Simon’s research focuses on literature and the visual arts from across the Portuguese-speaking world in the Early Modern period.
His first book, Poets, Patronage and Print in Sixteenth-Century Portugal: From Paper to Gold (forthcoming OUP), examines how poets thought of themselves in professional terms and used poetry to negotiate their social status and financial success. In other words, it is a study of the various kinds of value (moral, social, financial) ascribed to poetry in the 1500s, a time of political, social, and technological change and a period when poetry’s worth (and that of its practitioners) was regularly contested.
He won the 2020 Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal for Hispanic Art History for a study of early Renaissance silverwork in Portugal, entitled ‘Chasing Wild Men (in Silver)’. The prize is awarded by ARTES with the support of the Office of Scientific and Cultural Affairs of the Spanish Embassy in London.
Simon is also interested in Portuguese Modernism(s) and has recently edited a book on the work of Mário de Sá-Carneiro and is working on a translation of selected poems by Florbela Espanca.
In 2019, Simon set up a new Early Career Network for Modern Linguists in Oxford to support the careers of and foster exchange between academics working across languages in the years soon after the completion of their doctorates.
Simon is responsible for students reading Portuguese at St Anne’s, Merton, and Lincoln. He gives lectures and tutorials on various aspects of Portuguese literature in the early modern period, including prelims (paper IV) and FHS courses (papers VII, X, XII, and XIV), and teaches translation classes (Portuguese to English) at all levels.
In Trinity Term 2019, Simon was a Faculty Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, developing a new course that brings the literature of the discoveries in contact with the material and visual culture of the age.