Dr. Louis Schwartz
Professor of English
Chair, Department of English
Profile

Professor Schwartz’ primary research interests are the life and work of John Milton and 16th and Early 17th-Century English Literature and Culture more generally, with a particular interest in the relationship between early modern imaginative literature and the experience of childbirth in the period (obstetric practices and lore, medical literature, and religious approaches to reproduction and women’s suffering).  His book, Milton and Maternal Mortality (Cambridge UP, 2009), is the winner of the James Holly Hanford Award from the Milton Society of America.  He is also a contributing editor to The Milton Variorum Project and co-editor, with Mary Fenton (Western Carolina University), of a series of essay collections on Milton.  Schwartz is also interested in the History and Theory of English Poetics and in late 20th-Century American Poetry.  His essays have appeared in Milton Studies, Milton Quarterly, The Lancet, Restoration, and The Comparatist.

Grants and Fellowships
University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2011).
University of Richmond Research Travel Grant (Summer 2005)
University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2003)
University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 1997)
University of Richmond Research Travel Grant (Summer 1993)
University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 1990)
Awards
James Holly Hanford Award for Most Distinguished Book Published on Milton in 2009. The Milton Society of America.
Presentations

Conference Papers

“Pierce, Bout, and Tie:  Music, Choice, and Reason in ‘L’Allegro’ and ‘Il Penseroso,’” The Eleventh International Milton Symposium, Exeter, UK, July 2015.

“Sealed with Blood:  Some Questions Concerning a Female Faustus,” Modern Language Association Conference, Boston, January 2013. Roundtable session sponsored by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.  Revised version also delivered at The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, New Orleans, October 2014.

Looking Back: Lyric Repetition and Relation in “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso.” The Conference on John Milton, Murfreesboro, TN, October 200

“Too Much Conceiving:” On the Reproductive Imagery of Milton’s “On Shakespeare.” The Conference on John Milton, Murfreesboro, TN, October 2005.

Lycidas’ Tears:  Milton and Inconsolation.  Eighth International Milton Symposium, Grenoble, France, June 7-12, 2005.

“Hutching the Ore:” The Hidden Logic of the Reproductive Imagery in the Ludlow Masque.  Seventh International Milton Symposium, Beaufort S.C., June 4-8, 2002.

“What was that Gorgon Shield?:”  Obstetric Anxiety and Sexual Coercion in Milton’s Ludlow Masque.  Renaissance Society of America, Tempe Arizona, May 2002.

“Literary Connections.” Host of session, Virginia Humanities Conference, March 2001.

The “Womb of waters” and the “Firm Opacous Globe:”  Some Speculations on the Function of Reproductive Imagery in Milton’s Descriptions of the Outer Spheres of  the Created Universe.  The Conference on John Milton.  Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October, 1999.

“Abortive Gulf:” Speculations on the Relationship Between Obstetric Anxiety and the Representation of Chaos in Paradise Lost.  Sixth International Milton Symposium, University of York, England, 19-23 July 1999.

“Scarce-well-lighted Flame”:  Milton’s “Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester” and the Representation of Maternal Mortality in the Seventeenth-Century Epitaph.  The Conference on John Milton.  Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October 27-9, 1995

“Abortive Gulf”:  Pregnancy, Will, and The Ontology of Allegory in Paradise Lost.  Patristic Medieval and Renaissance Conference.  Villanova University, October 7-9, 1994. 

“Conscious Terrors”:  Seventeenth-Century Obstetrics and the Allegory of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost.  Second Southeastern Conference on John Milton.  Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October 21-3, 1993.

“She Whom I Loved”:  Childbed Death and Masculine Guilt in Donne’s and Milton’s Elegaic Sonnets.  Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies.  Norman, Oklahoma, October 8-10, 1993.  With Elizabeth Hodgson, Furman University.

“A Growing Burden”:  Childbirth and the Ontology of Allegory in Paradise Lost.  Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference, Atlanta, October 22-24, 1992.  Chair and Organizer of Session:  “The Discourse of Childbirth in Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Poetry.” 

“Spot of child-bed taint”:  Seventeenth-Century Obstetrics in Milton’s Sonnet XXIII and Paradise Lost VIII:462-78.  Central Renaissance Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska, April 23-5, 1992.

Invited Talks

“Lycidas’ Tears.”  Paper delivered as part of the Conference Plenary Panel Session on Stanley Fish’s How Milton Works at the Conference on John Milton, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, October 2003. Stephen Dobranski (Georgia State), moderator. Also on the panel: Laura L. Knoppers (Pennsylvania State) and Joseph Wittreich (CUNY). Stanley Fish, respondent.

An Introduction to Milton Criticism:  Sonnet 23.  A Lecture to English Honors Students at St Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA.  Yearly, 2003-2010.

Literature and Critical Thinking: What English Professors Wish Their Freshmen Didn’t Know.  Virginia Catholic Education Association Conference, Richmond, Virginia, March 22nd, 1991.  With Terryl Givens. 

Wyatt, Shakespeare, Milton and Proto-Romantic Subjectivity.  State University of New York at Albany, Spring 1988. 

Memberships
Member of the Milton Society of America (Executive Board, 2001-2003)
Publications
Books

With Wandering Steps: Generative Irresolution in Milton’s Poetry  (Duquesne University Press, 2016). Edited in collaboration with Mary Fenton, Western Carolina University.

As Contributing Editor for the Milton Variorum Project:  Variorum notes to Paradise Lost, Book III.  A volume in A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton.  To be published, upon completion, by Duquesne University Press.  

Schwartz, Louis, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Paradise Lost. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

To Repair the Ruins:  Reading Milton (Duquesne University Press, 2012).  Edited in collaboration with Mary Fenton, Western Carolina University.

“Their Maker’s Image:” New Essays on John Milton.  (Susquehanna University Press/Associated University Presses, 2011).  Edited and introduced in collaboration with Mary Fenton, Western Carolina University.

Milton and Maternal Mortality (Cambridge University Press, 2009).  (Winner of the James Holly Hanford Award from the Milton Society of America).

Articles

"Scarce-well-lighted Flame": Milton's "Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester" and the Representation of Maternal Mortality in the Seventeenth-Century Epitaph.  In "All in All": Unity, Diversity, and the Miltonic Perspective, ed. Charles Durham and Kristin Pruitt (Susquehanna University Press, 1999).

"Conscious Terrors": Seventeenth-Century Obstetrics and Milton's Allegory of General Sin in Paradise Lost, Book 2. In Arenas of Conflict: Milton and the Unfettered Mind, ed. Charles Durham and Kristin McCoglan (Susquehanna University Press, 1996).

"Conscious Terrors" and "The Promised Seed:" Seventeenth-Century Obstetrics and the Allegory of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost. In Milton Studies 32, ed. Albert C. Labriola (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995).

"But as for me, helas, I may no more:" Petrarchan Imitation and Courtly Sociability in Wyatt's "Who so list to hounte."  The Comparatist, May (1994).

"Spot of child-bed taint:" Seventeenth Century Obstetrics in Milton's Sonnet XXIII and Paradise Lost VIII: 462-78.  Milton Quarterly, October (1993).

“17th-Century Childbirth:  ‘Exquisite Torment and Infinite Grace.’” The Lancet, Vol. 377, April 30, 2011.

Chapters

"The Nightmare of History: Samson Agonistes." In A Concise Companion to Milton, ed. by Angelica Duran (Blackwell, 2006).

Reviews

Review of Nicholas McDowell and Nigel Smith, eds., The Oxford Handbook of MiltonMilton Quarterly (March, 2012).

Review of Peter C. Herman, ed., Approaches to Teaching Milton’s Shorter Poetry and Prose.  Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 (Spring, 2009).

Review of Michael Bryson, The Tyranny of Heaven. Milton Quarterly, (October, 2006).


Education
Ph.D., Brandeis University 1990
M.A., Brandeis University 1985
B.A., State University of New York at Albany 1984
Contact Information
(804) 289-8315
(804) 289-8313 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
16th- and Early 17th-Century English Literature and Culture
16th- and Early 17th-Century English Medical and Obstetric History
History and Theory of English Poetics