Teaching Associate Professor and Academic Integrity Director
I look for the long view of English literature and culture generally. It's important to know what independent poetry presses are doing this year, and it's important to know about the pathos of Gligamesh's mourning over Enkidu. And everything in between.
More specifically, my research focuses on the intersection of religious worldviews and verbal art, with particular attention given to the exegetical and contemplative aspects of monastic culture. In this vein, my books The St. Benedict Prayer Book, Poems and Counsels on Prayer and Contemplation (of Gertrude More), O Shining Light: Old English Meditations on Advent and Christmastide, In the Bosom of the Father: Collected Poems of a Benedictine Mystic (Swami Abhishiktananda), and The Old English Rule of St. Benedict all make more readily available poems, meditations, and prayers from the long Benedictine tradition, from the early medieval to the twentieth century. The centrality of the contemplative dimension of human life binds these works and worlds together in fascinating and beautiful ways.
While my interests as a teacher, translator, and poet maintain their secure rooting in monastic culture and contemplation, they also broaden to include a keen interest in other species and our relationships with them, ongoing critique of human separatism, and how medieval monastic views and practices can help us navigate the contemporary world.
The teaching of literature and writing allows a capacious playground for all these interests. My favorite part of teaching is encountering students as fellow living, breathing, limited creatures on this planet with special gifts of self-consciousness and interpretive powers. Contemplative pedagogy, intensive reading, and a dialogic classroom allow us to push learning beyond rote memorization and a determined focus on the conceptual to a whole-person and interpersonal way of learning.
As a poet, I'm particularly interested in making poems that rest in the long tradition of Anglophone letters but that articulate what it is to be a very particular person in a very particular place at a given, irretrievable moment. My second full collection is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in January 2024.
Thanks for stopping by.
See more details on my various projects at jacobriyeff.com.
Honors First Year Seminar: Claiming Our Attention
Honors First Year Seminar: Humans and Other Natural Phenomena
Critical Practices and Processes in Literary Studies
Foundations in Rhetoric
- Old English Language and Literature
- Middle English Language and Literature
- Monastic Culture
- Wed 1:00-3:00
- Thurs 2:00-3:00
- 1955H/903 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Sensenbrenner Hall 104
- Honors First-Year Seminar
- 1955H/904 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Sensenbrenner Hall 104
- Honors First-Year Seminar