My Research and Creative Interests

My research has focused mostly on the intersection of medieval culture with its literature, having particular emphasis on fourteenth-century English literature. I have published articles that sought to examine how medieval authors represented their culture and how the texts that they read shaped their intellectual universe. The bulk of my published research thus far has been to explore how the culture of late fourteenth-century London influenced the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer and his contemporary, John Gower. Some of my articles have also examined issues relating to sovereign power and its abuses.

My essays have appeared in such journals as Studies in Philology, Philological Quarterly, Chaucer Review, and Studies in the Age of Chaucer. Basically, my work is in the field of cultural studies as that methodology helps to examine both the practices of medieval people and the production of medieval literature as a critical exploration of these practices. My work with London and its culture has involved several years of archival research in the primary documents of late fourteenth-century London, especially those held in the Corporation of London Public Records Office. The culmination of much of this research is my book, Chaucer, Gower, Hoccleve and the Commercial Practices of Late Fourteenth-Century London (Ashgate, 2013). In it, I argue that Chaucer, Gower, and their younger contemporary, Thomas Hoccleve are the first English writers to examine in their poetry the practices of commerce as these writers observed them.

I am at present working on a second book-project that examines what I see as a crisis of sovereignty affecting the late fourteenth century when the traditional medieval bulwarks of authority (the king, the pope, and even the mayor of London) were compromised. While many scholars have written on what these two poets have written on kingship, we have really been focusing on the wrong question. Chaucer and Gower wrote more on the issue of sovereignty than on kingship because sovereign power is not always present in the person of the king. I hope to complete this project in 2014. I am also at present shopping a novel called the Swelling Flood, which is a murder mystery in a fantasy setting.

Commerce Book

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