Joshua Scodel

Helen A. Regenstein Professor, Department of English, Department of Comparative Literature, and Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities
Joshua Scodel
Classics 402
(773) 702-8501

Ph.D., Yale University, 1985.
Teaching at Chicago since 1985.

Special Interests

Renaissance and 18th-century literature, especially poetry; genre theory; philosophic traditions and early modern literature; history of criticism.

My major field of research is sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literary history in relation to intellectual, cultural, and political history. Special interests include early modern English literature's engagements with classical and Renaissance continental literature and philosophy; Renaissance genre theory and practice; and literary criticism's relation to literary practice, ancient to early modern.

I have written two books as well as articles on Donne, Jonson, Cavalier love poetry, Interregnum retirement literature, the Restoration Pindaric ode, the English lyric 1650-1740, seventeenth-century English literary criticism, and Dryden's critical principles. With Janel Mueller I have edited a critical edition of Queen Elizabeth I's translations. I am currently writing a book on the paradoxes of early modern English representations of liberty. I formerly edited the journal of literary history, Modern Philology. I regularly teach courses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English lyric, Milton, and the history of literary criticism (classical to late eighteenth century).


  • Graduate: Sixteenth-Century Prose and Poetry; Seventeenth-Century Secular Poetry; History of Criticism: Classical to the Eighteenth Century; Milton and Early Modern Liberty; Seventeenth-Century Neoclassicism; Pastoral and Georgic Poetry: Genre and Ideology; Renaissance Love Poetry.
  • Undergraduate: Greek Thought and Literature 3 (Epic from Homer to Milton); Milton; Literary Criticism from Aristotle to Eliot; Renaissance Literary Imagination.

Selected Publications:

  • "Finding Freedom in Hamlet,," Modern Language Quarterly 72 (2011): 163-200.
  • "Shame, Love, Fear, and Pride in The Rape of Lucrece," in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare’s Poetry, ed. Jonathan Post (forthcoming)
  • (ed. with Janel Mueller), Elizabeth I: Translations, 1544-1589, (University of Chicago Press, 2009); Elizabeth I: Translations, 1592-1598 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009). ***These works received the 2011 MLA Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition.***
  • Excess and the Mean in Early Modern English Literature, Literature in History Series (Princeton University Press, 2002)
  • The English Poetic Epitaph: Commemoration and Conflict from Jonson to Wordsworth (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991).
  • "Lyric," in The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 2, 1550-1660, ed. Gordon Braden, Robert Cummings, and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 212-47.
  • "Elegy," "Epigram," "Imitation and Mimesis," and "Ode," in The Classical Tradition, ed. Anthony Grafton, Glenn Most, and Salvatore Settis (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), pp. 303-7, 324-35, 472-75, 651-52.
  • "On Comparative Literature," Foreign Language Studies (Wuhan, China) 30 (2009): 1-6.
  • "'Nones Slave': Some Versions of Liberty in Donnes Satires 1 and 4", ELH 72 (2005): 363-85.
  • (ed. with Elissa Weaver) Una selva filologica: Essays in Honor of Paolo Cherchi a special issue of Modern Philology 101 (2003).
  • (ed. with Richard Maxwell and Katie Trumpener) Toward World Literature, a special centennial issue of Modern Philology 100:4 (2003).
  • "Alternative Sites for Literature: Rural, Convivial, and Intellectual Domains, 1642-1659," chapter 24 of The New Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. 2: Writing in Early Modern Britain from the Reformation to the Restoration, ed. Janel Mueller and David Loewenstein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 763-789.
  • "Dryden the Critics Historicist and Cosmopolitan Mean," Au delà de la Poétique: Aristote et la littérature de la Renaissance / Beyond the Poetics; Aristotle and Early Modern Literature, ed. Ullrich Langer (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2002), pp. 79-90.
  • "The Cowleyan Pindaric Ode and Sublime Diversions," in A Nation Transformed: England after the Restoration, ed. Alan Houston and Steven Pincus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 180-210.
  • (ed. with Katie Trumpener) Religion, Gender, and the Writing of Women: Historicist Essays in Honor of Janel Mueller, a special issue of Modern Philology (2000).
  • "Seventeenth-Century English Literary Criticism: Classical Values, English Texts and Contexts," in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 3: The Renaissance c. 1500-1700, ed. Glyn P. Norton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 543-554.