Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Rob comes to Villanova from outside the discipline of English. Prior to starting the program here, he studied musicology at Temple University’s Boyer College, where he also performed solo and chamber music as a classical guitarist and sometime choral singer. At Temple, he became keenly interested in opera, so following graduation, he started his career in the archives of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, then moved north to the Glimmerglass Festival for a brief summer in Cooperstown, and finally landed in the Education department of Seattle Opera, where he gave lectures, created programs, and wrote for the company. His scholarly interests center on the culture, literature, and music of the English Renaissance. At Villanova, he’d like to pursue a project grounded in rhetoric, gender, and performance studies that includes the work of Shakespeare, Morley, Sidney, Dowland, the other Robert Johnson, the more famous Ben Jonson, and (just so that no one feels excluded) the Daniel brothers. In addition to Renaissance literature, he is keenly interested in the literature and history of Philadelphia, and holds a strong affection for the personal essay, especially those of Lamb, Repplier, E.B. White, and Baldwin, who are always at his bedside. When he’s not reading, he attends weddings in what used to be his spare time.