I am a visiting lecturer in medieval poetry at Royal Holloway, University of London, but also still currently teach part time at Cranbrook School, Kent. I began my PhD thesis in 2010 to combine two of my great interests – medieval poetry and birds. You’d be surprised just how popular birds are in medieval poetry, music and manuscript illuminations! This blog, too, came out of a desire to combine passions – to present some of my academic research for a wider audience, alongside and fused with regular entries from my journals and articles. The product is (I hope) something that combines nature notes from my birdy adventures with a more contemplative look at how important the natural world has always been in our arts, culture, memories, heritage and histories. I make no apologies for the fact that there may well be an historical bias towards the medieval!
My writing and teaching, academic or otherwise, are important aspects of my general conservation interests and participation in public engagement projects. I am on the steering committee for New Networks for Nature and co-director of Medieval Ecocriticisms, both of which aim to promote and inspire care and action for the natural world.
Birds in Medieval English Poetry: Metaphors, Realities, Transformations (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, forthcoming in 2018)
‘A New Latin Analogue to the Old English Cuckoo’ (currently under review with Medium Ævum)
‘Native Foreigners – Migrating Seabirds and the Pelagic Soul in The Seafarer’, English Studies (forthcoming in January 2018, but already available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0013838X.2017.1365543?journalCode=nest20)
”Kek kek’: Translating Birds in Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls‘, Studies in the Ages of Chaucer, 38 (2016)
‘Finding the Fieldfare’, The Curlew (forthcoming, spring 2018)
‘Same Difference: Debating Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls’, Earthlines, 12 (July 2015)
Exeter Book Riddle 57 translation and commentary, The Riddle Ages (https://theriddleages.wordpress.com/)
Michael McCarthy, The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy, reviewed in Earthlines 13 (November 2015)
The site’s current header image is a goldfinch from British Library, MS Stowe 17, f. 25v.
Previous headers include a bluet tit from BL MS. Roy. 3 D.vi, f. 1116r.