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- Degrees: B.A. Honours, M.A. (University of Victoria), Ph.D. (University of Toronto)
- Phone: 613-520-2600 x 1367
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: 1800 Dunton Tower
- Intellectual and cultural history
My work focuses on the cultural, ethical, and political implications of religion in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, as well as the legacy of the Reformation in our contemporary world. My research is interdisciplinary, engaging with intellectual history, religious studies, and political thought; I also focus on the far-reaching historical effects produced by theories of interpretation and by persistent figural and imaginative modes of expression.
My scholarship has addressed two main sets of issues. The first concerns the ideas of textuality and interpretation emerging at the beginning of the sixteenth century, generated by the upheavals of Reformation theology and Renaissance humanism and historicism. New ways of conceptualizing Scripture clashed: the Bible could be perceived as a historically-contingent collection of material texts on the one hand, and as the transcendent and wholly complete Word of God on the other. These conflicting perspectives helped structure developing ways of interpreting texts and understanding the natural world, all of which have been instrumental in shaping modernity and persist in influencing contemporary understandings of religion, ethics, and interpretation.
Reformation biblicism is in dialogue with my interest in contemporary forms of religious culture and politics, which informs my second major area of research. This concerns constructions of Judaism and the instrumental uses of the category of the “Judaic” in a variety of cultural and intellectual contexts in the seventeenth century, a time when thinking about the theological meaning of Jewishness and Israel attained an unprecedented prevalence and significance. I am interested in the influence of these strands of Reformation and early modern religious thought, which have shaped contemporary Christian-Jewish relations and global politics.
Honours and Awards
- FASS Research Award for Junior Faculty 2010
- SSHRC Institutional Research Grant 2009
- Izaak Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship 2006
Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book: Contested Scriptures. Eds. Travis DeCook and Alan Galey. Routledge, 2011.
“Francis Bacon’s ‘Jewish Dreams’: The Specter of the Millennium in New Atlantis.” Studies in Philology (forthcoming 2013).
“Northrop Frye and the Book as Metaphor and Material Artifact.” University of Toronto Quarterly 81.1 (2012).
“Scriptural Negotiations and Textual Afterlives,” co-authored with Alan Galey, Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book.
“Apocalyptic Archives: The Reformation Bible, Secularity, and the Text of Shakespearean Scripture.” Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book.
“Unearthing Radical Reform: Antiquarianism against Discovery.” The Invention of Discovery, 1500-1700. Ed. James Dougal Fleming. Ashgate, 2011.
“The Ark and Immediate Revelation in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis.” Studies in Philology 105.1 (2008): 103-122.
“Utopian Communication.” Studies in English Literature 48.1 (Winter 2008): 1-22.
“Temporality and the Text of Scripture in Thomas More’s Religious Polemics.” Moreana 169 (2007): 226-248.
April 2010. “Milton and the Post-Postmodern Turn to St. Paul.” At Renaissance Society of America, Venice.
June 2009. “D. F. McKenzie’s ‘Ideal Text’ and the Politics of Material Particularity.” At Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing, University of Toronto.
May 2009. “Reading Reformation Reading After 9/11.” At Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Carleton University.
October 2008. “The Jewish Past in Francis Bacon’s Utopian Imaginary.” At The Society for Utopian Studies, Portland.
Recent Graduate Courses
ENGL 6000: The Production of Literature