"Milton's Value Now" -- Midwest MLA Special Session, Nov 8-11, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Mattie Burkert / University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Milton, that great radical at the center of the English poetic canon, is often mythologized as being both exemplary of his time and also ahead or outside of it, making his work especially subject to historical revision. This panel invites papers that explore Milton's continued circulation in scholarship, political discourse, and popular culture. What weight or cultural capital does he carry in our narratives about modernity? What relationships of obligation between past and present do contemporary invocations of Milton reflect? What is Milton's explanatory power after our own—albeit economic—fall? How do we draw on and respond to Milton's enduring relevance in our scholarship and classrooms, and how (if at all) can we avoid distorting literary history according to the needs of the present?

This panel will take place at the Midwest Modern Language Association Annual Meeting in Cincinnati OH, November 8-11, 2012. Please submit 250-word abstracts to Mattie Burkert [burkert [at] wisc.edu] by June 10.