Associate Professor in the Department of English and former director of the Center for Literary Studies. My early studies were in America and England (B.A., Columbia University; B.Phil., University of Oxford; A.M. and Ph.D., Harvard University).
My research explores the interplay between conceptual and literary changes from antiquity to the modern period.
One of the focal points of my work has been the process by which texts acquire changing meanings in allegory (considered, for example, in my study Allegory: The Dynamics of an Ancient and Medieval Technique, co-published by Oxford University Press and Harvard University Press in 1987, and in a collection that I edited with introductory essays, Interpretation and Allegory: Antiquity to the Modern Period, published by Brill in 2000).
Another of my major interests is the varying treatment of time and history in literature (explored, for example, in a collection that I recently edited, Romance and History: Imagining Time from the Medieval to the Early Modern Period, published by Cambridge University Press in 2015).
Currently I am conducting a multiyear project, supported by the Israel Science Foundation, on changing concepts of the “literal sense,” with particular reference to scriptural interpretation (“The Literal Sense: Scriptural Interpretation, Poetics, and Historical Change”).
It has been a special pleasure to work with the keenly motivated and diversely oriented students in Amirim. In the 2015-16 academic year I taught for Amirim a course on “The Strategies of Persuasion,” examining the arts of powerful language from love poetry to political prose. My course for Amirim in the 2016-17 academic year—“Fabulous Facts: The Arthurian Legend in Literature, Art, and History”—explores one of the formative legends of the Western world from the medieval to the modern period.