burney_275
Burney 275 f.120  – Detail of a historiated initial, with a woman with an open book, and a king on horseback.

I am an enthusiastic teacher of Medieval literature in the Department of English, Languages, and Cultures at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  As an Associate Professor of Medieval literature at Mount Royal University, I am lucky to introduce my undergraduate students to Old English literature, Middle English literature, and History of the English language, while my students introduce me to new perspectives for the content and ideas in our classes.  Together, we question and work with the issues the texts themselves invite us to consider.  This method demonstrates how I put my theorizing of emergence into pedagogical practice in the historical literary classroom.

The rise of medievalisms in post-medieval We have to be willing to rely upon emergence, while creating the space for emergence, so that we negate the fallacy of “progress” or “progression” that periodisation relies upon. Quote by Kenna Olsenpopular culture has forcefully shown that while the medieval can be thought of as a period from the past, we also, as post-medievals, create the medieval daily.  In my classes, at all levels, we think of this as polytemporality, and we rely on this idea to remember that while the texts we study might be centuries old, the ideas, politics, questions, tensions, assumptions, and curiosities are relevant, important, and generative for us today.

The courses listed below are those I am teaching in the Fall 2018 semester.

I regularly supervise undergraduate Honours students on their Honours projects, and employ undergraduate and graduate level Research Assistants on my various research projects.  For more, see Supervision.

English 2210 – English Literature to the Restoration

 The 2018-2019 MRU Calendar description for this course reads:

“This course surveys English literature from its earliest beginnings to the Restoration (1660), with an emphasis on major authors. Students will read a variety of genres closely and critically, and will examine how these texts relate to their socio-political, religious and cultural environments. Students will be introduced to literary research.”

English 3323 – Early Medieval Literature

The 2018-2019 MRU Calendar description for this course reads:

“This course is a study of representative texts from the early medieval literary age, offering a range of popular genres from the Old and Middle English periods. Texts will be read in the original language, and instruction in the grammar, orthography and pronunciation of early medieval English will be provided.”

English 4410 – Select Topics in Medieval Literature, 650-1500

The 2018-2019 MRU Calendar decription for this course reads:

“This advanced seminar engages students in a selection of poetic, prose, and dramatic works from the medieval period. Featured works may include Beowulf, the works of Chaucer, literature by and about women, Romances in poetry or prose, religious ecstasies, Arthurian legends, and Middle English lyrics.”

This Fall, the course is entitled, Material Medieval Memory:  encountering environmental memorialization

Here’s the description:

The Medieval English world was, arguably, a sustainable world.  The medieval literary culture produced various articulations of the self and individualism within a cosmology that sometimes articulated harmony with the natural world, yet sometimes expressed distinction – and even dissatisfaction – with the environment and the landscapes of medieval Britain and its neighbours.  In concert with Dr. Olsen’s Material Medieval Memory Project (funded, in part, by MRU’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability), this course will examine, via various theoretical approaches including ecocriticism, articulations of experience in environmental spaces and the societal responses to environmental challenges evidenced in Anglo-Saxon (Old English) and Middle English literatures and charters.  By considering such artefacts, we will consider medieval literary responses to environmental change and the logics of sustainability.

For more on my Material Medieval Memory Project

NOTE: While MRU’s online system says that we’ll be meeting in the EA building, our classes will actually take place in a variety of spaces in the new Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC).  We will be meeting in the Ideas Visualization Lounge, and the Immersion Studio.