After two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor, I am now an Assistant Professor of English at John Carroll University, having completed my doctorate at the Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Toronto. In April 2010, I defended my dissertation, “Textual Community and Linguistic Distance in Early England," arguing that perceptions of linguistic distance stimulate textual communities, which can function diachronically. In other words, my dissertation argues that we can speak of communal engagement with texts, even across broad geographical and chronological gaps, and that a powerful stimulus of such activity arises out of a sense of distance or difference, particularly linguistic distance. My work explores the ways in which the processes of producing and reading texts are influenced both by linguistic concerns and by the material forms of texts, which is to say, I am interested in the history of language and in the history of books. I am especially interested in the ways that owners and readers of books continue to participate in the making of those books. Recent or ongoing projects include papers on psalm culture and translation in Anglo-Saxon England, manuscript glosses by the so-called Tremulous Hand of Worcester, and early modern encounters with medieval texts. 

In memoriam: Christopher Roark (JCU Department of English)