I am an Associate Professor in the Departments of Romance Languages and Literatures and Judaic Studies and an affiliate of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.
I study the cultures and literatures of medieval Iberia, focusing especially on cultural interaction, exchange, and conflict. My interests converge around polemical writing (religious disputations and conflicts) and translation (of languages, alphabets, styles, beliefs, identities, and ideas) as elements defining the relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
I am particularly interested in conversion as a vehicle for exchange (real and imagined) between disparate groups, as well as in modern scholarly debates about how to frame the history and criticism of Medieval Iberia and its cultures (One, two, or three cultures? Conquest or reconquest? Spanish or Iberian? Tolerance or persecution?). I have focused much of my research on the fourteenth-century convert Abner of Burgos (known as Alfonso of Valladolid after conversion), and written a book on narratives of religious conversion and their function within polemical writing in the 12th to the 15th centuries. I have also edited a book of essays on exegesis and co-edited two other collected volumes related to my role as editor of the journal Medieval Encounters. For more information on my current work, see here.