Category Archives: teaching

Close Reading from Far Away

“For solitude sometimes is best society, And short retirement urges sweet return.” (PL , IX.250-1)   I went to the Catskills to read in silence, to pore over a text I love and let it pour over me, to let … Continue reading

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“Perfected Knowledge:” Milton’s Crisis in the Humanities

Recently, Nicholas Kristof’s NY Times column sounded a clarion call to lure professors out of their ivory towers and into the public realm. Kristof professes alarm that academics have “marginalized themselves” by becoming increasingly specialized, and by participating in a … Continue reading

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John Milton, Poetry Genius

Milton rewards close reading. Readers have known this for centuries. For my money, Jonathan Richardson said it best in 1734: A reader of Milton must be Always upon Duty; he is Surrounded with Sense, it rises in every Line, every … Continue reading

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Milton, Star Wars, and the Ever-Evolving Blog

This week, along with many of my readers, I’m in the end-of-semester grading crush. As I grade each essay in this unending stack, I try to keep in mind this passage from¬†Areopagitica: Books [or student essays] are as meats and … Continue reading

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Ceci n’est pas une Manifesto

Sometimes the best conversations at an academic conference are those that spill over into the hallways and finish early the next morning at the lobby bar. Often, these impromptu groups become host to those rare chain reactions that produce the … Continue reading

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