Spring 2015: “Milton and Reason”

The Spring 2015 semester sees Emma Annette Wilson join David Ainsworth as co-instructor of the course, with a focus on reason and on her specialty, early modern logic.

The class this semester will focus on the place of reason in Milton’s work, with a gradually increasing focus on the role of reason and logic in Milton’s understanding of Christian faith. The class project will take up this question by looking closely at the logical progression of some of the arguments in Milton’s poetry.

Milton Podcast Project, Spring 2013

The Spring semester is winding down, and this year’s class, focusing on issues of fate and free will, has started what may be the seeds of something larger. Students selected four passages from Book 9 of Paradise Lost, then picked out specific sections of each passage for discussion. Four students recorded readings of each passage, to help others in working their way through it. The rest recorded brief podcast discussions of specific sections, discussing their meaning and significance in relation to the larger work and to our fate/free will course topic.

Clicking on a link in the text itself will open up one of these podcasts.

I’m not aware of podcast annotation prior to this point for this poem; we’re breaking new ground here, so I am very interested in getting feedback about the usefulness of the Podcast Project. I am also interested in potential expansions of the project. There’s a lot of poem left and a lot of room for people discussing meaning and significance from a variety of different contexts and foci.

Podcasts will be posted shortly. Until we sort out some glitches with our WordPress theme, the easiest way to get to them will be the side menu, on the right of your screen. I welcome feedback, be it in the form of suggestions for improvement, indications of utility, or volunteers for further work! Get in touch via my ua.edu address, found here: http://english.ua.edu/user/37

Paradise Lost marathon reading

On Friday April 27th, the Spring 2012 Milton class will conduct a marathon reading of Paradise Lost in the Pearce lobby of Gorgas Library. We’ll begin reading at 8 AM and continue until we’re finished, most likely sometime around 5 PM. Everyone is welcome to join us, either to listen or to read.

Strode Seminar speakers, Spring 2012

Here are the speakers coming to campus this spring who may be of interest to members of our class. Steve Fallon will be joining us in class on March 5th. Links provided to bios of the professors in question.

February 27th (Monday): Heather Dubrow
5 PM lecture
“‘Wanting form’?: New Approaches to the Early Modern Epithalamium and Other Poetry”
February 28th (Tuesday): Heather Dubrow poetry reading

March 5th (Monday): Steve Fallon
March 6th (Tuesday): 5 PM lecture
“‘Inspired with Contradiction’: John Milton’s Conflicting Certainties”

March 26th (Monday): Ken Hiltner
5 PM lecture
“Putting Milton in the Cloud: The Milton Society Digital Edition Project”

April 5th (Thursday): Nigel Smith
5 PM lecture
“Andrew Marvell’s Sense of Humor”

April 16th (Monday): Elizabeth Sauer
5 PM lecture
“Milton, Spain, and Latin America: The Scale of Toleration”

April 23rd (Monday): Maggie Kilgour
5 PM lecture
“Much Ado About Hecuba: Shakespeare and the Fall of Troy”

Gone with the Wind

The Tuscaloosa tornado provided an abrupt ending to the 2011 semester. In part as a result of that tornado, only one of the essays selected from the 2011 class for the research library was submitted. I do not anticipate repeating the “Parents and Children” theme, or at least not for quite some time.

2012’s class will be afforded some unique opportunities, which I will post here soon.

Paradise Regained Reading

The 2011 class will be doing a reading of Milton’s Paradise Regained at Green Bar in Tuscaloosa. Two readings will be done, on Monday April 25th and Tuesday April 26th starting at 7 PM. The April 25th reading will be open to anyone 19 or older.

Milton and Marriage event

The students of the Spring 2010 Milton class will put on a panel discussion of Milton and marriage on Wednesday, April 28th from 3-5 PM. The event will take place in 300 Mortar Board Room in the Ferguson Center.

Spring 2010 Men & Women

The Spring 2010 version of EN 335 is now underway.  Our main topic this semester is “Men & Women,” concentrating on how Milton explores or configures relationships between men and women in his writing, as well as considering his views on marriage specifically.  Key figures will include Adam and Eve, Samson and Dalilah, Comus and the Lady, Satan/Sin/Death, and Mary and Jesus in Paradise Regained.

En 335 Spring 09 Papers

Each year, I will add the best 20% or so of student papers to an Edifice reading library, so that students in future years can draw upon this past work for research purposes.  See the Research Library page for more information.

Milton marathon a success!

Joined by a few colleagues and several professors from the English Department, the students of EN 335 successfully completed a reading of Paradise Lost in approximately nine hours time (starting at 8 AM).  Thanks to everyone who participated, and to the teachers who offered extra credit to encourage their students to attend.