Associate Professor in the History of English and Director, Institute for Name-Studies, Faculty of Arts
English place-names; Old English and Old Norse language and literature; the history of the English language.
I am Honorary Secretary of the English Place-Name Society (EPNS) and co-editor of the journal Nomina. I am currently involved in three externally-funded research projects:
- The place-names of Shropshire: a four-year AHRC-funded project to complete the EPNS survey of Shropshire;
- The Digital Exposure of English Place-Names (a JISC-funded project to digitise the EPNS Survey of English Place-Names);
- The impact of diasporas on the Making of Britain (a Leicester-based Leverhulme Research Programme
Outreach and public engagement
I am engaged upon a programme of outreach activities in connection with the above projects.
My teaching draws on my research in Old English language and literature, and in English place-names.
Undergraduate modules taught
Beginnings of English (level 1); Names and Identities (level 2), English Place-Names (level 3)
Postgraduate modules taught
The Study of Place-Names
Current External Examinations positions
Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic Tripos, University of Cambridge
I am principal investigator for the AHRC-funded research project, The Place-Names of Shropshire. Colleagues within the Institute for Name-Studies and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studes… read more
I welcome students who are interesting in pursuing research on English place-names and on Old English language and / or literature.
My current research students are working on:
Scandinavian linguistic influence on field- and minor place-names;
The textual history of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle;
The medieval surnames of Gloucestershire;
Intent in Old English poetry.
I am principal investigator for the AHRC-funded research project, The Place-Names of Shropshire. Colleagues within the Institute for Name-Studies and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studes (University of Wales) are collaborating to finish the English Place-Name Society survey of Shropshire. Six volumes, authored by Margaret Gelling, were published between 1990 and 2012. The project team will produce a further four volumes over the next four years (2013-2016).
I am a member of the project team for Roots of the British, an interdisciplinary project involving archaeologists, historicians, linguists, and geneticists based at Leicester (www2.le.ac.uk/projects/roots-of-the-british). The team, led by Dr Jo Story, was awarded a Leverhulme Programme Grant of £1.37 million for the project, 'The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain: Evidence, Memories, Inventions'. I am one of several members of a JISC-funded project to digitise the Survey of English Place-Names; colleagues from King's College London, Queen's University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh are collaborating in this venture.
I continue to work on the representation of English place-names on Anglo-Saxon coins. The first part of a three-volume study, co-authored with David N. Parsons, appeared in 2007.
My doctoral thesis, 'Poetic Discourse in Viking Age England', examined verse produced in English in the tenth and eleventh centuries in Old English, Old Norse, and Latin. Work from this thesis has appeared in the Review of English Studies and as chapters in edited volumes. I have contributed to the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project, as editor of Markús Skeggjason's verse (in vol. 2, published in 2009) and of Þórðr Kolbeinsson's Eiríksdrápa (vol. 1, forthcoming; see http://skaldic.arts.usyd.edu/ for more details). My recent work on Old English heroic verse has appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English (2010).
I was one of the four founder members of the AHRC-funded Viking Identities Network (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/csva/research/viking-identities-network.aspx). I was co-investigator on the Leverhulme-funded project, Landscapes of Governance: Assembly Sites in England, 5th-11th centuries (www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/project/assembly).