Since 2011, I have been offering lectures to the general public on a variety of topics related to medieval and early modern literature and culture. This page contains information about those lectures, links to video broadcasts, interviews, and other public engagement.
The Current, with Piya Chattopadhyay, CBC Radio, Toronto. 20 May 2019. Panel with Sadaf Ahsan (National Post) and Erik Adams (The AV Club).
BBC News. 19 May 2019. Discussion with Kelly DeVries.
8 O’Clock Buzz, with Jonathan Zarov, WORT FM, Madison WI. 12 April 2019. Interview starts at c. 45min.
Off the Shelf with Veronica Andrews, Danvers Community Access Television, 9 June 2017.
“Game of Thrones is based on history – Outdated history,” The Public Medievalist (16 May 2019).
“Game of Thrones is even changing how scholars study the real Middle Ages,” with Olivia Waxman, TIME Magazine (14 July 2017).
I have given a number of one-hour lectures (accompanied by slides) at local libraries across New England. Below are short descriptions of those lectures, where and when I gave them, and, if available, links to community TV video footage.
“The Real Game of Thrones”
The popular HBO series Game of Thrones bears little resemblance, on the surface, to anything in our world, seeing as it contains dragons, zombies, and magic. However, the series and the books it is based on draw parallels and inspiration from fifteenth-century France and England, two countries torn apart by civil war and filled with fascinating characters (including the recently exhumed Richard III). This lecture considers these parallels and what they can tell us about the world of the show–as well as our own preoccupation with history.
24 November 2013 – Nashua Public Library, Nashua, NH
1 December 2016 – Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH
27 February 2018 – Parlin Memorial Library, Everett, MA
“The Queens of Henry VIII: Lives & Afterlives”
This lecture focuses on historical and literary depictions of the six wives of Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Katherine Parr. We learn a bit about Henry in the process, but the primary focus is the women themselves: where they came from, how the marriage came about, the results of the marriage, and how they have been portrayed in literary texts from contemporary poetry to Shakespeare to modern depictions such as the Showtime series The Tudors.
12 November 2011 – Georgetown University Alumni College Day
10 November 2013 – Nashua Public Library, Nashua, NH
4 June 2014 – Norwich Public Library, Norwich, VT
1 May 2015 – Hamilton-Wenham Library, Hamilton, MA
7 February 2017 – Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, MA
“Richard III: The Man Behind the Myth”
In August 2012, more than five hundred years after his death, the skeleton of King Richard III was found in a car park in Leicester, England. This king was immortalized by the greatest of sixteenth century writers, Thomas More and William Shakespeare, as a hunchbacked tyrant who murdered his way to the English throne, but what do we really know about him? Was he guilty of all the crimes laid at his door, or has he been the target of unfair publicity for the better part of five centuries? And, just as importantly, if he’s not guilty, whodunit?
5 March 2014 – Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury, VT (Video from IlsleyTV)
29 September 2015 – Osher Lifetime Learning Institute, Manchester, NH
13 October 2015 – Osher Lifetime Learning Institute, Manchester, NH
12 January 2017 – Osher Lifetime Learning Institute, Manchester, NH