Each Spring semester the Institute for Medieval Studies, in cnjunction with UNM’s Department of English Language and Literature, sponsors a distinguished expert in Old Norse language and literature to teach a course in Viking Mythology (ENGL 347/MDVL 347). The 2014 Visiting Scholar in Medieval Scandinavian Studies is Dr. Geoffrey R. Russom, Professor of English Emeritus and Nicholas Brown Professor of Oratory and Belles Lettres Emeritus at Brown University.
Geoffrey Russom’s research interests include Old English, Middle English, Old Norse, and Old Irish literary cultures; linguistic theory; and the theory of poetic form. He is best known for arguments showing that rules of poetic meter are abstracted from rules of ordinary language and, once abstracted, operate like new linguistic rules, interacting with other rules of the linguistic system to yield a varied yet still well-defined array of acceptable verse patterns. Professor Russom, who received his B.A. from Stanford and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, is the author of Old English Meter and Linguistic Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1987) and Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre (Cambridge University Press, 1998). In addition to work on Old English verse form, he has published articles on the linguistic theory of English, the multicultural backgrounds of Beowulf, and the artistic excellence of pre-literate verse traditions. His current book project traces poetic use of English and closely related languages from about 300 B.C. to the present, sketching out a field of evolutionary metrics within Chomsky’s universalist framework.
The Institute for Medieval Studies welcomes Professor Russom to the University of New Mexico for the Spring 2014 semester.
2013: Craig R. Davis, Professor of English, Smith College
2012: John S. McKinnell, Professor of English Emeritus, University of Durham, UK
2011: Rory McTurk, Professor of Icelandic Studies Emeritus, University of Leeds, UK
2010: Geoffrey R. Russom, Professor of English Emeritus, Brown University
2009: Paul L. Acker, Professor of English, Saint Louis University
2008: John S. McKinnell, Professor of English Emeritus, University of Durham, UK
2007: Marianne Kalinke, College of Arts and Sciences Professor and Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies, University of Illinois
2006: Craig R. Davis, Professor of English, Smith College
2005: Russell Poole, Professor of English, University of Western Ontario, Canada
2004: Lars Lönnroth, Professor of Literature, University of Göteborg, Sweden