Old English language and literature, English place-names, the history of the English language, the Bible and early English Christianity.
I am currently
- Editor of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society (see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ins/index.aspx)
- Member of the Council of the English Place-Name Society
- Member of: the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland, Nottingham Institute for Medieval Research, The Henry Bradshaw Society, The Early English Text Society
Outreach and Public Engagement
I give talks to local and national historical societies and school groups on Anglo-Saxon and place-name topics. I am a frequent contributor to local and national radio programmes such as Radio 4's Making History. I answer place-name queries from the press and the public.
My research focus is on Old English poetry, especially the wisdom and heroic poems; and place-names.
Specifically, my major projects currently include:
- a book on the battle of Brunanburh of 937, to supplement a major recent volume (with contributions from me), The Battle of Brunanburh: A Casebook (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 2011)
- articles for The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming, The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of The Viking World and The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Medieval British Literature
- I am Editor of the Journal of the English Place-Name Society (see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ins/index.aspx)
- work on the place-names of Shropshire, funded by the AHRC
I also write on a wide range of topics, most recently manuscripts, Christian forms and expression in Old English, on the Bible and its history in English, place-names, the history of the English language, aspects of hagiography, interactions of Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, and the Venerable Bede.
I supervise students in Old English language and literature (and related areas such as manuscripts) and place-names.
Current PhD students are working on
- the individual and community in Old English poetry
- Germanic place-names in the Pas de Calais
- storytelling in Beowulf
- interactions of thought and action in Old English poetry
- traditions of Hrólfs saga Kraka
- place-names of Nottinghamshire
- Runica manuscripta
My research has focused on a range of texts and embraces diverse disciplines:
- I have many years' experience in place-name scholarship, and have edited the English Place-Name County Survey volumes over the past two decades
- I have published several articles on the battle of Brunanburh, and before that, the early traditions relating to Saint Edmund of East Anglia
- I am interested in and have written books on the history of early English Christianity (Anglo-Saxon Christianity, The Christian Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England), and the influence of Christianity on literature (The Christian Tradition in English Literature).
- I have also published extensively on Maxims, Cædmon's Hymn, The Battle of Maldon and other works
I have extensive research experience in the general linguistic, cultural, historical and literary background of Anglo-Saxon England, and enjoy interdisciplinary approaches to the study of both texts and language.
I have several projects that I hope may come to publication in the next five years:
- a place-name index for a collaborative work on The White Book of Southwell, a major Nottinghamshire cartulary
- the place-names of County Durham
- a revision of John Field's Field-Name Dictionary
I am working on a new edition of the Old English Maxims poems and their background.