News Nuggets December 2019

“This is the month” …
1) … for renewing Membership. Unless you are an honored scholar, lifetime member, or retiree, it is time to renew your membership. Annual dues are required of all members in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. All other international members are encouraged to pay dues, though not required to do so. This is something of a change from previous years. Because we now use PayPal, it is much easier, and more cost effective, for us to process international payments. But it is also our priority as a society to remain a gathering place for the international community of Milton scholars. We heartily welcome the participation of our international members in our panels and social events, should they elect to pay dues or not.
To renew, please follow this link to the MSA e-store. Annual membership is now $25, with student membership remaining $10.

2) … when all good Miltonists will lift a toast to commemorate Milton’s birthday on December 9th and perhaps recite “On the Morning of Christs Nativity” appropriately enough on December 25th.

1) Jane Hiles retired from Samford University’s English Department as of May 2018 and is enjoying a new career as a progressive activist, inspired of course by Milton’s example.

2) Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear…
A) Donald M. Friedman died on June 10, 2019. See the obituary prepared by Michael Schoenfeldt, Kimberly Johnson, Kate Levin, and the family at
There will be a memorial service for Professor Friedman at 2pm on December 13, 2019, at the Women’s Faculty Club. For more information, please email

B) James Hylbert “Jim” Sims died on Sunday, September 8, 2019. See the obituary at .

C) Robert L. Entzminger died on September 22, 2019. See the obituary at

D) Michael Bauman died on October 2, 2019See the obituary at

Please consider reading or rereading one of their works in the upcoming months.

MSA Happenings
1) You too can be an “Uncouth swain.” Earlier this month, MSA President and Honored Scholar John Rumrich sent a wonderfully Rumrichean invitation to Life Members, encouraging them to join him in renewing their commitment to the society. In the coming months we will post on our website the names of these life-members-twice-over, a group christened the Uncouth Swains. Read John’s letter here. At our e-store, you may make an Uncouth Swain donation, and add a fellow swain at a reduced rate.

2) Nominations to the Executive Committee, for Secretary and 2 Exec. Comm. Members; nominations due by December 20, 2019
The MSA bylaws stipulate that “the affairs of the society shall be administered by an Executive Committee, consisting of the President and the Vice President ex officio, the Secretary and the Treasurer, and six term members, two of whom shall be elected at each Annual Meeting for terms of three years.” Feisal Mohamed’s tenure as MSA Secretary will end after the annual dinner in April. Please consider nominations and self-nominations for this important role. Email Feisal Mohamed (

3) Nominations for Honored Scholar; nominations due by December 20, 2019
The MSA bylaws state that “At such times as may seem appropriate the Executive Committee shall, on the basis of a poll of the general membership, cite one or more scholars who have made notable contributions to Milton scholarship.” The Executive Committee does not cite an Honored Scholar every year, but it does annually solicit nominations. Email Feisal Mohamed (

Canada Milton Seminar

Canada Milton Seminar XV will take place on Friday-Saturday 24-25 April 2020 at the University of Toronto.

Plenary speakers are David Scott Kastan,  Stephen Dobranski, David Loewenstein, Jessica Wolfe

For registration and details visit:

The MSA @ the MLA
1) Registration. The Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, to be held in Seattle, Washington, USA, from January 9-12, 2020, is open for registration at

2) MSA-sponsoring and co-sponsored MLA panels are as follows:
A) #572. Milton’s Unruly Environments;SATURDAY, 11 JANUARY 3:30 PM-4:45 PM, 620 (WSCC)
Presentations: “The Climate of Allegory”: Paradise Lost in Geohistory, Tobias Menely; “Climate Change and Milton’s Morally Outraged Environment,” Katherine Cox; Reconsidering the Son in De Doctrina Christiana I.5,” Jason A. Kerr; “‘Yet Once More,’ Again: A Formula of Revolutionary and Reformist Rhetoric as Embedded in the Structures of ‘Lycidas’ and Paradise Lost,” James Carson Nohrnberg. Presiding John Rumrich
B) #736. Milton and Donne: Religion, Politics, Aesthetics; SUNDAY, 12 JANUARY 12:00 PM-1:15 PM, 620 (WSCC), Cosponsoring with the John Donne Society. Presentations: “Milton’s and Donne’s Theodicies,” Kim Hedlin; “The Limits of Religious Toleration in the Antihagiographic Writing of Donne and Milton,” Jonathan Koch; “A Radical Joy: Pauline Affect and Religious Politics in Donne and Milton,” Stephen Spencer; “The God Trick; or Poetry ex Nihilo: Milton and Donne,” Steven Swarbrick. Presiding: Brooke Conti.

3) Other interesting MLA panels, from the ISS (see 4 below to break the acronym code)
A) 79. Spenser and the Digital Humanities (ISS); THURSDAY, 9 JANUARY 3:30 PM-4:45 PM, 616 (WSCC). RespondentTiffany Jo Werth; Speakers Anupam Basu (Washington U in St. Louis), Craig Berry (independent scholar), John Ladd(Northwestern U), Joseph Foster Loewenstein (Washington U in St. Louis); Presiding Lise Jaillant (Loughborough U)
B) 374. Spenser’s Species; or, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemFRIDAY, 10 JANUARY 3:30 PM-4:45 PM, 618 (WSCC)
C) Talks:  Of Being Numerous: Monstrous Sexuality in Edmund Spenser’s Faerie QueeneJoseph Campana (Rice U); Species of the Human: Spenser’s Salvage Man and the Racial Logic of Vulnerability, Jeffrey B. Griswold (U of Maryland, College Park); Disgust, Wonder, and the Perils of Strange Queenship in Spenser’s The Fairie QueeneMira Kafantaris(Ohio State U, Columbus)

Amid all the conferencing, take a break at the
4) MSA-John Donne Society (JDS)-International Spenser Society (ISS) Cocktails, Friday, January 10, 2020; 6:00-8:00 PM; Blueacre Seafood, 1700 7th Ave, Seattle, WA.

The MSA @ the RSA
1) Registration for The Renaissance Society of America Annual Convention, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, USA, April 2-4, 2020, is now open at <>.

2) The MSA Annual Meeting & Dinner. The RSA 2020 inaugurates the 3-year pilot of holding the MSA AD&M at this venue.
A) Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 2, 2020, at the Continental Old City in Philadelphia, PA. Details to follow.
B) MSA AD&M Annual Booklet
The print version of this year’s booklet will be available at the dinner in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, a pdf will be made available on the society website. The booklet will also include
a) the MSA annual poem for 2020, written this year by Daisy Fried <>
b) a list of publications appearing in 2019 or forthcoming in 2020. This is an excellent way to bring your scholarly labors to the attention of your fellow Miltonists. By sending in the bibliographical information of your publications, you assure that the list appearing in the booklet is all the more complete. This is a list of member publications, rather than publications on Milton, so feel free to list work representing the full range of your interests.Please fill your name and the bibliographical information for your publications on this form.

3) MSA-sponsored panels, in alphabetical order:
A) “Blinds and Windows: Milton in Emerging Media” with Chair Wendy Furman-Adams and presenters 1993 Honored Scholar Joseph Wittreich, Angelica Duran, and Jonathan Olson
B) “Looking, Media, and Mediation in Milton” with Chair Marissa Nicosia and presenters Lauren ShohetEmily Stelzer,James Garner, and Alfredo Khoshnood
C) “Milton and the Hebrew Bible” with Chair 2013 Honored Scholar John Rumrich and presenters Hannibal HamlinAla FinkRaphael Magarik, and Jeffrey Miller
D) “Milton, Matter, and Vision” with Chair Blaine Greteman and presenters 2010 Honored Scholar Stephen Fallon,Thomas VozarJohn Nohrnberg, and Vanita Neelakanta
E) “Post-Critical Milton” with presenters Joe MoshenkaHannah Crawforth, and Ben LaBreche and Respondent Leah Whittington.

4) Other exciting RSA talks and panels
A) Amrita Dahr will deliver the paper “Of Vision Multiplied through Air: The Poetic Work of Blindness in Milton’s Paradise Regained” as part of a panel on “Disability and Labor in Early Modern England,” sponsored by the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama

Member Publications, Talks, and Activities
1) Exploring the Renaissance 2020: An International Conference,” the South-Central Renaissance Conference (SCRC); March 26-28, 2020; Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX; proposals due December 16, 2019. See
Plenary speakers are Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler (Texas State University); Rebecca Olson (Oregon State University);Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale University)

2) Alison Chapman shares this recap of the 2019 Conference on John Milton, held October 17-19 in Birmingham, AL. This marks the second biannual iteration co-hosted by Alison Chapman (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and David Ainsworth (University of Alabama). For 2021 and 2023, the conference will move to St. Louis and be organized by Ryan Netzley (Southern Illinois) and Sara van der Berg (St. Louis). The 2019 conference slightly expanded its traditional Milton focus to bring Lucy Hutchinson into the viewfinder, and the plenary by David Norbrook (Oxford) and two of the panels explored Hutchinson and her relationship to Milton. The other plenary by Erin Murphy (Boston) probed the female, collaborative communities in A Masque. Other highlights of the conference included a dramatic performance of Paradise Regained, a closing banquet featuring much merriment and Indian food, and a Sunday bus excursion to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorating victims of lynching. And, above all, the two days included an array of great papers from the 90+ attendees and the supportive, collegial environment for which this conference is known.

3) See and hear John Hale’s“Recording of Milton’s De Doctrina Christiana” at

4) And if you are left wanting more, see also John Hale’s Milton’s Scriptural Theology: Confronting De Doctrina Christiana

5) See Estelle Haan’s John Milton, Epistolarum Familiarium Liber Unus and Uncollected Letters at

6) On November 19-20, 2019, Islam Issa was hosted by Mario Murgia to give a talk for the National University of Mexico (UNAM), “Literary Reception. Hegemony, Ownership, and Appropriation.”

7) Milton Quarterly 53.1 (2019) under the general editorship of Edward Jones was posted in August 2019 and features these articles …

A) “Divine Interpreter”: Translation as Theme and Event in Paradise Lost by Rosamund Paice

B) Milton’s Litotes: The Case of “nothing loath” by Nicholas von Maltzahn

C) Poetic Structure and Temporal Experience in “On Time” by Jacob Murel

… and these reviews…
D) Anthony Welch’s of Chernaik, Warren. Milton and the Burden of Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017.
E) John Rees’s of Williams, David. Milton’s Leveller God. Montreal and Kingston: McGill‐Queens UP, 2017.
F) Beverley Sherry’s of Kilpatrick, Shirley J. andMattson‐Bozé, M. Howard.  Henry Lee Willet and McCartney Library’s Paradise Lost Windows: A Story in Lead and LightBeaver Falls, PA: Fern Cliffe House Publishers, 2007.
G) Ann Hughes’s of Gillespie, Katharine. Women Writing the English Republic, 1625‐1681. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017.

8) Milton Quarterly 53.2 (2019) under the general editorship of Edward Jones was posted in September 2019 and features …
A) Milton, John Hall, and Thomas Waring’s Brief Narration of the Rebellion in Ireland by John Cunningham
B) Who’s who in Sonnet 2? The “Donna leggiadra,” the “Val di Rheno,” and the “nobil varco” by Paul Slade
.. and these reviews…
C) John Leonard’s of Poole, WilliamMilton and the Making of Paradise Lost.
D) Nicholas McDowell’s of Mohamed, Feisal G. and Fadely, Patrick, edsMilton’s Modernities: Poetry, Philosophy, and History from the Seventeenth Century to the Present. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2017.
E) Patrick McGrath’s of Zamir, TzachiAscent: Philosophy and Paradise Lost.  New York: Oxford UP, 2018.
F) Warren Chernaik’s of Greenblatt, StephenThe Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2017.

9) Honored Scholar Gordon Campbell has published The Oxford Illustrated History of the Renaissance,

10) See John Rogers’s “Newton’s Arian Epistemology and the Cosmogony of Paradise Lost John.” ELH, Volume 86, Number 1, Spring 2019, pp. 77-106

11) See Elizabeth Sauer, ed. Emergent Nation: Early Modern British Literature in Transition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019),

12) Scholarly Milton, edited by Thomas Festa and Kevin J. Donovan (Clemson University Press) is a collection of essays concerned with the function of scholarship in both the invention and the reception of Milton’s writings in poetry and prose. More information here:

13) David Harper published “The First Annotator of Paradise Lost and the Makings of English Literary Criticism,” SEL, Summer 2019.

14) Phillips, Philip Edward. Review of Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost by William PooleChoice Connect, Vol. 55, Issue 11 (July 2018).

Call for Papers, Proposals, Applications
1) Newberry Library Short-Term Fellowships; applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on December 15, 2019.

Fellowships are available for 1 to 2 months and are intended to assist researchers who need to examine specific items in the Newberry’s collection in order to advance a significant scholarly project. These fellowships are mainly restricted to individuals who live outside of the Chicago metropolitan area; for exceptions to these restrictions, please read the individual fellowship descriptions.

2) Exploring the Renaissance 2020: An International Conference,” the South-Central Renaissance Conference / SCRC, March 26-28, 2020 at Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX; due date December 16, 2019
SCRC welcomes 15- to 20-minute papers on all aspects of Renaissance studies (music, art history, history, literature, language, philosophy, science, religion). Transatlantic, trans-European, and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome. To apply, submit two abstracts: 1) 400-500 words; and 2) about 100 words. Submit your abstracts through the abstract submission form at

3) Hibernian Research Award, University of Notre Dame, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism: due date December 31, 2019.
These annual awards provide travel funds to support the scholarly study of Irish and Irish American history. See

4) 41st Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum: Scent and Fragrance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; Keene State College, Keene, NH, USA; Friday and Saturday April 17-18, 2020; abstracts due January 15, 2020
The keynote speaker is Deirdre Larkin, Managing Horticulturist at The Cloisters Museum and Gardens from 2007 to 2013,who will speak on“Every Fragrant Herb: The Medieval Garden and the Gardens of The Cloisters.” Students, faculty, and independent scholars are welcome. Please indicate your status (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty), affiliation (if relevant), and full contact information (including email address) on your proposal. Undergraduate sessions welcome for students who obtain a faculty member’s approval and sponsorship.  Please submit abstracts, audio/visual needs, and full contact information to Dr. Robert G. Sullivan, Assistant Forum Director at

5) 31st SEDERI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England;
La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), 6–8 May, 2020; proposals due before 19 January 2020
Proposalsmust be sent as an e-mail attachment (preferably, doc or docx) to, and must contain the following information: The full title of your paper; A 200-word abstract; Any technical requirements for the presentation (Please, save your power point as doc, docx or Mac. If you are using a Mac, please indicate, and bring your own adapter cable); Your name and institutional affiliation; Your postal and e-mail addresses; Your SEDERI membership status (member, non-member, application submitted); A short biographical note (100 words)

6) Articles to Mosaic on “mobilities”; due date January 31, 2020
The journal invites innovative and interdisciplinary submissions that examine “mobilities” as a ubiquitous part of our lives, whether geographical, social, virtual, or theoretical. Mosaic follows an electronic submission process. If you would like to contribute an essay for review, please visit our website for details: Address inquiries by email to: Dr. Shep Steiner; Mosaic, an interdisciplinary critical journal; University of Manitoba, 208 Tier Building; Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 Canada; Tel: 204-474-8597; Fax: 204-474-758;

7) Canada Milton Seminar XIV; 10-11 May 2019 at the University of Toronto: registration now open at

8) “Networks of Dissent: Connecting and Communicating Across the Long Reformation” sponsored by The International John Bunyan Society; August 14-16; University of Alberta. MSA members Feisal Mohamed and Alison A. Chapman will give plenary lectures, and Jameela Lares and Noam Flinker will present at concurrent sessions. For more information, visit

(Substantive) Errata from August to October 2019 Nuggets
Surprised by Sin and Incommensurability” by Gordon Gardner Campbell
“Milton, Matter, and Vision” with Chair Blaine Greteman and presenters 2010 Honored Scholar Stephen FallonThomasVozarJohn James Nohrnberg, and Vanita Neelakanta

Unexpected Milton sightings…
1) The Professor and the Madman (2019) chronicles James Murray’s epic co-creation of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary and the 10,000 entries from William Minor, a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. While it purportedly stars Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, the real star is Paradise Lost, a prop in the movie as it is a marvelous source text for many of the words.

2) Per Marissa Nicosia, Milton makes an unexpected appearance in Margaret Talbot’s profile of the indie musician Mitski. Describing her bookish activities while in college, Mitski reports “There was a phase in freshman year where I was really obsessed with Paradise Lost … My God, what a weird f— kid! Something about it was so dramatic and romantic, and I read it over and over and would write phrases down” (Margaret Talbot, “Lonely Planet” The New Yorker, July 8 & 15, 2019, p.53.


For MSA Nugget entries, please submit your entry on the new “Submit new item” portal on the MSA webpage at or feel free to email me at . The next Nuggets are scheduled for March 1, 2019. Help us keep everyone fully informed on all things Milton and MSA-member related (even when not directly Milton-related).

Many thanks, tesoros, and a happy Thanksgiving from the States!

VP, Milton Society of America (January 2019-March 2020

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