Joshua Scodel

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

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, English translations of classical and continental lyrics 1550-1660, 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).


2016-17 courses: Autumn 2016, Seventeenth-Century Verse (undergraduate). Spring 2017, Milton (undergraduate); Seventeenth-Century Secular Verse (graduate).

Graduate: Literary Criticism from Plato to Burke; 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: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare; Greek Thought and Literature 3 (Epic from Homer to Milton); Milton; Literary Criticism from Aristotle to Eliot; Renaissance Literary Imagination; Hamlet and Critical Methods

Selected Publications

  • (ed. with Janel Mueller) Elizabeth I: Translations, 1544-1589 (Chicago: 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, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002).
  • The English Poetic Epitaph: Commemoration and Conflict from Jonson to Wordsworth (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991).
  • “Edenic Freedoms,” Milton Studies 56 (2015):153-200.
  • "Allusions and Distinctions: Pentameter Couplets in Ben Jonson’s Epigrams and Forest,” The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 39-55.
  • "The Early English Essay," in The Blackwell Companion to British Literature, ed. Robert deMaria et al (Blackwell, 2014), pp. 213-30.
  • "Shame, Love, Fear, and Pride in The Rape of Lucrece," in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare’s Poetry, ed. Jonathan Post (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 413-430.
  • "Finding Freedom in Hamlet,," Modern Language Quarterly 72 (2011): 163-200.
  • "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, 324-25, 472-75, 651-52.
  • "'None's Slave': Some Versions of Liberty in Donne's 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 Critic's 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.
  • “Lyric Forms, 1650-1740,” in The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1650-1740, ed. Steven P. Zwicker (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 120-142.
  • “The Pleasures of Restraint:  The Mean of Coyness in Cavalier Poetry,” Criticism 38 (1996): 239-279.
  • “John Donne and the Religious Politics of the Mean,” in John Donne’s Religious Imagination:  Essays in Honor of John T. Shawcross, ed. Raymond-Jean Frontain and Frances Malpezzi (Conway, Arkansas:  University of Central Arkansas Press, 1995), pp. 45-80. Winner of the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Publication.
  • “The Affirmation of Paradox:  A Reading of Montaigne’s ‘De la Phisionomie’ (III:12),” Yale French Studies 64 (1983): 209-237.


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