Richard Bergen

Richard Angelo Bergen comes from a family of five kids in which all of them studied very different subjects, but nevertheless remain the closest of friends. Richard became interested in literature in large part because he was trying to write songs for a hard rock band, for which he sang and played drums: thus, he became fascinated with the question of what makes poetry deep, eloquent, and electrifying. Richard teaches introduction to literature courses and has research and teaching interests in fantasy literature (especially C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), concept albums, journey and voyage narratives, metaphorical stories, and the raptures of Renaissance poetry. When anyone, himself included, studies a piece of art, there is always the possible tragedy of never noticing: never connecting to the focused or meaningful potentiality of experience that the writer allows. Richard aims in every one of his classes at Corpus Christi to enable moments when literature translates into wakefulness and enrichment.

Discipline

English

Current Research Projects

Richard is currently working on finishing his dissertation and a book form of it, which is about the connection between allegorical stories and setting (A Theory of Allegorical Spatiality).

Numerous other works are in progress that relate to this connection (between allegory and place), including conference papers, and essays consigned for submissions to journals like Chaucer Review, Speculum, and Bunyan Studies.

He also has an essay on C. S. Lewis and historical philosophy, which is being published with Cambridge Scholars Press in 2020.

Education

The University of British Columbia (2014-present) – PhD Candidate in English

Trinity Western University, Langley, BC (2007-2014) – Degrees Conferred:

  • Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities, 2014
  • Bachelor of Arts, Honours Major in English, Minor in History, 2012

Publications

“‘A Warp of Horror’: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Subcreations of Evil.” Mythlore: 30 (Fall 2017): 103-121.

“C. S. Lewis: Interpreting History as Interpreter.” The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Cambridge Scholars Press, Forthcoming 2020.

“Hawes, Stephen.” The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain. Eds. Robert Rouse and Siân Echard. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Mere Allegory or More Allegory?” The Journal of Inklings Studies: 9.1 (Spring 2019): 43-62.

Paradise Lost and the Descent of Urania: From Astrology to Allegory.” Culture and Cosmos: 18.2 (Fall 2014): 105-124.

“Praying Hard: Milton, Metal Music, and Religious Representation.” Cutting Edge ISGP Journal: 5.1. (Winter 2018): 8-18.

“Reforming Allegory in The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Love, Knowledge and the University: Christianity and Literature Study Group Conference Papers (2013). Ed. John North. Waterloo: North Waterloo Academic Press, 2015. 107-23.

“Topic and Topography: Mind and World.” INK: Ideas Numbers and Knowledge: 4.1 (Fall 2017): 8-9.

Published Book Reviews

Review of Paradise Lost and the Cosmological Revolution by Dennis Danielson. Culture and Cosmos 18.2 (Autumn 2014).

Review of Spenser in the Moment, eds. Paul Hecht and J. B. Lethbridge. Sixteenth Century Journal. XLVII/2 (Summer 2017): 559-61.

Review of With Wandering Steps: Generative Ambiguity in John Milton’s Poetics, eds. Louis Schwartz and Mary C. Fenton. Sixteenth Century Journal. XLIX/3 (Fall 2018): 845-47.

Digital Humanities Project

“Into the Cloud of Unknowing.” Short Educational film. Scripted, produced, and edited by Richard Bergen and Naomi Hogg. Uploaded to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov7XY_d-sIk&t=123s (2011). With over 20,000 views.

Previous Appointments

Teaching assistantships at TWU and UBC: 2011-2013, 2016-2020

Professional Societies

  • Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)
  • Canadian Society of Renaissance Studies (CSRS)
  • Inklings Institute of Canada (IIC)
  • International John Bunyan Society (IJBS)
  • Medieval Association of Place and Space (MAPS)
  • Mythopoeic Society
  • Renaissance Society of America (RSA)
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