Greetings, ITM readers!
It is not often that ITM gets to welcome a new co-blogger! I feel very honored to introduce myself as the fifth member of this blogging assemblage. Jeffrey posted an all too kind introduction earlier today, but for those of you who don't know me here's the basic information: I'm an Assistant Professor of English at The George Washington University, and I primarily focus on late medieval culture with some forays into early modern contexts. This means I have the very good fortune of working alongside Jeffrey on a daily basis (when he's not away on some fancy schmancy fellowship, that is!) as well as other members of the GW MEMSI community. I wish that I were able to interact with ITM co-bloggers Eileen, Karl, and Mary Kate more often IRL.
So, a little bit more about my interests. Much of my research and teaching explores medieval English and French literature and culture, multilingual poetry, sociolinguistics, merchants, romance, travel writing, and textual studies (including manuscript studies and early print), and my written work often engages translation studies, postcolonial theory, and (more recently) disability studies. My first book, Trading Tongues: Merchants, Multilingualism, and Medieval Literature, is forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press (July 2013), and I've published articles on trilingual lyrics; overseas travel and language contact; and same-sex leper-kissing in The Book of Margery Kempe. I also maintain websites on the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower - and I'm a member of the Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages (SSDMA).
I have admired ITM for years, and I must say that so much of my thinking has been shaped by conversations that have transpired here - and other (medieval-oriented and non-medieval) blogs elsewhere. Just for fun (and, I'll admit, part of a shameless ploy to increase internet traffic!) I recommend that ITM readers check out these general-interest blogs: Language Log, Language Hat, BibliOdyssey, Strange Maps, and the British Library's Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog.
In the near future, you can expect blog postings that will take some ongoing ITM discussions in new directions. Among other things, I have a few items in the works regarding translation, inter-species communication, synaesthesia, xenoglossia (speaking in tongues), and language ecology...
But more of that to come. It is great to be here, and I look forward to getting started at ITM.