Message from Kevin Donovan

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am happy to announce that on October 15-17, 2015, the MTSU English Department will once again sponsor the Conference on John Milton. However, It is with a touch of sadness that I also announce that this will be our last conference—Milton studies’ Last Tango in Murfreesboro.

 This is our 24th anniversary,  the thirteenth biennial Milton conference held in Murfreesboro since 1991. Over the years the conference has attracted most of the leading American and Canadian scholars in the field of Milton studies.  We have also attracted scholars from further abroad: past participants have come from as far as Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Norway. The conference has included participants at all ranks, from senior faculty with established reputations to graduate students beginning their academic careers. A particular source of satisfaction has been watching scholars who first attended as graduate students later becoming full professors and referring their own students to the conference. The conference has also resulted in a series of collected essays published by Susquehanna UP and Duquesne UP. Two of these collections, Arenas of Conflict: Milton and the Unfettered Mind (1997) and Milton’s Legacy  (2005) have won the prestigious Irene Samuel Prize awarded by the Milton Society of America for multi-author publications on Milton, on his era, or on the context and methodologies that illuminate our understanding of his life and works. A complete list of the collections can be found at the conference website.

 This year's plenary speakers  are Professor Sharon Achinstein of Johns Hopkins University and Professor David Loewenstein, Pennsylvania State University. As in past years we will waive the conference registration fee for all MTSU English departmental faculty and graduate students who wish to attend any of the paper sessions and the opening reception Thursday, Oct. 15. The plenary sessions Friday morning and Saturday afternoon are especially recommended. You are all heartily welcome to attend. All conference events will take place at the Doubletree Hotel on Old Fort Parkway. More information, including the complete schedule of events, will be posted shortly at the conference website.

 The co-directors of the conference are MTSU Professor Emeritus Charles W. Durham, Kristin A. Pruitt, Professor Emerita of Christian Brothers University, and yours truly. Charley and Kris have both served as past presidents of the Milton Society of America. They co-edited the first eight collections of essays from the conference, include the two Samuel Award winners. Kris is also the author of Gender and the Power of Relationship: “United as one individual soul” in Paradise Lost (Duquesne UP, 2003).  It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with Kris and Charley over the past quarter century.

And so I wish you a satisfying and productive new academic year.

Kevin J. Donovan
Professor of English
P.O. Box 70
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Mailing Address:
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 70
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Main Office: Peck Hall 302
Department Chair: Dr. Maria K. Bachman

Email: Maria.Bachman@mtsu.edu
Telephone: (615) 898-5644
Fax: (615) 898-5098