I am Director of Research in the School of Literatures, Languages and Linguistics, and founding Director of the Centre for Arthurian Studies in the College of Arts, Humanities and Business. 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.
In the past three years I have been elected Fellow of the English Association, the Royal Historical Society and the Learned Society of Wales.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2017 I 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 teach medieval and early modern literature, 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.
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 4 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)
I am currently supervising 3 PhD students (thesis titles provisional)
Ashley Walchester-Bailes, 'Editing Malory in the Modern Period: from Winchester MS to Vinaver's edition'
Isra'a Alqallab, 'The History of Emotions and Medieval Romance: King Horn, Guy of Warwick, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'
Audrey Martin, 'Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Geoffrey of Monmouth and his continuators'
I welcome postgraduate projects linked to any of my areas of research interest.
I have just completed my term as elected President of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society (2015-18) and was elected founding Editor of the Journal of the International Arthurian Society (2011-17) and editor of the Annual Bibliography of the International Arthurian Society (2011-15).
I am a member of the committee of the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC), and have been 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 have been an external examiner of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and PhD 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), and given interviews for the local and national press. Other invited lectures and media appearances include:
- 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.
SFHEA, FLSW, FEA, FRHistS
Location: 314 New Arts