The College is primarily an academic research institution with particular strengths in the humanities and social and theoretical sciences and an outstanding library. It also has strong ties to public life. Although its Fellows are involved in teaching and supervision of research, there are no undergraduate members.
My research focusses on poetry of the mid- and later eighteenth century. I am especially interested in what happened to formal verse satire after 1750, and have worked on satirists including Charles Churchill, John Wolcot (‘Peter Pindar’) and Lord Byron. I also have interests in early modern classical reception, Enlightenment intellectual history and the history of criticism, particularly criticism of satire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
I study the history and doctrines of mature esoteric or tantric Buddhism (ca. 750-1250 CE). Followers of these teachings broke away from ascetic restraint and rules of ritual purity in order to achieve supernatural powers and liberation from the bondage of transmigration. My source material is chiefly in Sanskrit (and in Classical Tibetan), most of it in still unedited manuscripts. I am interested in how tantric Buddhist practitioners organised their sub-culture and the ways in which they interacted with mediaeval South Asian, South East Asian, Himalayan, and Trans-Himalayan societies.
I have two main fields of interest in my current research: early modern intellectual history, with a special focus on the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679); and relations between Western Europe and the Ottoman/Islamic world in the early modern period. There is some overlap between the two, as the second field includes the development of Western thinking about such things as the nature of Ottoman rule and the doctrines of Islam.
My work concerns the dynamics and evolution of infections. I am interested in how quickly infections grow inside individuals, and also how fast they spread amongst individuals.
One of my projects asks if we can design individualised treatment regimens for people with chronic viral infections.
In a second project we ask how immune-driven evolution of HIV is causing new variants to spread through the human population.