About this Fellow
At the core of most of what I do is a curiosity about the psychology of literary response: the ways in which writers struggle to express experiences and acts of imagination, the strategies they use to articulate their understanding of these experiences and imaginative acts, and the codes and conventions that develop between texts and readers to allow communication and understanding to develop and to be manipulated. What the Arabs called 'the imaginative syllogism' drives my interest in medieval poetic (as sharply distinguished from rhetorical) theory as it can be recovered from commentaries and theoretical writings from the twelfth through to the sixteenth centuries.
- J R R Tolkien Professor of English, University of Oxford
Medieval Scottish history
The palaeography of western medieval manuscripts and documents; the history of medieval books, book-collections and libraries
The religious and social history of northern Europe during the Middle Ages; comparative work on devotional objects and reappraisal of the significance of materiality in medieval art