gender and the Priestly Wizards of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Books." Children's Literature 21 (2001), 113-41; with Laura B. Comoletti.
"Anglo-Saxon Wills and the Tradition of Inheritance in the English Benedictine Reform." Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature (SELIM) 10 (2000), 1-53.
"Re-Dating the Old English Translation of the Enlarged Rule of Chrodegang: The Evidence of the Prose Style," Journal of English and Germanic Philology 103.3 (2004), 341-68.
“Tolkien’s Prose Style and its Literary and Rhetorical Effects,” Tolkien Studies 1 (2004), 139-63.
"Bibliography (in English) for 2001-2002," Tolkien Studies 1 (2004), 183-89; with Laura Kalafarski and Stefanie Olsen.
“The Problem of Transformation: The Use of Medieval Sources in Fantasy Literature” Literature Compass 1 (2004) ME 101, 1-22.
“A Re-Assessment of the Efficacy of Anglo-Saxon Medicine” Anglo-Saxon England 34 (2005): 183-95; with Barbara Brennessel and Robyn Gravel.
"Bibliography (in English) for 2003," Tolkien Studies 2 (2005): 317-22; with Melissa Smith-MacDonald.
"A Spliced Old English Quote in "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics," Tolkien Studies 3 (2006): 149-52.
"Bibliography (in English) for 2004," Tolkien Studies 3 (2006): 267-75; with Marcel R. Bülles and Rebecca Epstein.
"A Note on the Style of Beowulf 1864a," Modern Philology 104.2 (2006): 224-28
"A Meme-Based Approach to Oral-Traditional Theory," Oral Tradition 21.2 (2006): 269-94.
"J.R.R. Tolkien's Medieval Scholarship and its Significance," Tolkien Studies 4 (2007): 113-76.
"Bibliography (in English) for 2005," Tolkien Studies 4 (2007): 357-67; with Rebecca Epstein and Kathryn Paar.
“’The Partridge’ is a Phoenix: Revising the Exeter Book Physiologus.” Neophilologus (2007).
“Blood and Deeds: The Inheritance Systems in Beowulf,” Studies in Philology 104.2 (2007): 199-226.
"Bibliography (in English) for 2005," Tolkien Studies 5 (2008): 299-308; with Jason Rea, Lauren Provost and Rebecca Epstein.
“How the Monsters Became Important: the logical and rhetorical development of ‘The Monsters and the Critics’”in Carmela Rizzo, ed., Fabelwesen, mostri e portenti nell’immaginario occidentale. (Torino: Edizione dell’Orso, 2004) 1-23.
“A Mythology for Anglo-Saxon England” in Jane Chance, ed. J.R.R. Tolkien and the Invention of Myth. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004) 335-62.
“Towards a Better Tolkien Criticism” in Robert Eaglestone, ed. Re-Reading the Lord of the Rings. (London: Continuum, 2005) 15-28.
“The Rhetorical Evolution of ‘Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” in Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull, eds. The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder (Milwaukee :Marquette UP, 2006). 183-215.
“Possible instructional uses of the Exeter Book “Wisdom Poems”: A Benedictine Reform context,” in Patrizia Lendinara, Loredana Lazzari, and Maila D’Aronco, eds. Form and Content in Anglo-Saxon England in Light of Contemporary Manuscript Evidence. (Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération Internationales des Instituts d’Etudes Médiévales, 2007) 431-50.
"Everyone was an Orthodox, Educated Roman Catholic," in Stephen J. Harris and Bryon L. Grigsby, eds. Misconceptions About the Middle Ages (London: Routledge, 2007) 54-59.
"Reflections on Thirty Years of Reading The Silmarillion," in Allan Turner, ed. The Silmarillion Thirty Years On (Zurich: Walking Tree Press, 2007) 33-57.
[in press] "Introduction: Beowulf Basics," in Joshua A.C. Newman and Ben Lehman, eds. Beowulf. (Northampton: Glyphpress, 2008).
[in press] "The Dating of Beowulf," in Joshua A.C. Newman and Ben Lehman, eds. Beowulf. (Northampton: Glyphpress, 2008).
[forthcoming] "Survival of the Most Pleasing: A Meme-Based Approach to Aesthetic Selection," in John M. Hill, ed. The Aesthetic in Old English Literature. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009).
Essays, Notes and Columns
"The Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien's Masculinist Medievalism," Medieval Feminist Newsletter 22 (1996), 26-27.
"Wrong About Almost Everything: Editing J. R. R. Tolkien," Medieval Academy News 143 (Feb. 2002), 12.
"King Alfred: A Teacher Controlled, Web Interfaced Old English Learning Assistant." Old English Newsletter 33.1 (Fall 1999), 29-34.
"An Anglo-Saxonist Gets His Fifteen Minutes (or, what happens when the media briefly pay attention)," Old English Newsletter 37.3 (2004): 34-37, also available on line at http://oenewsletter.org/OEN/index.php .
"Some Thoughts on Reading The Lord of the Rings Aloud," Silver Leaves 1 (2007): 36-37.
"Anglo-Saxon Studies: The State of the Field?" The Heroic Age 11 (Oct 2007).
[in press] "Philological Inquiries 1: Methods and Merovingians," The Heroic Age 12. With Scott Kleinman.
[forthcoming] "Philological Inquiries 2: Why should I care what that word meant 500 years ago? The Uses of Etymology." The Heroic Age 13. With Scott Kleinman.
J.R.R. Tolkien Research Group. We currently compile and maintain the largest database of annotated bibliographical materials on J.R.R. Tolkien. This material will soon be available on the web. Current research partners include Lauren Provost (class of 2010), Jason Rea (Class of 2010) and Tara McGoldrick (Class of 2011).
Lexomics Research Group.
Manuscript DNA Research Project, with Amanda Shorette (Class of 2009).