I consider myself to be a philologist, that is, etymologically, a “lover of words.” To me, though, a philologist is someone who uses diverse words and languages as entrance points to explore the cultures of the people who have used them. In my first book, The Composition of Old English Poetry, I examine how Beowulf (my first “love”) and other Anglo-Saxon verses are put together textually, in terms of both syntax and prosody. My love of the English language—with all its copiousness and energy—led me to co-edit A Companion to the History of the English Language, a collection of fifty-nine essays on subjects ranging from English as an Indo-European or Germanic language to the role of English in the postcolonial world. Recently I published From Philology to English Studies: Language and Culture in the Nineteenth Century in order to revisit the history of the field of philology. This monograph takes another look at such key events as the European discovery of Sanskrit, the earliest study of Beowulf, and the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Currently, I have several projects in the area of the culture of religion. I am particularly interested in the way the otherworld is represented in early medieval English literature (to c.1300), because I hope to consider how the idea of the hereafter affected the hearts (e.g. devotion) and minds (e.g. cosmology) of vernacular speakers.