Milton and the Idea of the North
In the seventeenth century, the English tended to think of themselves as northerners, sometimes defensively in relation to the climate and culture of the Mediterranean. Miltonists have noted the commonplace idea that the inhabitants of northern European countries were deemed deficient in the arts, learning, and politics, but have paid less attention to the image and reality of the perpetual winter figure in Paradise Lost. Milton’s ideas about the northernmost limits of civilization, his spatial imagination of the frozen wastes described in accounts of the search for the northeast and northwest passages, infiltrate the language of the epic. Whenever Milton invokes weather and climate he reminds us of their extremes, and by so doing situates Britain in a global context, through its transactions with other peoples, through mass migrations, through imaginary geographies, through fire, and especially through ice.
Coffee and refreshments will be served before the seminar.
This program is free and open to the public, but registration in advance is required. The paper will be precirculated to registrants. Register online here.
Sponsored by DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Newberry’s Milton Seminar is directed by Christopher Kendrick, Loyola University Chicago; David A. Loewenstein, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University.
Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry Library. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.
Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ Milton Seminar.