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Stephen Minta has taught at York since 1973. Trained as a linguist, his interests have remained largely in the field of non-English literatures, though he has been increasingly drawn to questions about the impact of these on literatures in English: questions that have to do with old issues of literary influence and national traditions, and about how one might reassess those terms in the light of contemporary cultural experience.
The languages that have principally informed his thinking are French, Spanish, Italian, and Greek, the latter across the full range of its evolution, from Homer to the poetry of the twentieth century. These general interests have found expression in various forms: he has written on the international language of the medieval courtly tradition; on Franco-Italian cultural contacts in the Renaissance; on the Spanish/Basque sixteenth-century explorer of South America, Lope de Aguirre; on the Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Inevitably, such thinking involves political issues of various kinds.
Such issues are at the heart of his current project: an intellectual biography of Byron.
He has supervised PhD theses and MA dissertations on a wide variety of topics from the Middle Ages to the present, among which are: the modern South African novel; the immigrant novel in the United States; the figure of Helen from Homer to Walcott; anarchism and literature in the late nineteenth-century; the poetry of T S Eliot and George Seferis.
He particularly welcomes applications of a comparative kind: projects that seek to explore relationships between European cultures, or between those cultures and literatures in English.