After taking my BA, MSt, and DPhil degrees at Oxford and spending two years in Berlin, I joined the Faculty of English and St Hugh’s College in 2007. My area of specialism is literary, cultural, and intellectual history in the period from about 1500-1750. I’m particularly interested in the connections between English, British, and continental European writing; in the interconnections between branches of learning that would become separated from the eighteenth century onwards; and in changing senses of what “literature” might be said to comprise. In addition to the usual clutch of essays and journal articles, I’ve published two books; a third will shortly be appearing from Princeton University Press as Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness. You can read more about my work here.
I am hugely excited at the chance to help develop the Ertegun programme. Within Oxford, the generosity and visionary drive of Mica Ertegun have already had a transformative effect; beyond it, they have enhanced Oxford’s status as one of the very best places in the world in which to pursue graduate studies in the humanities. Just as importantly, the Ertegun programme speaks loudly and clearly of the inter-cultural, inter-linguistic, and intellectual value of humanistic study at a time when it is too often either neglected or taken for granted. As Ertegun Director, my principal roles are to ensure that our cohort of extraordinary scholars is able to flourish, and to make sure that Ertegun House is a centre of innovation and activity across the humanities. The Ertegun House seminar in the Humanities meets once a term, and takes the form of a discussion between the Ertegun community and a prominent figure from the academic, cultural, and artistic worlds; video recordings of these events will be available on this website.