Professor of English; Associate Dean of Faculty
Paul specializes in 16th and 17th century English poetry and drama, and is particularly interested in community reading, material culture, and the biblical tradition. His current research includes work on the Gospel harmonies made by hand at Little Gidding (c.1630–1640) and early editions of George Herbert's book of poetry, titled The Temple (first published in 1633), as well as on the topic of revenge in both historical literature and popular film. He has published articles on various aspects of Herbert's poetry, and on devotional practice and book production at Little Gidding.
Besides teaching introductory courses and courses on Medieval and Renaissance literature, Paul has taught on a variety of other topics including The Digital Word (on electronic textuality), Tolkien and Medieval Literature, Revenge: Stage, Screen, and Liturgy, and The History of the Book. One of his teaching joys is using the letterpress at CMU for this last course. He is particularly interested in how the past comes to life and enriches the present through literature and the arts and he gets most excited when students make connections between life now and the life of the past: the most inventive ways of moving forward are those that take the past seriously.
Paul attended University of Alberta, where he earned his BEd, MA, and PhD. Before coming to CMU, he taught at Maskwachees Cultural College in the Cree community of Hobbema (now Maskwacis), Alberta (1993–95). More recently, he was Visiting Professor at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan (Spring 2011) and Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, University of Manitoba in the 2013–14 academic year, when he was on sabbatical to write a book on Herbert's verse.
Paul was born in Edmonton. He and his wife, poet and novelist Sally Ito (who teaches Creative Writing at CMU), have two adult children. They attend St. Margaret's Anglican Church, where Paul serves as a lay reader and preacher.
Areas of Teaching
Poetry, Fiction, Drama, Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Popular culture, and on topics such as Shakespeare, Milton, Herbert, Book History, and Revenge
Ph.D., University of Alberta, 2000; M.A., University of Alberta, 1993; B.Ed., University of Alberta, 1991
Work in Detail
- Poetry and Drama (Intro)
- Fiction (Intro)
- Medieval Poetry and Drama
- 16th and 17th Century Poetry and Drama
- Book History
- Topics such as Revenge and the Gift
- Author courses such as George Herbert, William Shakespeare, and John Donne, and John Milton
- "The Discovery of Pattern at Little Gidding" for Women's Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation. Edited by Leah Knight, Elizabeth Sauer, and Micheline White. University of Michigan Press. Forthcoming December 2018, pp. 135-152.
- "In the Garden of the Book: the 1551 Kreuter Buch in Katharina Thiessen's Library." Preservings. 2017.
- "Reconciliation and the Residential School" Vision: A Journal of Church and Theology. 18:1, Spring 2017. pp 75-82.
- A University of the Church for the World: Essays in Honour of Gerald Gerbrandt. CMU Press, 2016
- "Approaching the Table: Invitation and the Structure of The Temple" in George Herbert Journal 35: 1&2 (Fall 2011/Spring 2012, [submitted 2013, published 2014], pp 45-54.
- "Altar, Heart, Title-Page: The Image of Holy Reading" in English Literary Renaissance 43:3 (September 2013), pp 542-571.
- "Digitizing Collection, Composition, and Product: Tracking the Work of Little Gidding" in Digitizing Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture. Eds. Brent Nelson and Melissa Tarras. New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies Volume 3. Toronto and Tempe: ITER and ACMRS, 2012, pp 229-256. With Stuart Williams and Ryan Rempel.
- "Dallas Wiebe's On the Cross: Herbertian Irony and the Poet's Afflicted Body" in George Herbert's Travels: International Print and Cultural Legacies. Ed. Christopher Hodgkins, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2011, pp 177-187.
- "Gathering the Story: Antwerp Biblical Illustrations in Little Gidding Books." De Gulden Passer. 88:2 (2010), pp 93-118.
- "Reading from the Margins at Little Gidding" in Locating the Past / Discovering the Present - Perspectives on Religion, Culture, and Marginality. Eds. David Gay and Stephen Reimer, Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2010, pp 47-70.
- "George Herbert and the Liturgical Experience of Scripture" in George Herbert's Pastoral: New Essays on the Poet and Priest of Bemerton. Ed. Christopher Hodgkins. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2010, pp 197-210.
- '"A New Kind of Printing": Cutting and Pasting a Book for a King at Little Gidding.' The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. 9:1 (September 2008), pp 306-330.
My primary community service is at St Margaret's Anglican Church, where I am a lay-reader (in effect, a kind of liturgical worship leader) and an occasional preacher.
In recent years I have taught portable courses at churches and at Star Lake Camp.