About me

I’m an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York, where I write and teach about the literature of medieval Europe, particularly the regions now known as England and France. Broadly conceived, my research concerns genre, language, and manuscripts. I ask questions about how the physical forms that stories take can inform us about how medieval people thought.

I have just completed a monograph, tentatively entitled Experimental Histories: Interpolation and the Medieval British Past. In this book, I demonstrate that high medieval histories of Britain used interpolation (the insertion of foreign material into a pre-existing text) as an indispensable tool to think about philosophies of history and time. Drawing on material from specific surviving manuscripts, I make the case that the characteristic modularity and often-discussed mixing of genres in medieval writing about the past served a theoretical purpose for readers and writers of medieval history: it allowed them to explore how different time-schemes interacted in lived human experience.

My articles have appeared or are forthcoming in in New Literary History, New Medieval Literatures, JMEMS, Viator, and other journals, and I have also co-edited a special issue of The Medieval Globe called Medieval Re-Creation: Acts of Recycling, Revision, and Relocation (with Joseph Shack). You can find more information on my CV (below).

I’m also a teacher committed to experimentation and innovation in the college classroom. You can see me discuss one of my Covid-era assignments in this presentation for Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning (2021).

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about my research or teaching. I can be found at hmw2147@columbia.edu.