I completed a B.A. at New College, Oxford, and a D.Phil. at Jesus College, Oxford.
I was a Junior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford (1990-94) and a Humboldt Research Fellow in Germany (1994-95). I was Lecturer in Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews for ten years before coming to Birmingham in 2005.
I have held visiting professorships at California State University, Long Beach (2004) and Loyola University Maryland (2011-12).