Joshua Scodel

Joshua Scodel
Helen A. Regenstein Professor
Classics 402
Ph.D., Yale University, 1985
Teaching at UChicago since 1985
Research Interests: Renaissance and Early Modern Literature| History of Ideas |History of Literary Criticism | Literature and Philosophy |Political Theory


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.

Intellectual Profile

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).

Select 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).