Bristling with insights on Milton’s major works, Milton’s Modernities offers fresh perspectives on the thinkers central to our theorizations of modernity: from Lucretius and Spinoza, Hegel and Kant, to Benjamin and Deleuze. At the core of this volume is an embrace of the possibilities unleashed by current trends in philosophy, variously styled as the return to ethics, or metaphysics, or religion. These make all the more visible Milton’s dialogues with later modernity, dialogues that promise to generate much critical discussion in early modern studies and beyond.
Such approaches necessarily challenge many prevailing assumptions that have guided recent Milton criticism—assumptions about context and periodization, for instance. In this way, Milton’s Modernities powerfully broadens the historical archive beyond the materiality of events and things, incorporating as well intellectual currents, hybrids, and insights.
“The volume as a whole marks a turn away from the historicism that has dominated Milton studies for the past three decades.” —Modern Philology
"What is exciting about the recent wave of Milton scholarship—and I include Milton’s Modernities in that category—is that it builds on foundational new critical and historicist work to rethink the boundaries of Milton studies more generally. This timely and innovative volume will appeal not only to dyed-in-the-wool Miltonists, but also to scholars who may not think of themselves as Miltonists at all."—Melissa E. Sanchez, author of Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature
“The premise for this volume is significant, timely, and salient. The editors have declared the modernity of John Milton, a major, if not the major, poet in the English literary canon. The essays they have gathered demonstrate how reading Milton’s works and studying key thinkers’ interpretations of Milton can open new possibilities for both Milton Studies and studies of modernity. Thus, the volume successfully achieves its goals of reinvigorating Milton Studies and supplying alternative lenses for conceptualizing modernity.”
—Elizabeth Sauer, author of Milton, Toleration, and Nationhood and coeditor of Milton and the Imperial Vision