Teaching Areas: Young People’s Literature, Arthurian and Speculative Fiction
My areas of research and teaching include popular fictions (in a variety of media) about King Arthur, primarily those produced since the mid-nineteenth century; young people’s literature, with a special interest in Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery and twentieth- and twenty-first-century fantasy fiction; and speculative fiction, with a special interest in feminist fantasy, including rewritings of fairy tales. I am happy to supervise students in any of these areas.
My current major research project examines the evolution of the Lady of Shalott / Elaine of Astolat-–two related but not identical Arthurian characters–-in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture. The Lady of Shalott and Elaine of Astolat have appeared in numerous texts and media, for both young people and adults, and each new incarnation participates in a complex dialogue with its cultural moment of production and with its “pre-texts.” The Lady / Elaine figure is particularly suited for the feminist analysis I propose, not only because of her complex position as artist/art object in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poetry (and in art and music inspired by that poetry), but also because many women have rewritten her in order to privilege questions of female agency and desire. This project builds on previous conference papers and articles, seeking to situate my analysis of individual texts in a larger cultural context; it has been awarded a SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2009-2012).
On sabbatical 2018-2019.
A Bibliography of Modern Arthuriana 1500-2000. Co-authored with Stephen R. Reimer, D. S. Brewer, 2006.
Rewriting the Women of Camelot: Arthurian Popular Fiction and Feminism. Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy 93, Greenwood Press, 2001.
Future Medieval: (Neo)Medievalism in Babylon 5 and Crusade. Studies in Medievalism vol. 26, 2017, pp. 161-75.
Arthur and Adaptation. Arthuriana (Special Issue in Honour of Elizabeth Sklar, guest edited by Amy Kaufman), vol. 25, no. 4, Winter 2015, pp. 36-50.
Secular or Spiritual: Rereading Anne of Green Gables. Christianity and Literature, vol. 62, no. 3, Spring 2013, pp. 251-72.
Famous in Song and Story: Arthurian Legends in Heather Dale’s Music. Arthuriana, vol. 22, no. 2, Summer 2012, pp. 3-20.
Going Beyond Our Directive: Wall-E and the Limits of Social Commentary. Jeunesse, vol. 2, no. 1, Summer 2010, pp. 45-70.
Reading Elaine: Marjorie Richardson’s and L. M. Montgomery’s Red-haired Lily Maids. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 2, Summer 2007, pp. 86-109.