I’m one of those very fortunate people who gets to do what I love for a living. I began my university career in 1997 as a freshman at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I graduated after four years but I’ve never left college behind me. I grew up in the countryside near Kingston and I still remember how excited I was when I looked at the course catalogue for the first time and realized how much the university had to offer me. I majored in English literature and then went on to an MA at Dalhousie (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and a doctorate at McGill (in Montreal, Quebec).
In 2009 I graduated from McGill and crossed the border, to join the faculty of the University of Oklahoma English department. My specialty is the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in 2014 I published my first book, Martyrs and Players in Early Modern England: Tragedy, Religion and Violence on Stage. It explores the connections between the tragedy of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and the suffering of the Reformation-era martyrs, Protestant and Catholic, who suffered death when they refused to renounce their faith. I’m currently at work on a book about the centrality of agape (the altruistic Christian neighbor-love) to Shakespeare’s plays.
At heart I’m an educational idealist. On the one hand, I believe that a rich understanding of the great literature, art, philosophy, theology and political theory of human culture is intrinsically valuable. But on the purely practical level, I am convinced that there is no better preparation for a young professional than humanistic study. Grappling with complex texts and concepts sharpens the mind and gives one a mental toolbox to better tackle the problems he or she will encounter after graduation, with a deepened capacity to read and write, to think and persuade, and to both interpret and fashion complex arguments.
I’m delighted to serve the students of Dunham College and to continue the fine work of our first Senior Fellow, Dr. Mark Morvant. I approach my role here with the heart of a teacher and I’m looking forward to integrating my passion for books and ideas into the life of the college. I’m joined at Dunham by my wife Abby Anderson, who has a passion for education to match my own, and our young son Samuel. If you see us in the hallway, please say hello. And if you’re interested in knowing more about Dunham and our mission, please get in touch.