News Nuggets – March 2017

Dear Milton Society of America member,

Please continue to send me news and information that you think would be of interest and importance for our membership to know for inclusion in the next MSA Nuggets.

The MSA webpage will be going through some much-needed upgrading, moving, etc., so there may be some minimal downtime, slowdowns with postings, etc.

The MSA at the 2018 MLA

1) MSA Annual Dinner & Meeting 2018

Each of our MSA AD&Ms is special and important, but the 2018 MSA AD&M marks the 70 year anniversary of the foundation of our organization so …

 1A) Location, location, location. Please send in suggestions for a wonderful site in New York for our MSA AD&M, to be held Saturday, January 6, 2018. Note: wonderful = a location close to the usual MLA Convention hub, with good food, friendly people, and staff who may be willing to reduce prices for our IRS charitable organization.

** We are having some troubles finding a cost-effective venue and we like to have everything lined up in March, so please ask around if you think you can help us with any leads.

 1B) “$70 @ 70: A Platinum Jubilee.” The flier sent as attachment last month and now cut-and-pasted below my signature outlines some of the reasons for a 2017 fund-raiser to refill our coffers, not the least of which is making the 2018 MSA AD&M as much as a gala to celebrate the MSA’s 70th anniversary as possible and to encourage scholars at all stages of their careers to join in on the collegial gathering. If your university, employer, etc., have/has matching fund programs, the flier should have all the information needed but, if not, please do not hesitate to contact me.

2) MSA 2018 guaranteed panel CFP

The following CFP is also posted on the MLA 2018 CFP webpage:

“John Milton: A General Session”: All papers on the poet and polemicist are welcome, especially those connecting Milton with other authors, fields, and questions of literary value. Two-page CV and 500-word abstract by 15 March 2017; Elizabeth Sauer and Feisal G. Mohamed.

 The MSA at the RSA

Safe travels and best wishes to all attending the Renaissance Society of America’s annual convention to be held in Chicago, March 30 – April 1, 2017, who have in store for them these MSA-sponsored panels…

 1) Five panels sponsored by the MSA

1A) Milton: Religion across Space and Time

Fri, March 31, 1:30 to 3:00pm, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon

Organizers Ann Baynes Coiro and Feisal Mohamed; Chair Ann Baynes Coiro; Speakers Thomas Fulton, Christopher Koester, Elizabeth Mazzola

1B) Roundtable: Milton and the Digital Humanities

Friday March 31, 2017; 5:30-7:00 PM; The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 9

Chair: David Ainsworth; Discussants, Olin Bjork, Thomas Luxon, and John Rumrich.

1C) “Milton and Music”

Saturday, April 1, 2017; 8:30-10:00 AM; The Palmer House, Third Floor, Salon 8

Organizers Ann Baynes Coiro and Elizabeth Sauer; speakers Katherine Cox, Seth Herbst, and Alvin Snider

1D) Eros and Appropriation in Adaptations of Paradise Lost

Sat, April 1, 10:30am to 12:00pm, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 8

Organizer John Garrison; Chair Blaine Greteman; Speakers, Lara Dodds, John Garrison, Stephen Guy-Bray.

1E) Reading De Doctrina Christiana

Fri, March 31, 3:30 to 5:00pm, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 9

Organizer Jason A. Kerr; Chair David Norbrook; Respondent Jeffrey Alan Miller; Speakers Sharon Achinstein and Jason A. Kerr

 … as well as even more panels than announced last month featuring MSA members and/or Milton’s works

2A) Early Modern Poetry and Poetics: From Puttenham to Milton

Thu, March 30, 8:30 to 10:00am, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 4

Organizer John M. Wall; Chair John N. Wall; Speakers William M. Russell, Jessica Junqueira, Jonathan Sircy.

2B) Early Modern Christian Readings of the Hebrew Bible I: Milton and the Bible

Thu, March 30, 10:30am to 12:00pm, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 4

Organizers Zur Shalev and Noam Flinker; Chair Martin Elsky; Speakers Raphael Magarik, James Grantham Turner, Noam Flinker.

2C) Early Modern Christian Readings of the Hebrew Bible II: Milton on Self, Nation, and Passion

Thu, March 30, 1:30 to 3:00pm, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 4

Organizers Zur Shalev and Noam Flinker; Chair Noam Flinker; Speakers Ayelet C. Langer, Achsah Guibbory, N.K. Sugimura

2D) Loving the Neighbor: Literature, Theology, and Economics

Thu, March 30, 3:30 to 5:00pm, Palmer House Hilton, Seventh Floor, Clark 5

Speakers Regina Schwartz, Craig Muldrew, and Torrance Kirby.

2E) Herbert and Milton: Poetry, Theology

Thu, March 30, 5:30 to 7:30pm, Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 4

Organizer Christopher Koester; Speakers Kim Hedlin, Whitney Blair Taylor, James Carson Nohrnberg, Steven Cowser.

2F) Milton: Learning, Drama, Ideology

Fri, March 31, 8:30 to 10:00am, The Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor, Salon 9

Organizers David Currell; Speakers Jeffrey S. Gore, Gretchen York, George Ramos, William Fitzhenry.

The MSA mobilizing for Duquesne UP

On February 18, MSA Secretary Feisal Mohamed forwarded the letter by MSA President Elizabeth Sauer and electronically signed by ~280 members to the Duquesne University powers-that-be to persuade them from closing down Duquesne UP, founded in 1927, one of the most important publishers of scholarly work on John Milton, especially given the longstanding work with both the Press and the MSA by 2000 MSA Honored Scholar Al Labriola (d. 2009).

Even if you signed that collaborative letter, please consider voicing your support and/or practical advice for helping the Press to avoid being shuttered by writing a letter on letterhead. Duquesne U English Dept Head Greg Barnhisel advises that a good contact is Peggy Eiseman, Assistant to Duquesne U President Ken Gormley.

For more information, see this Inside Higher Ed article of February 7, 2017: <https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/07/duquesne-university-press-shut-down-later-year>

If you are an MLA member, you can see that MSA Secretary Feisal Mohamed made sure to highlight President Elizabeth Sauer’s letter and the 215 signatures garnered in the first 24 hours of its release to MSA members:


Seminars, Conferences, etc.

1) Newberry Milton Seminar, Chicago, Saturday, May 6, 2017

See <https://www.newberry.org/milton-seminar>. Paul Stevens, “TBA.” Please register by Friday, May 5, 2017.

 2) Canada Milton Seminar XII, 12-13 May 2017; Victoria College, University of Toronto

Featuring Dennis Danielson, Stephen Greenblatt, Linda Gregerson, and Elizabeth Hanson as well as other speakers listed on the webpage https://crrs.ca/events/canada-milton-seminar/ . The webpage provides full information on hotel, travel, registration fees.

CFPs and nominations

1) 2018 MLA Convention CFP page.

Most CFPs have deadlines by early to mid-March, including that from this group, always very welcoming to Milton studies…

1A) Net Work: Then and Now; LLC 17th-Century English forum; proposal due 10 March 2017

Panel on the labor of making and sustaining associations, then and now. Perspectives on communicative modes, affects, infrastructures, scholarly forms, and/or digital methods. CV and 200-word proposal to Chris Warren.

… as well as this one, which is specifically looking to attract at least one early modern or earlier paper:

1B) Poetry and Insecurity; Forum: GS Poetry and Poetics; proposal due by 10 March 2017

Seeking papers on poetry written in heightened states of insecurity, broadly defined. Topics can address writing process, reception, distribution as affected by censorship/state intervention. CV and abstract (350-500 words) to Angelica Duran and Brian Reed.

  2) MSA awards; nominations due May 1 and June 1

2A) Please see <http://miltonsociety.org/?page_id=102>  for categories and submission guidelines for work on Milton published in 2016 (this page will soon be updated), due May 1.

2B) Please see <http://miltonsociety.org/?page_id=1910> for the newest award established by the MSA, the First Book Assistance Program, applications for which are due June 1. While on that subject, please make sure your campus library has purchased the first recipient of this funding, Islam Issa’s Milton in the Arab-Muslim World (Routledge, 2017),


3) International Milton Symposium 12: Renewed Call for Bids, preferred due date 1 March 2017 (or maybe a few days later?)

Because circumstances have made it impossible for those institutions initially expressing interest in hosting IMS12 to do so, I am reissuing the call for bids, as originally instructed by the Standing Committee of the International Milton Symposium. It is intended that the symposium will be scheduled for 2018 or 2019, preferably in the northern-hemisphere summer. The bid should include a clear indication of proposed dates and of location and accessibility in terms of international travel. A statement of support from the host institution is also desirable, as well as an indication of likely costs to participants, with some account of the available accommodation. Finally, the bid should include an outline of possible supplements to the academic programme (concerts, banquets, excursions, and the like). The successful bid will be announced no later than 1 June 2017. Please note that the International Milton Symposium can offer no financial support. Secretary to the Standing Committee, Prof. Karen Edwards is happy to respond informally to any preliminary indications of interest and to answer any queries about the process of preparing bids.

4) North American Conference on British Studies Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 3-5, 2017; panel proposals due March 3, 2017.

For detailed information, see <http://www.nacbs.org/conference>.

5)  Crip Genealogies, co-edited by Mel Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich; chapter abstracts due March 15, 2017

Questions and 500-word abstracts to CripGenealogies@gmail.com. Full Papers due September 15, 2017.. Possible topics for discussion include: tracing relationships between the disability rights movement and other civil rights movements (including health and ability activism within racial justice movements; labor movements; movements for reproductive freedom; resistance to police brutality and other forms of state-sanctioned violence; and anticolonial movements); exploring crip theories emerging from women of color feminism, queer of color critique, transnational/postcolonial feminism, or anti-militarization movements; transnational and decolonial movements for sovereignty, disability justice, and anti-ableist resistance;  tracing critical ideas about bodies and minds in early feminist, queer, or critical race and ethnic studies; linking disability studies and HIV/AIDS activism and theory or disability studies and public health initiatives; grappling with the methodological/epistemological/political/ethical questions in doing this kind of bridge work, which always carries a risk of appropriation, co-optation, and/or erasure; reflections on key figures.

6) The Making of Humanities VI’, University of Oxford, Somerville College, UK, September 28-30, 2017; 250-word proposals due 15 April 2017

7) The 2017 Conference on John Milton, October 12-14, 2017, Birmingham AL; papers and proposals due June 19, 2017

Submit full papers (10 pages maximum; not to exceed twenty minutes reading time) along with 150 word abstracts on the conference website:
https://cas.uab.edu/milton/. Featured speakers
John Rumrich (U of Texas at Austin) and Elizabeth Sauer (Brock U); a staged reading of Samson Agonistes by the Improbable Fictions; and a final banquet at the renowned Birmingham Institute for Civil Rights. More information at. Questions may be directed to David Ainsworth.

Member publications

Regina Schwartz‘s new book, Loving Justice, Living Shakespeare has just been published by Oxford University Press. See <https://global.oup.com/academic/product/loving-justice-living-shakespeare-9780198795216?cc=mx&lang=en&#>.

Unexpected Milton Sightings (er… hearings?)

Quoted from the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” program of February 11, 2017, Scott Greer, author of No Campus for White Men (2017), articulating a misplaced (versus aptly placed) liberalism, “When you have an English course, the fact that Shakespeare and John Milton are the primary writers that are studied in that course, that’s a problem because they’re white males” <http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/11/scott-greer-talks-no-campus-for-white-men-on-tucker-carlson-tonight-video/#ixzz4Ztv3Er8L>.

Many thanks, tesoros.



Treasurer, Milton Society of America (2012-21)


English, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies (Director, 2009-13)

Purdue University

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