David Lee Miller
Areas of Specialization
- English Renaissance Literature
Recently Taught Courses
||Themes in British Literature
||Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances
||Love, Lust, and God in Elizabethan Poetry
||The Trial of Othello, the Moor of Venice, for the Murder of the Beauteous Desdemona. Click here to see a short video about the course .
- N.E.H. Digital Humanities Implementation Award (co-P.I. Song Wang), 2012-2014.
- Teacher of the Year, Department of English, USC (2008-2009).
- Ringler Fellow, Huntington Library (June, 2008).
- N.E.H. Scholarly Editions grant (collaborative; P.I. Joseph Loewenstein), 2007-20012.
- N.E.H. Fellow, 2006-2007.
- Harry Ransom Humanities Center Research Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2003, 2005.
- "Great Teachers" Award, given by the University of Kentucky Alumni Association, 2002.
- EGSO Most Outstanding English Professor, 1998-99, given by the University of Kentucky English Graduate Student Organization.
- Guggenheim Fellowship, 1994-95.
Current Research Projects
"The Collected Works of Edmund Spenser." General Editor, with Patrick Cheney, Joseph Loewenstein, Elizabeth Fowler, and Andrew Zurcher. A new scholarly edition in three volumes, under contract to Oxford University Press for the Oxford English Texts Series. I am currently preparing text and commentary for the first edition of The Faerie Queene (1590) for volume II. We are at the same time building a digital archive for the study and teaching of Spenser's work.
- "Improper Nouns: A Response to Marshall Grossman," in Shakespeare and Donne: Cultural Hybrids in the Cultural Imaginary, ed. Judith H. Anderson and Jennifer Vaught, forthcoming from Fordham University Press.
- "Dan Edmund Meets the Romantics," in Edmund Spenser's Poetry, Norton Critical Edition, ed. Anne Lake Prescott and Andrew Hadfield. Fourth edition. Norton, 2013.
- "The Voice of Caesar's Wounds," in "Forms of Association: Making Publics in Early Modern Europe," edited by Paul Yachnin and Marlene Eberhart, due from the University of Massachusetts Press in 2013.
- David Lee Miller
- Dreams of the Burning Child: Sacrificial Sons and the Father's Witness
- Cornell University Press, 2003
In Dreams of the Burning Child, David Lee Miller explores the uncanny persistence of filial sacrifice as a motif in English literature and its classical and biblical antecedents. He combines strikingly original reinterpretations of The Aeneid, Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, and Dombey and Son with perceptive accounts of dreams found in memoirs, poems, and psychoanalytic texts.
Miller looks closely at the grisly fantasy of the sacrifice of sons as it is depicted in classical epic, early modern drama, the nineteenth-century novel, the postcolonial novel, the lyric, the funeral elegy, sacred scriptures, and psychoanalytic theory. He also draws examples from painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture into a witty and engaging discussion that ranges from the binding of Isaac to Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and from questions of literary history to the dilemmas of patriarchal masculinity.
Find out more information about Dreams of the Burning Child here
- David Lee Miller
- The Poem's Two Bodies: The Poetics of the 1590 "Faerie Queene"
- Princeton University Press, 1988
"David Lee Miller's thesis in The Poem's Two Bodies is simple, far-reaching, and important; concentrating upon the problematical 1590 edition of The Faerie Queene, Miller argues that `the aesthetic body of Spenser's poem mirrors the socio-political body of Tudor ideology.' From this premise, Miller proceeds to a close and systematic reading of The Faerie Queene; he carefully explores the ways in which Spenser's poetics encounter Elizabethan politics; and he demonstrates the staggering difficulty of Spenser's own situation as an imperial poet.... The Poem's Two Bodies is a valuable essay in politics and the English language, diligently executed and repeatedly satisfying in its conclusions. It deserves, and will doubtless command, close and prolonged attention."
--Bruce Thomas Boehrer, Sixteenth Century Journal
Find out more information about The Poem's Two Bodies: The Poetics of the 1590 "Faerie Queene" here
- Collection by David Lee Miller and Nina Levine
- A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation
- Fordham University Press, 2009
"After a half-century of ground-breaking, earth-shaking work, Harry Berger, Jr., certainly deserves this tribute: twenty essay that celebrate, contemplate, critique, and take flight from Berger's always generative criticism."
—Margreta de Grazia, University of Pennsylvania
In this book a distinguished group of scholars gathers to celebrate the work of Harry Berger, Jr., one of our most revered and respected literary and cultural critics. Since the late nineties, a stream of remarkable and innovative publications has shown how very broad his interests are, moving from Shakespeare to Baroque painting, to Plato, to theories of early culture.
Nineteen essays on Berger's Shakespeare, his Spenser, his Plato, and his Rembrandt, on his theories of interpretation and cultural change and on the ethos of his critical and pedagogical styles open new approaches to the astonishing, ongoing body of work authored by Berger.
Find out more information about A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation here
- Collection by by David Lee Miller, Sharon O'Dair, and Harold Weber
- The Production of English Renaissance Culture
- Cornell University Press, 1994
- Collection by David Lee Miller and Alexander Dunlop
- Approaches to Teaching Spenser's "Faerie Queene"
- Modern Language Association, 1994
"The Faerie Queene," according to David Lee Miller (coeditor of the present volume), "may be the most undervalued classic in the canon of English poetry." The epic poem's archaic language, formal structure, historical references, and literary allusions all present special challenges to both student and teacher--challenges that the contributors to this book believe can be overcome with creativity and wit. Designed for beginning instructors as well as for specialists still looking for the lesson plan of their dreams, Approaches to Teaching Spenser's "Faerie Queene" offers a thorough discussion of recent work on Spenser and on the social and cultural milieu of Elizabethan England.
Find out more information about Approaches to Teaching Spenser's "Faerie Queene" here
- Collection by Gregory S. Jay and David Lee Miller
- After Strange Texts: The Role of Theory in the Study of Literature
- University of Alabama Press, 1985
- "Laughing at Spenser's Daphnaida." Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual 26 (2011): 211-19.
- "Fowre Hymnes, Prothalamion." The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser, ed. Richard A. McCabe. Oxford University Press, 2010, 293-313.
- "Building a Spenser Archive - One Scan at a Time." Duke University Libraries 20: 2/3 (2007), 14-19.
- "Gender, Justice, and the Gods in The Faerie Queene, Book 5." In Reading Renaissance Ethics, ed. Marshall Grossman. Routledge, 2007, 19-37.
- "The Faerie Queene, 1590" in A Critical Companion to Spenser Studies, ed. Bart van Es. New York: Palgrave, 2006, 139-165.
- "The Father's Witness: Patriarchal Images of Boys." Representations 70 (2000): 114-140.
- "Three Things I've Learned from Editing Spenser," inaugural lecture for the University
of Maryland Marshall Grossman Lecture Series, September 20, 2012
- "Under the Bigtop: What to Do with the Large Lecture," at the USC Center for Teaching Excellence. August 31, 2010. View the seminar here
- "Spenser: For Free," at the Renaissance Society of America Conference, Venice, Italy. April 8, 2010.
- "Spenser Writing Ralegh," for "Ralegh and the Atlantic World" conference, Eastern Carolina University. April 10, 2008.
- "Shakespeare's Caesar and the Ghost of Jesus," University of Alabama Hudson Strode Lecture. February 10, 2008.
- "Sacrificial Caesar," invited paper for Shakespeare Association of America seminar. March 14, 2008.
- "The Voice of Caesar's Wounds," Murray State University Shakespeare Festival. February 26, 2007.
- "Building the Spenser Archive," Duke Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Producing the Renaissance Text: Current Technologies of Editing - in Theory and Practice. February 3, 2007.
- "Shakespeare's Intertextual Ghosts," Northwestern University Early Modern Studies Colloquium, January 11, 2007.
I am Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at South Carolina. Before joining the faculty here in 2004, I taught for ten years at the University of Kentucky and for sixteen years at the University of Alabama, where I founded the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies in 1990.