Director of the Centre for Arthurian Studies in the College of Arts, Humanities and Business and elected Vice-President of the International Arthurian Society - a scholarly society with more than 800 individual members, and 300 institutional members world-wide.
In 2021 I was Deputy Head (operational) of the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics and subject lead for English literature, and from 2018-21 I was Deputy Head of the same School and Director of Research, and REF 2021 UoA27 coordinator.
Among other leadership roles I have held recently, I was Co-director of IMEMS (Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Bangor and University of Aberystwyth) for 5 years (2013-18) and founding director of the Centre for Medieval Studies (2005-13). I am also founding director of the cross-school MA in Medieval Studies and of the MA in Arthurian Literature.
I am a Fellow of the English Association, of the Royal Historical Society and of the Learned Society of Wales, and serve on the General Purposes, as well as the Early Career researcher development, committees of the latter.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2017 I was awarded a Bangor Teaching Excellence Fellowship.
My research focuses on late medieval literature and culture, more specifically Arthurian and non-Arthurian romances (Thomas Malory and popular romances), medieval chronicles (the Brut tradition and genealogical rolls), political culture and gentry studies. Overall my approach is informed by book history and cultural history - in particular the identification of trends, be they related to the emergence of a group's or individual's identity, political propaganda, or other. In recent years I started working on two other related projects, one engaging with the cultural importance of the medieval miscellany as a repository of literary and non-literary texts, the other focusing on medieval identity as expressed in visual representations (starting with heraldry but extending into art forms).
My research covers English, French and other continental romance languages and traditions, reflecting my trilingual background (Romanian, French, English) and other languages I have different levels of proficiency in (Italian, Spanish, Russian) or use in academic research and/or literary translation (Latin, Old French, Old English).
I have been involved in, and continue to undertake, literary translation projects. My latest is a translation of the ninth-century Irish poem Pangur Bán, into Romanian, for the Trinity College Dublin Centre for Literary Translation (a collaborative project published in 2017).
I continue to write and edit poetry in English, Romanian and French.
I teach medieval literature (the first year module QXE1003 Heroes and Villains: Introduction to Medieval Literature; QXE2101 Beowulf to Malory; and specialist modules QXE3034 Arthur: Legend and Super Hero; QXE3094 Realms of Magic - the latter on the development of modern fantasy from the medieval genre of romance), literary and critical theory, the history of the book, palaeography (which I reintroduced in the curriculum at Bangor University from 2005), medieval romance, Arthurian legend (medieval to present), travel literature (classical to present), children's literature and modern fantasy. I am interested, also, in translation and adaptation, particularly in modern fantasy into film, including Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
In July 2017 I was awarded a Bangor Teaching Excellence Fellowship. I am also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I have supervised 6 research students to completion:
Elina Harjula, MPhil, 'Horses in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur' (MPhil, 2010)
Ambra Finotello, PhD, 'Transformations of the Merlin Legend in Late-Medieval England: Contextualizing Translation in Of Arthour and of Merlin, Henry Lovelich’s Merlin, and the Prose Merlin' (PhD, 2014)
Anastasija Ropa, PhD, 'Representations of the Grail in Medieval and Modern Literature' (PhD, 2014)
Daisy Le Helloco, PhD ‘Sense of Place and the Writing of Early Modern British History in Medieval and Early Modern England’ (PhD, 2018)
Isra'a Alqallab, 'The History of Emotions and Medieval Romance: King Horn, Guy of Warwick, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' (PhD, 2019)
Ashley Walchester-Bailes, 'Editing Malory in the Modern Period: from Winchester MS to Vinaver's edition' (submitted; corrections pending)
I am currently supervising 3 PhD students:
Audrey Martin, 'Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Geoffrey of Monmouth and his continuators' (writing up)
Aude Martin (co-supervision with Université of Lorraine), 'Medieval English and French Arthurian romance - the development of character'
Katja Marek, 'Medieval English romance in its miscellany context' (title subject to change) - recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's scholarship (Bangor University) and the Barron Bequest award (International Arthurian Society, British Branch)
I welcome postgraduate projects linked to any of my areas of research interest.
I have recently been elected Vice President of the International Arthurian Society (2021-24). Prior to that service to the profession has included being elected President of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society (2015-18) and elected founding Editor of the Journal of the International Arthurian Society for two terms (2011-17) and editor of the Annual Bibliography of the International Arthurian Society (2011-15).
I have been a member of the committee of the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC) for 15 years (2006-21), and an AHRC peer review college member for ten years (2007-2017). I sat on the AHRC panels for individual fellowships, Main grants and Leadership Fellows for several years, and I have been an assessor of HERA applications.
I am external examiner of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and have examined more than 12 PhD theses as external examiner at several HEI institutions in the UK and abroad.
I am a regular consultant and contributor to radio and TV programmes in the UK and internationally on the Arthurian legend and medieval studies. I have written articles for The Conversation (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020), and given interviews for the local and national press.
Most recently, my consultancy with Royal Mail has resulted in a limited series of stamps on the topic of Arthurian legends, and an associated article in their Yearbook (2021).
Other invited lectures and media appearances include:
- 2019 guest lectures at the University of Belgrade and several invited papers
- 2018 guest lectures at University of Düsseldorf, University of Lisbon (as plenary speaker at conference), Flintshire Historical Association
- 2017 guest speaker at Bradford International Literature festival
- 2017 public lecture at the Skinners' Guild, London
- 2016 invited public lecture at the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
- 2016 initiator and co-organiser of 'Medieval Fun Day' primary schools event in Caernarfon castle (CADW)
- 2015 initiator and co-organiser of 'King Arthur Family day' at Bangor University Library
- 2015: interview with BBC radio Wales, on the 'Today programme' (13 April 2015)
- 2015: interview with ABC Radio, Australian national broadcast, on the 'Overnight programme', on King Arthur and Arthurian legends
- 2015: Curator of the public exhibition 'The Arthurian Legend: Past and Present in Conversation in the Bangor Rare Books Collection and the Flintshire Harries Arthurian Collection' (13 April- 7 May); guided tours
- 2015: Co-organiser, with Bangor University Library, of the event 'Celebrating 50 years of Arthurian Studies at Bangor University', including a public lecture, given by guest Dr Roger Simpson
- 2014: Initiator and member of the working party who facilitated the donation of the Flintshire Harries Arthurian Collection to Bangor University Library, in collaboration with Bangor University Library
- 2013: Literary tour of North Wales (Arthurian romance) organised by Literature Wales and the Welsh Tourism Board
- 2011: 'Sword in the Stone' documentary for the National Geographic TV Channel, in the series The Ancient X-Files
- 2010 Invited on the ‘Authoring Arthur’ special event organised by the Royal Shakespeare Company in connection with the staging of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur
- 2009 BBC Radio consultant on the Tennyson programme and Arthurian myth
- BBC radio consultancy on medieval pilgrimage, medieval romance
- 2015 reviewer for HERA and AHRC panels
- 2012- external examiner for UG and PG programmes in medieval and early modern literature at two universities (UK and abroad)
- 2009 - external examiner for research theses in a number of UK HEI and abroad
- 2011, 2012 invited to sit on the AHRC panels for Fellowships and Main Grants (Languages and Literatures)
- 2002-10 elected member of the committee of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society
- 2006-8 UK and Ireland Liaison Officer, CARMEN (Confederation for the Advancement of Research through a Medieval European Network)
- 2006: member of the research committee on the Winchester Malory project (with De Montfort and the British Library)
- 2002-7: Research Associate, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LAMOP), Conseil National de Recherche Scientifique, Sorbonne, Paris
I hold degrees from the University of Manchester (PhD, MPhil in English medieval literature) and the University of Bucharest (BA joint honours in English language, literature, linguistics and culture and Romanian language, literature and culture) and have taught at the University of Manchester, Trinity College Dublin and University François Rabelais, Tours.
I was a research fellow at New Europe College, Institute for Advanced Studies, Bucharest, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris) and the Huntington Library (as Andrew Mellon fellow) and a visiting researcher at Harvard University.
FLSW, FEA, FRHistS, SFHEA
Location: 314 New Arts