News Nuggets – August 2017

Dear Milton Society of America Member,


1)  Effective August 1, Islam Issa is Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University

2) In July 2017, Honored Scholar of the MSA (2005) Gordon Campbell was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Leicester, an honor bestowed upon the likes of E.M. Forster, Richard Attenborough, and Desmond Tutu. You can see the presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLVZtJBECKM .

 MSA initiative

After a series of communications between Duquesne UP’s Director Susan Wadsworth-Booth and MSA President Elizabeth Sauer, and the input the MSA Executive Committee, especially MSA Secretary Feisal Mohammed and MSA Vice President Sharon Achinstein, the MSA has acquired the rights to post and maintain digital versions of DUP’s 3 volumes of the Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton, under the general editorship of Paul J. Klemp, and individual volumes edited by Cheryl Fresch, Stephen Dobranski, and Jameela Lares. The MSA will be looking into its webpage resources and keep you posted on the digital availability of the volumes, as well as what we find out about their material availability both short- and long-term. We are also in the process of acquiring a grant from Duquesne University for the posting and maintenance of the volumes: more on that once the MSA Treasurer (I) finalize the IRS tax matters and financial matters.

Still awaiting news on other developments at Duquesne UP and the Milton Studies journal.

 Milton and MSA-member publications

  1. March 2017 Milton Quarterly 51.1, under the general editorship of Edward Jones, is out and contains 3 articles, …

1A) “Milton and the Logic of Annihilation” by John E. Curran Jr.

1B) “‘Il drama di Giovanni Milton’: An Eighteenth-Century Italian Musical Adaptation of Milton’s A Maske by Roberta Klimt

1C) “‘These troublesome disguises which wee wear’: Dreassing and Redressing in the Garden” by Edward C. Jacobs

… 5 book reviews, of…

1D) Thomas Corns’s A New Companion to Milton (2003 MSA Honored Scholar) by Joseph Wittreich (1993 MSA Honored Scholar)

1E) Stephen Dobranski’s Milton’s Visual Imagination: Imagery in Paradise Lost by Colin Burrow

1F) Christopher Warren’s Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1690 by Alison A. Chapman

1G) Paula Loscocco’s Phillis Wheatley’s Miltonic Poetics by Blaine Greteman

1H) Mario Murgia’s Versos escritos en agua by Christopher Dominguez Michael, trans. Angelica Duran

… and 2 “Miscellaneous Notes and News,” by Neil Forsyth and Cedric C. Brown

  1. You’ll want to get a hold of the Special issue of MLQ: Milton and the Politics of Periodization, guest editor Rachel Trubowitz and contributors Lee Morrissey, James Nohrnberg, Andrew Hui, Marissa Greenberg, John Staines, and David Quint.

CF Conference Paper, publication, award proposals

1) On the Edge in Early Modern English DramaEdited by Mark Houlahan and Aidan Norrie: proposals due Friday, 4 August 2017

The editors invite proposals for chapters of c.7000 words for this edited collection/ Scholars have long analysed the extant dramatic productions, and the men who authored them. Much of this attention, however, serves to perpetuate a static and heteronormative view of the past. This collection thus seeks to bring together the people, ideas, and practices that exist on the edge, and collectively demonstrate their importance and relevance—both to early modern audiences, and to readers and performers today. Topics for chapters might include (but are not limited to): theatrical spaces outside the theatre; performances outside the London theatres; gender and performance; children, childhood, and child actors; staging ‘otherness’; publication and genre; texts, both extant and lost; civic entertainments; the edges of the canon; or the blurring of the edge. As this collection is interested in the ‘edge’ of early modern English drama, we do not anticipate including essays on canonical plays and authors who do not in some way demonstrate their engagement with the ‘edge.’

Please send abstracts of c.250 words with a brief biography to both Mark Houlahan and Aidan Norrie by Friday, 4 August 2017. Accepted authors will be notified by 31 August 2017, and completed essays of a maximum of 8000 words (including notes) will be due by Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

2) Newberry Library 2017-18 Graduate Student Programs; applications due September 30

– New Spain at the Newberry: Demystifying Colonial Documents from the Ayer Collection; February 16, 2018.

– The Turn to Religion: Women and Writing in Early Modern England; March 10, 2018.

3) New College Conference on Medieval & Renaissance Studies, 8–10 March 2018Sarasota, Florida: proposals due 15 September 2017

250-word abstracts of proposed twenty-minute papers on topics in European and Mediterranean history, literature, art, music and religion from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries. Interdisciplinary work is particularly appropriate to the conference’s broad historical and disciplinary scope. Planned sessions are also welcome. For submission guidelines and to submit an abstract, see to http://www.newcollegeconference.org/cfp. Junior scholars whose abstracts are accepted are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration for the Snyder Prize (named in honor of conference founder Lee Snyder), which carries an honorarium of $400. Further details are available at the conference website.

4) IASEMS Graduate Conference at the British Institute of Florence, 20 April 2018; submissions due 29 October 2017

To submit a proposal for this one-day interdisciplinary and bilingual English-Italian forum open to PhD students and researchers who have obtained their doctorates within the past 5 years, see http://www.maldura.unipd.it/iasems/ .

5) The 24th Annual ACMRS Conference: “Reading the Natural World,” February 8–10, 2018, Scottsdale, AZ; Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until midnight, MST on December 1, 2017.

We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance and especially those that focus on the general theme of “Reading the Natural World:  Perceptions of the Environment and Ecology during the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance.” Conference Publication: Selected papers focused on “Reading the Natural World:  Perceptions of the Environment and Ecology during the Global Middle Ages and Renaissance” will be considered for publication in the conference volume of the Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance series, published by Brepols Publishers (Belgium). Responses will be given within a week of submission. Please submit an abstract of 250 words and a brief CV to ACMRSconference@asu.edu. Proposals must include audio/visual requirements and any other special requests; late requests may not be accommodated. Visit the  web page for further details on submissions. Questions? Call 480-965-5900 or email acmrs@acmrs.org.

Seminars and events

1) The Newberry Library Milton Seminar 2017-18, aka U of Notre Dame’s Backyard

Mark your calendar for the two Indiana-based MSA Honored Scholars presenting at the nearby (Illinois) Newberry Libary…

1A) Saturday, November 11, 2017, Laura Knoppers, “Death’s Grin, or Monstrous Satisfaction in Paradise Lost and Frankenstein.”

1B) Saturday, May 19, 2018, Stephen Fallon, “John Milton and Isaac Newton: From Arianism to Socinianism.”

Th high noon Newberry Seminars are preceded by complimentary coffees, teas, goodies, and conviviality at 11:30 AM. For more information, see https://www.newberry.org/milton-seminar .

Unexpected Milton sightings

Snaked from the Milton-l list …

1) Per Jeffrey Shoulson: “A friend called my attention to a flock of automated twitter feeds that have been tweeting Paradise Lost, one line at a time (there are separate feeds for each book). […] My attention has been drawn to words and phrases, syntax, and meter in ways that I usually miss when I read the poem the way we usually read it. Here’s the link: https://twitter.com/charlesreid1/lists/miltonbotflock/members .”

2) Per Stephen Dobranski: “a hillbilly named Songy re-tells Paradise Regained in a graphic novel by Gary Panter. The full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/books/when-a-comic-book-hillbilly-and-milton-collide.html?_r=0 .”

3) Perhaps a stretch, perhaps not. There is a through-line in the film Genius (2016) starring Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe regarding the recommendation by Scribner editor and friend to Wolfe Max Perkins to change the title of the manuscript for his first book, which Wolfe does with bravado but without explanation from O Lost to Look Homeward, Angel, a quotation from Milton’s Lycidas (163). Near the end of the movie, Wolfe – a potential “genius” of the movie, the other being Perkins – collapses on a shore, perhaps a visual reference to the phrase from the pastoral elegy “genius of the shore” (183).

Many thanks, tesoros.


Treasurer, Milton Society of America (2012-21)
English, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies (Director, 2009-13)
Purdue University

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