News Nuggets October 2021

Dear Milton Society of America member,

It’s been a quiet time professionally for many people as we wait to see how the global pandemic will affect conference travel and other long-anticipated events. However, if autumn affords you any sunshine holidays (with or without spicy nut-brown ale), we hope that the following events, publications, and news items will prove agreeable accompaniments.

MSA Happenings

Starting next year, to cut down on the volume of journals and publishers’ catalogs that our wonderful awards committee needs to comb through in search of Miltonic material, we will be moving to an opt-in model for those wishing to have their publications considered for an award. More details to come—for calendar year 2021, everything remains the same.

Please remember that we’ve moved to a new website! Be sure to add us to your bookmarks, and remember to keep us informed of your publications, awards, and events. Click here to submit any updates.

Member Publications, Talks, Awards, and Activities

1. A cluster of Miltonic articles appeared in last winter’s issue of SEL (60:1)but this newsletter neglected to highlight them at the time. MSA members will surely be interested in:

  • Clay Daniel, “The Epic Calm of The Ready and Easie Way
  • James Ross McDonald, “Milton’s Tutelary Angels”
  • William Dean Clement, “Milton, Thomas Hobbes, and the Political Problems of Chaos”

2. The latest issue of Milton Studies (63:2) has just been published, with the following articles:

  • Alex Lewis, “Comus in Canaan: Milton’s Masque and the Rape of Dinah”
  • Tessa C. Parslow, “A Meet and Happy Conversation”: Milton and Divorce in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
  • Antoinina Bevan Zlatar, “God Talk: Seeing and Hearing the Dialogue in Heaven in Paradise Lost
  • Elizabeth Hodgson, “Milton, Marvell, and the Amorous Theology of Vegetables”
  • Rosamund Paice, “‘Domestic Adam’ versus ‘Adventrous Eve’: Arguments about Gardening in Milton’s Eden”
  • Matthew Ritger, “Milton and the Literary Workhouse”

3. Several other Milton-related books and articles are recently out:

  • Andrew McKendry’s Disavowing Disability: Richard Baxter and the Conditions of Salvation (Cambridge University Press, July 2021) is now freely available through Cambridge Core. The full text can be found here and a video abstract is available here.
  • MSA President Brooke Conti has published “Milton’s Ladies” in Studies in Philology (118:4)
  • Tim Windsor has recently published, “First Hell”: the Timing and Circumstances of Hell’s Creation in Paradise Lost, in ANQA Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews.    


Please join the British Milton Seminar via Zoom on 16 October 2021 at 12 pm (UK Daylight Savings Time) for the following two sessions of papers:


  • Mandy Green (Durham), ‘“Two Great Sexes Animate the World”: Looking Past “Milton’s Bogey” in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’
  • Murat Öğütcü (Independent scholar), ‘Milton (Regained) in Turkey: Halide Edip Adıvar’s Pedagogical Intersemiotic Translations of Milton in Turkish Higher Education’

14:00-15:00: Lunch, offline – at your own convenience!


  • MSA Executive Committee Member Amrita Dhar (Ohio State), ‘Milton’s Blind Poetry: Paradise Lost’
  • Tomos Evans (Birmingham), ‘Odyssean and/or Argonautic Satan: Disruptive Models and the Epic Tradition in Books I and II of Paradise Lost’

All are warmly welcomed. Please note, though, that advance registration is required for this event. Click here to register.

For questions, please contact Hugh Adlington ( or Sarah Knight ( (Co-convenors). More details here.

MSA@MLA 2022

The MSA is sponsoring two panels at January’s MLA:

1. John Milton: General Session (featuring the work of all junior scholars)

  • V. M. Braganza, “Milton’s Shakespearean Cloak and the Art of Readership in “L’Allegro”/“Il Penseroso”
  • Owen Kane, “Milton, Reformation, and Civility in the Early Modern Arctic”
  • Jeremy Specland, “Beauty Stands”: Physiological Beauty in Paradise Regained”
  • Pasquale Toscano, “Milton’s Crip Intervention in Ableist Epic”

2. Milton and Race Thinking

  • Urvashi Chakravarty, “Race, Reproduction, and White Womanhood in Paradise Lost”
  • Ross Lerner, “Some Fatal Curse: Milton’s Michael on Penal Slavery”
  • Reginald Wilburn, “Telling [Sojourner] Truth(s) About Frances Gage’s Miltonic Eve”

Calls for Papers, Proposals, Applications 

Call for Papers: The 2022 Conference on John Milton, June 20-22, 2022. St. Louis, Missouri

Papers (not to exceed twenty minutes reading time) are invited on any aspect of Milton studies, from close readings of particular works to broader investigations of themes and trends. The conference will be held on the campus of Saint Louis University, in conjunction with the Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Please submit 250-word abstract, along with a brief academic biography to the SLU Symposium website. Proposals for sessions and round-table discussions are also welcome. Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2021.

Featured speakers: Feisal Mohamed, Yale University; Steven Zwicker, Washington University, St. Louis. Featured event: The John Geraghty Symposium on “Milton and Difference: Race, Gender, and Power”

Sponsored by Saint Louis University and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

For more information, please contact Sara van den Berg (, Jonathan Sawday (, or Ryan Netzley (

Unexpected Milton Sightings

1. Dave Harper has passed along the following email with an unexpected Miltonic allusion:

Sent: Monday, June 14, 2021 4:02 PM
Subject: A Message from the Commander-in-Chief to the US Army



June 14, 2021

As Commander in Chief to the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, it is my honor to wish the United States Army a happy 246th birthday.

In each generation, from the earliest days of our Nation to today, a small fraction of Americans has served and sacrificed as members of the U.S. Army on behalf of all of us. From Fort McHenry to San Juan Hill, from the Argonne Forest to Omaha Beach, from the Mekong Delta to the Kunar Valley and beyond, American soldiers have always answered the call. With immeasurable courage and patriotism, they have preserved our freedom and protected our democracy against all manner of threats. Whether facing down seen and unseen enemies to keep us safe, helping Americans get vaccinated here at home, or delivering humanitarian relief on distant shores, they represent the very best of us.

I believe that our country’s most sacred obligation is to do right by the men and women who defend our Nation at war–to care for them and their families, both while they are deployed and after they come home. It is an obligation we are honor-bound to keep and one that is personal to the First Lady and me. We have witnessed firsthand the incredible strength of character of U.S. Army soldiers over the course of many visits with troops, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Through the years, we have been blessed to spend time with wounded Service members in Landstuhl, Germany, at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and elsewhere; to welcome veterans to our home for Thanksgiving dinners; and to spend many Christmas days alongside wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And when our son Beau served in Iraq as a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard, we learned firsthand just some of the sacrifices that our military families also make for their loved ones and our country. We whispered prayers and learned the truth of the poet John Milton’s words: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Our Nation owes a debt to American soldiers, past and present, far greater than we could ever repay. They are our heroes, deserving of our everlasting gratitude and support. On this 246th birthday of the United States Army, America speaks with one voice to say thank you to our soldiers for what you do and for who you are.  Happy birthday. And may God protect our troops.


Joseph R. Biden Jr.

2. Christopher Parkinson has discovered that this 2005 episode of the BBC literary quiz show, The Write Stuff, was dedicated to John Milton  


Until next time, friends—
Brooke (
MSA President