Manish Sharma, PhD
Associate Professor , English
Graduate Program Director, English
Two recent projects should indicate in broad terms the scope of my current interests and methodology. Just out (2012) in Neophilologus is "Heroic Subject and Cultural Substance in The Wanderer." In this essay, I try to think the relationship between the literary formulation of Anglo-Saxon heroic identity and its cultural correlate by borrowing terms from Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit and Science of Logic. My analysis allows me to propose a "topological" model for field of Anglo-Saxon literary production, a model that attempts to refine understandings of Anglo-Saxon vernacular literature as cultural artifacts that mediate dialogically between a Germanic-heroic past and a Christian-Latin contemporaneity.
The willingness to deploy philosophical considerations of change and becoming, whether drawn from German Idealism or contemporary French thought, animates my current project. In preparation is an essay on the limitations of the formulaic analysis of Old English literature, particularly its insistence on the bare repetition of discrete, isolable units. I move, therefore, from Bergsonian vitalism to Deleuze's Difference and Repetition in order to propose an alternative theoretical model more attuned to novelty, invention, and affective modulation that can contest scholarly definitions of the OE literary corpus as "traditional" and "nostalgic."
Research and teaching interests
Anglo-Saxon literature and culture
Middle English literature
orality and literacy
SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2006-10
Old English Literature and the Old Testament, co-edited with Michael Fox. Toronto Old English Series: U of Toronto Press, 2012.
"The Economy of the Word in the Old English Exodus," Fox and Sharma, 172-94.
"Heroic Subject and Cultural Substance in The Wanderer," Neophilologus 96 (2012): 611-29.
"The Reburial of the Cross in the Old English Elene," New Readings in the Vercelli Book, ed. Orchard and Zacher. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009, 280-97. "Hiding the Harm: Revisionism and Marvel in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Papers on Language and Literature 44 (2008): 168-93.
"Beowulf and Poststructuralist Theory," Literature Compass 5 (2008) [online]