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Elliott Britton Brooks Last modified date:2023.06.27

Assistant Professor / Faculty of Languages and Cultures: Department of Multicultural Society
Department of Multicultural Society
Faculty of Languages and Cultures

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Academic Degree
Doctor of Philosophy in English (DPhil), The University of Oxford (2017), Master of Studies in English (MSt), The University of Oxford (2011), Master of Arts in Medieval British Studies (MA), Cardiff University (2007), Bachelor of Arts in English (BA), University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (2005)
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Bachelor Master Doctor
Field of Specialization
Old English and Anglo-Latin Literature; Literature and the Environment; Sound Studies; Blue Humanities
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Research Interests
  • Early Medieval Soundscapes
    keyword : Soundscape, Environmental Humanities, Old English Literature, Anglo-Latin Literature, Saint's Lives
Current and Past Project
  • Early Medieval Soundscapes will bring together approaches from a variety of fields, from both the sciences and the humanities. This project seeks to reconstruct perceptions of aural phenomena, and will theorise early medieval soundscapes by considering aural events in a range of artistic productions, including literature, visual representation in manuscripts, and material culture, in direct connection with the physical, acoustic, and built environments. I am employing techniques and approaches from a variety of fields, including Literary Analysis, Philosophy, Linguistics, Sound Studies, Archaeoacoustics, as well as Deep Mapping and other geospatial digital techniques. This interdisciplinary, multilingual, and multicultural approach will provide a novel and necessary analysis of early medieval perceptions of the non-human world.
Academic Activities
1. Britton Elliott Brooks Karen Louise Jolly Debby Banham Jane Hawkes Carol Neuman de Vegvar Jonathan Wilcox Caitlin Green John Hines John Niles Kazutomo Karasawa Michael W. Scott, Global Perspectives on Early Medieval England, Boydell and Brewer, UK, 2022.01, [URL], Global Perspectives opens a conversation about early medieval England seen through the lens of comparative and interconnected histories. This conversation interrogates the temporal and geographic field of study commonly called ‘Anglo-Saxon England’, particularly in relation to and from the point of view of other cultural identities, both those nearby and those at a distance, from as far away as the contemporary Pacific.

The chapters are interdisciplinary, examining artistic, archaeological, literary, and historical artifacts, converging around the idea that early medieval England does not only define itself, but is often defined by others, specifically here by modern scholarship. The first section examines the transmission of material culture across borders, while querying the possibilities and limits of comparative and transnational approaches, including: the spread of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum var. aestivum), the collapsing of the art-historical ‘decorative’ and ‘functional’, and the unknowns about daily life in an early medieval English hall. The second section reimagines the permeable boundaries of early medieval England, perspectives from the Baltic, Byzantium, and the Islamic world, including: an examination of Vercelli Homily VII (from John Chrysostom’s Greek Homily XXIX); Hārūn ibn Yaḥyā’s Arabic descriptions of Barṭīniyah (‘Britain’); and a examination of the Old English Orosius with relation to the Baltic. The third section addresses the construction of and responses to ‘Anglo-Saxon’ narratives, past and present, including: situation early Medieval England within an Eurasian Perspective; the historical origins of racialized Anglo-saxonism(s); and a comparison between the Hiberno-Saxon Missions and the Anglican Melanesian Mission.

Global Perspectives offers no summary conclusion but rather invites readers to enter into new ways of thinking outside traditional boundaries.
2. Britton Elliott Brooks , Restoring Creation: The Natural World in the Anglo-Saxon Saints’ Lives of Cuthbert and Guthlac, Boydell and Brewer, UK,, 2019.09, [URL], Restoring Creation: The Natural World in the Anglo-Saxon Saints’ Lives of Cuthbert and Guthlac explores the relationship between the natural world (Creation) and humanity through the early English saints Cuthbert and Guthlac in their Anglo-Latin and Old English Lives. It argues that this relationship is best understood through received theological exegesis concerning Creation’s present state in the fallen world. The exegesis has its foundation in St Augustine’s interpretations of the Genesis narrative, though it enters the textual tradition of the Lives via an adapted portion from Augustine in Bede’s verse Life of Saint Cuthbert. Both Augustine and Bede argue, with slight differences, the following: that fallen Creation often functions to urge humanity, the saints included, towards greater holiness; that the Fall produced a relational breach between humanity and Creation (whether actual or ontological); and that the effects of the Fall can be temporarily removed by restoring a portion of Creation into its pre-fallen state by means of sanctity. The end result is a re-centering of the role of the physical world in early medieval literature, which lays the groundwork for a more nuanced engagement with pre-modern notions of the non-human world..
1. Britton Elliott Brooks , The Sound-World of Early Medieval England: A Case Study of the Exeter Book Storm Riddle, This is a book chapter in Ideas of the World in Early Medieval English Literature, ed. by Mark Atherton, Kazutomo Karasawa, and Francis Leneghan, (Brepols, 2022, pp. 203–222., pp. 203–222., 2022.11.
2. Britton Elliott Brooks, ‘Biophonic Soundscapes in the Vitae of St Guthlac’, English Studies,, 102, 2, 155-179, 2021.03, [URL], This article explores the use of biophonic information in the primary
vitae of one early English saint, Guthlac: Felix’s Latin Vita S. Guthlaci,
the Old English Prose Life of Guthlac, and the Old English poems
Guthlac A and Guthlac B. It reveals that the sounds created by
various animals, from the croak of a raven to the bellowing of a bull,
are utilised for two purposes in these texts: first, to disturb the saint,
to shatter his eremitic pursuits and imitatio Christi; second, to
highlight Guthlac’s successful maintenance of his stablitas in the face
of such sonic attacks. This use of biophony speaks to hagiography
more generally, and aims to provide a model for further study into
the role of sound in Anglo-Latin and Old English literature..
3. Britton Elliott Brooks , 'St Cuthbert as Lamp: the Ideal Gregorian Monk-Pastor in Bede’s metrical Vita sancti Cuthberti’, Peritia , DOI: 10.1484/J.PERIT.5.120980, 30, 53-70, 2020.10, [URL], This article argues that Bede advocated Gregory the Great’s ideal of the monk-pastor in his early Vita metrica S. Cudbercti, a role that Bede saw St Cuthbert as fulfilling. Part of the way Bede refashions Cuthbert into an idealised Gregorian monk-pastor is by means of lamp imagery directly connected with Jesus’s parable of the lamp under a bushel in the New Testament. Such a presentation of Cuthbert highlights Bede’s conception of the wider relevance of the saint; a depiction often discussed in terms of Bede’s later prose Vita S. Cudbercti and Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. This study reveals that these developments were well underway in Bede’s early metrical life of St Cuthbert..
4. Britton Elliott Brooks, ‘Felix’s Construction of the English Fenlands: Literal Landscape, Authorizing Allusion, and Lexical Echo in his Vita Sancti Guthlaci', This is a Book Chapter in 'Guthlac: Crowland's Saint', ed. by Jane Roberts and Alan Thacker (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2020)., 55-71, 2020.08.
Membership in Academic Society
  • The English Literary Society of Japan
  • Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Society (PAMLA)
  • The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
  • The Japan Society for Medieval English Studies (JSMES)
Educational Activities
Doctor of Philosophy in English (DPhil), 2017.
University of Oxford• Oxford, England.
Thesis: ‘The Restoration of Creation in the early Anglo-Saxon Vitae of Cuthbert and Guthlac’.
Supervisor: Dr Francis Leneghan.
Viva Examiners: Prof. Andy Orchard and Prof. Daniel Anlezark.

Master of Studies in English (MSt), 2011.
University of Oxford• Oxford, England.
Dissertation: ‘The Playful Construction of Space and Place in Middle English Narratives: The Locus Amoenus, The Forested Wilderness, and the Otherworld in Sir Orfeo’.

Master of Arts in Medieval British Studies (MA), 2007.
Cardiff University• Cardiff, Wales.
Dissertation: ‘Moses as Holy Warrior: The Characterization of Moses in the Old English Exodus’.

Bachelor of Arts in English (BA), 2005.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa • Honolulu, Hawai‘i.