How would you define yourself?
Professor in English Education, University of East Anglia
Please describe yourself and your areas of interest.
My first degree was in English Language and Literature at Oxford. This is where I began to read Ruskin's work. His connections with architecture and with his road building project to North Hinksey made him a fascinating subject of study for me. Furthermore, his social commitment stood out, as well as the quality of his art and of his writing about art and architecture. After university, I became a teacher of English and Drama for ten years in England and in Hong Kong. Following that period, I have worked in universities for the last twenty five years: currently at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. My research interests are in writing development, multimodality, argumentation, poetry and e-learning research methodologies. Behind these, the work is informed by theories of rhetoric and poetics. I'm currently working on a book on multi-levelled rhythms in music, literature and the social sciences. I like to think that Ruskin has had an influence on my work.
Why did you become a Companion of the Guild?
I'd like to learn more about Ruskin's work and his polymathic talents, as well as about his influence across England - and perhaps beyond. For a short period, I taught at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and discovered that its origin was as the Ruskin School of Art, which Ruskin opened in the 1850s. I look forward to learning from other Companions of the Guild.