Associate Professor in Older Scots, Faculty of Arts
MA in Humanity and Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow (1992).
DPhil in English, University of Oxford (1996). I held a Snell Exhibition at Balliol College.
PGCHE, University of Glasgow (2001).
Before being appointed to Nottingham in 2001, I taught at the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow.
Currently President of the Scottish Text Society.
Older Scots literature; Late Middle English and Early Modern English literature; late medieval and early modern Scottish Latin literature.
Representations of kingship, government and national identity; romance and Arthurian narratives; humanism and the impact of print.
Outreach and public engagement
As a member of the Institute for Medieval Research, I organise and participate in events open to the public and I blog on general medieval topics on Medieval@Nottingham. I have appeared on television and radio, to talk about the Douglases and Robert Burns.
My teaching expertise lies in literature written between about 1350 and 1625, approximately Chaucer to Spenser. However, I quite often teach outwith my area, into the twentieth century: in 2017/18, I… read more
I am currently working on the Scots poet, Gavin Douglas. Douglas was an aristocrat, a churchman and a politician, as well as a poet; he advertises his familiarity with humanist thought in his verse,… read more
Older Scots and Scottish Latin literature; late medieval and early modern English literature (from about 1375 to 1625).
Current doctoral students are working on:
- editing late medieval texts, The Lay Folk's Catechism, and The Lily of Medicine
- John Lydgate's influence on Edmund Spenser
My teaching expertise lies in literature written between about 1350 and 1625, approximately Chaucer to Spenser. However, I quite often teach outwith my area, into the twentieth century: in 2017/18, I am co-teaching with Dr Ni Fhlathuin on a new Level 3 course, Islands and Empires, which considers the colonial and post-colonial views of the countries within the Great Britain and Ireland, as well as India.
I teach on Level 1 Beginnings of English, Middle English material from Sir Orfeo to Morte Darthur, and give occasional lectures on other modules.
At Level 2, I convene and teach Shakespeare and Co on the Page, a module concerned with the writing of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, that's mediated as text, so poetry and prose rather than drama.
At Level 3 this year, I will be co-teaching Islands and Empires.
In previous years, I've contributed to various late medieval and early modern modules. In 2017-18, however, I will be convening and co-teaching Textualities, which introduces the theory and practice of editing, and enables students to reflect on editorial practice and influence in their own areas of interest.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I act as a chairperson for the Nottingham Recognition Scheme panels.
I am currently working on the Scots poet, Gavin Douglas. Douglas was an aristocrat, a churchman and a politician, as well as a poet; he advertises his familiarity with humanist thought in his verse, and also clearly counts leading scholars among his acquaintances; and he demonstrates his engagement with issues around classical learning, interpretation and the vernacular in his verse. His most significant poetic work is the Eneados, the first full translation of Virgil's Aeneid into any variety of English, which he completed in 1513.
My first research question concerns Douglas's audience, both that envisaged by the authorial voice in the poem, and that witnessed by manuscript circulation, and whether it was equally significant outwith Scotland as within. My second research question asks how those audiences received humanist thought more generally, particularly in the dialogue between Latin and vernacular literatures.
At its broadest, my current research questions common British models of periodisation, specifically the divide between medieval and early modern (largely derived from English political history), and asks whether they represent the changes in intellectual culture. More narrowly, my research is concerned with the Scottish reception of humanist thought, and its intersection with the innovation of printing.
My previous research has been diverse in its range and focus: I have written on Barbour's Bruce and Hary's Wallace, Scottish historiography from Walter Bower to John Bellenden, and the poetry of the court of James VI.
While the work on Douglas will continue for some time, future projects may include work on Sir David Lyndsay, and his participation in humanist culture.