Professor & Chair
PhD University of Toronto

Office: Thomas Hall 209
Phone: 610-526-5036

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

My research focuses on the Latin texts of late antiquity and the early middle ages, especially the writings of Augustine of Hippo; I also have an active interest in Greek patrology. My recent book on laughter brings these texts into conversation with contemporary theoretical concerns, notably Arendt's "natality" and feminist philosophy of religion. I am currently embarking on a new project, which puts the Africanness of Augustine at the center of a reading of his works.

Select Publications:

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's ConfessionsBooks:
The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine’s Confessions is an engaging introduction to this spiritually creative and intellectually original work. We spent five minutes ...


  • The Laughter of Sarah
    Palgrave Pivot: Palgrave Macmillan (New York, 2013).
  • The Irrational Augustine
    Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford, 2006).
  • Paulinus Noster: Self and Symbols in the Letters of Paulinus of Nola  
    Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford, 2000).

Edited Volume:

  • (with Paul B. Harvey, Jr.) Maxima Debetur Magistro Reverentia: Essays on Rome and the Roman Tradition in Honor of Russell T. Scott Biblioteca di Athenaeum (Como, 2009).

Recent Articles:

  • ‘How to Lament an Eternal City: the Ambiguous Fall of Rome’, in The Fall of Cities: Commemoration in Lament, Folksong and Liturgy, ed. Mary Bachvarova, Dorota Dutsch, and Ann Suter (Cambridge, 2016), 212-225.

  • ‘Augustine's De Civitate Dei’, in Patriarchal Moments: Reading Patriarchal Texts, ed. Cesare Cuttica and Gaby Muhlberg, Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought (London/ New York, 2016), 43-48.

  • ‘Augustini Hipponensis Africitas’, in The Journal of Medieval Latin 25 (2015), 111-30.

  • ‘Augustine's Rhetoric in Theory and Practice’, in The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, ed. Michael MacDonald (Oxford, 2014 [online]; forthcoming [print]).
  • 'The city of Augustine: on the interpretation of civitas', in Being Christian in Late Antiquity. A Festschrift for Gillian Clark ed. Carol Harrison, Caroline Humfress, and Bella Sandwell (Oxford, 2014), 139-55.
  • 'Making Space for Violence', in Journal of Late Antiquity 6,2 (Fall 2013), 203-15.
  • 'Quotquot haec legerint meminerint: All Who Read This Will Remember', in De Theoria: Early Modern Essays in Memory of Eugene Vance, ed. Denyse Delcourt and Steven Nichols: MLN Supplement 127:5 (2012), 823-33.
  • ‘Reading the Confessions’, in The Blackwell Companion to Augustine, ed. M. Vessey (Oxford, 2012), 99-110.
  • ‘Beyond Word and Image: Aural Patterning in Augustine’s Confessions’, in Envisioning Experience in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Dynamic Patterns in Texts and Images, ed. G. De Nie and T. F. X. Noble (Farnham/ Burlington VT, 2012), 143-64.