James Paz

Dr

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Personal profile

Overview

After receiving my PhD from King’s College London in 2013, I lectured for a brief spell at the University of Leeds, before being appointed as Lecturer in Early Medieval English Literature at the University of Manchester in September 2014. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022.


I am the author of Nonhuman Voices in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Material Culture (Manchester University Press, 2017) and the co-editor of Medieval Science Fiction (KCLMS, 2016). I have published peer-reviewed articles in Exemplaria, the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and New Medieval Literatures, and have published chapters in various edited collections.

 

My second monograph, The Animality of Work and Craft in Early Medieval English Literature, looks at representations of laborious work and more creative crafts in Old English and Anglo-Latin texts and asks whether the ability to craft creatively defines the human condition for the earliest English writers. Does animal work ever shade into animal craft in early medieval literature? How is humanity gained or lost through craftwork? The monograph builds upon an open-access article on the same topic that I recently published in Leeds Medieval Studies.

 

I am one of the General Editors of the Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture book series: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/series/manchester-medieval-literature-and-culture/ 

 

At Manchester, I teach a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on topics such as Beowulf, Old English literature, Middle English literature, modern medievalism, translation and critical theory. Since March 2018, I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I welcome proposals from research students interested in working on any aspect of Old English or medieval literary culture, including (but not limited to) the following topics: the links between early medieval literature and material culture; the relationships between humans and nonhumans in early medieval literature; modern medievalism (especially in science fiction and fantasy); theoretical approaches to medieval literatures (especially new materialism and ecocriticism).

In June 2017, I co-organised (with Prof David Matthews) the biennial MAMO: Middle Ages in the Modern World international conference. From 2016-19, I served on the committee for TOEBI (Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland) and I organised and hosted the annual TOEBI conference at Manchester in November 2019. In 2023, I will be co-organising (with Dr Charles Insley) and hosting the biennial ISSEME: International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England conference.

 

Email: James.Paz@manchester.ac.uk

Research interests

I am a medievalist and a specialist in Old English literature.

In 2017, I published my first monograph, Nonhuman Voices in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Material Culture. In 2016, I co-edited with Carl Kears a collection of essays on Medieval Science Fiction. I have published articles on texts and topics such as unreadable things in Beowulf, performing scientia in the Old English charms and dialogues of Solomon and Saturn, translating The Order of the World, mind, mood and meteorology in the Exeter Book 'storm' riddles, Wayland the Smith, and Eilmer the 'flying monk' of Malmesbury.

Current projects include: a monograph on the animality of work and craft in Old English literature; a series of articles on literature and science in early medieval England; and a creative-critical project on translating the nonhuman across Old and Modern English verse.

Opportunities

PhD Supervision:

I welcome proposals from research students interested in working on any aspect of Old English or medieval literary culture, including (but not limited to) the following topics: the links between early medieval literature and material culture; the relationships between humans and nonhumans in early medieval literature; modern medievalism (especially in science fiction and fantasy); theoretical approaches to medieval literatures (especially new materialism and ecocriticism).

 

Current Research Students:

  • Abi Bleach (abigail.bleach@manchester.ac.uk): 'Troubling Times: Navigating Ecological Crisis in Old English and Twenty-First-Century Eco-Literature' (AHRC-funded).
  • Joe Burton (joseph.burton@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk): 'With Shape and Purpose: Sensing the Presence and Absence of Tool-Use in Early Medieval English Literature and Material Culture' (SALC-funded).

 

Postdoctoral Mentoring:

I am also happy to help talented early career researchers apply for postdoctoral fellowships (e.g. Leverhulme Trust, British Academy) with Manchester as the host institution.

Activities and esteem

 

Invited Talks

I have given invited lectures and seminars at King's College London, the London Old and Middle English Research Seminar, the University of Birmingham and the Free University of Berlin.

Workshops

In 2016, I co-organised (with Dr Anke Bernau) a one-day workshop on 'Craft in Medieval and Early Modern England' at the John Rylands Library.

Editorships

I am one of the General Editors of the Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture book series.

Peer Review

Peer reviewer of proposals and manuscripts for Boydell and Brewer, Cambridge University Press, Manchester University Press, Oxford University Press, Exemplaria, Neophilologus, New Medieval Literatures and Review of English Studies.

Examining

External examiner of a PhD thesis at the University of St Andrews.

 

External positions

Vice-President, International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England

1 Jun 20221 Jun 2023

Areas of expertise

  • PE English
  • Old English
  • Early Medieval England
  • Medieval Literature
  • Medieval Studies
  • Medievalism
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • New Materialisms
  • Ecocriticism

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures

Keywords

  • Old English
  • Early Medieval England
  • Medieval Literature
  • Medieval Studies
  • Medievalism
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • New Materialisms
  • Ecocriticism
  • Thing Theory
  • Craft

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