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Ryan Netzley is Professor of English at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is also the editor of Marvell Studies. His research focuses on Renaissance lyric poetry, critical and poststructuralist theory, poetics and reading practices, and Reformation theology. Continue reading

2022 Conference on John Milton

With Sara van den Berg and Jonathan Sawday, I’m organizing the 2022 Conference on John Milton. The call for papers is below. For the conference poster, click on the image below.

Call for Papers: The 2022 Conference on John Milton, June 21-23, 2022. St. Louis, Missouri

Papers (not to exceed twenty minutes reading time) are invited on any aspect of Milton studies, from close readings of particular works to broader investigations of themes and trends. The conference will be held on the campus of Saint Louis University, in conjunction with the Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Please submit 250-word abstract, along with a brief academic biography to the SLU Symposium website: Please note in your abstract that the proposed paper is for the Conference on John Milton or “CJM.” Proposals for sessions and round-table discussions are also welcome. Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2021.

Featured speakers: Feisal Mohamed, Yale University; Steven Zwicker, Washington University, St. Louis.

Featured event: The John Geraghty Symposium on “Milton and Difference: Race, Gender, and Power”

Sponsored by Saint Louis University and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

For more information, please contact Sara van den Berg (, Jonathan Sawday (, or Ryan Netzley (

News and Events

  • January 2022: My essay on catastrophe and vegetal growth in country house poems, “Managed Catastrophe: Problem-Solving and Rhyming Couplets in the Seventeenth-Century Country House Poem,” has just appeared in a special issue of The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on Forms of Catastrophe (edited by Shannon Gayk and Evelyn Reynolds). The article explores how central features of this poetic tradition, procatalepsis and the rhyming couplet, place readers in the position of estate managers, but also challenge the notion that practical problem-solving can save us from catastrophe, ecological or otherwise.
  • December 2021: The most recent issue of Marvell Studies (vol. 6, no. 2) has been published. It contains an essay by Kevin Laam on Upon Appleton House and the reformation of the theater during the Commonwealth and Interregnum. It also contains reviews of Matthew Augustine’s Andrew Marvell: A Literary Life (by Gregory Chaplin) and his Aesthetics of Contingency: Writing, Politics, and Culture in England, 1639-89 (by Johanna Harris), as well as a review (by Nicholas McDowell) of Texts and Readers in the Age of Marvell, a collection of essays edited by Christopher D’Addario and Matthew Augustine.
  • July 2021: My essay on Herbert’s depiction of rhyme and trade, “Mine, Then Thine: Rhyme, Exchange, and the Economy of the Gimmick in The Temple,” appeared in The George Herbert Journal 42, no. 1-2. Taking its cue from Sianne Ngai’s work on the gimmick, it explores how Herbert uses rhyme to counter the apparent inevitability of exchange: i.e., that we’re necessarily trading something whenever we interact with others, including God.

Acts of Reading

Acts of Reading cover

Acts of Reading: Interpretation, Reading Practices, and the Idea of the Book in John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments, co-edited with Thomas P. Anderson, is available from the University of Delaware Press, via Rowman and Littlefield. Contributors to the volume explore the relationship between digital and early modern texts and their impact on reading practices. It’s been reviewed in Prose Studies, SEL, Renaissance Quarterly, and Renaissance and Reformation