Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Publication/Presentation Venues for John Milton

I've been looking into various presentation venues for my research on John Milton's Satan figure, and I've found a few outlets that look like they could be really positive:

Milton Society of America General Session on John Milton 
— MLA Conference 2014
This is an open call for papers on all topics pertaining to John Milton. They are looking for papers of eight-page or twenty-minutes, which is a tad bit short of what we're working toward, but I could definitely shorten it down for the submission. Papers are due by March 15, 2013.

Fall Stories Conference — 18th-19th June 2014
This conference, hosted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, addresses the Fall from an interdisciplinary perspective and invites submissions from a broad range of disciplines. The location will likely preclude my personal participation, but they might be willing to facilitate a digital presentation. I still hope to submit in any case. The submission deadline is listed as March 31, 2013, but I'm checking to see if the year is a typo.

British Society for Literature and Science Conference — April 10-12, 2014
This conference, held at the University of Surrey, accepts papers addressing all aspects of literature and science, and while it's kind of a vague outlet for my research, it still might be a good venue. It looks like it has accepted a number of papers on Milton in the past, so my hope would be that it would this time as well. The only problem is that the submission deadline is this Friday, the 6th, so I would need to get a proposal together by then. Not sure whether that will be possible, what with research papers and everything else going on.
**UPDATE** 12/6/2013
I just submitted my project proposal for the BSLS Conference. It was kind of rushed because of time constraints, but in any case, here it is:
It has often been argued among Miltonic scholars that Paradise Lost's Satan figure represents the most dynamic character in the epic and in some sense thus fills the role of the “hero.” A great deal of debate has, of course, erupted over the notion of the Judeo-Christian devil as a hero, a complex, contemplative character deserving at times the reader's sympathy. And if, as some have suggested, Milton's Satan is just Satan—simply a reinterpretation of and creative expansion upon the Biblical or archetypal figure—then certainly Milton has done the reader a great disservice in spending nigh on one third of the epic investigating a fiendish brute from whom man can learn nothing. The reality is, however, that Satan's complexity and dynamicity lend to his character a degree of humanity that ultimately allows the reader to see his own condition within Satan's experiences—struggles which in many ways parallel and build upon the struggles of Adam and Eve following their expulsion from Eden. In this paper, I argue for the 'humanity' of Milton's Satan figure. Although Milton draws upon strong religious and archetypal currents in crafting his Satan figure in Paradise Lost, truly understanding the arch-fiend's character (and thus, the epic as a whole) requires that the reader decouple Satan's character from that of the archetypal Biblical adversary and view him instead as a representation of one of the graduated stages of mankind's fallen condition.

There were a bunch whose deadlines had already passed, but otherwise, that's all that I've found for now. Hopefully the weekend will provide me with some more time to look into this more.


  1. Thank you for researching these outlets. I'm sure there are others, too.

  2. This gets me thinking on where I want to submit. I've looked around, but I haven't decided on anything yet. Did you just use Google to find these, or did you find a specific site to search?

    1. I used the UPenn call for papers catalog:
      Google's not bad, though either. I found the third one here through Google, but it ended up being on the UPenn site anyway. Hope that helps!