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Name

David Lee Miller

Education

Areas of Specialization

Recently Taught Courses

ENGL 283 Themes in British Literature
ENGL 405 Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances
ENGL/CPLT 381 The Renaissance
ENGL 710 Love, Lust, and God in Elizabethan Poetry
SCHC 351O 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 .

Professional Accolades

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.

Selected Publications

Forthcoming

Books Authored

Dreams of the Burning Child: Sacrificial Sons and the Father's Witness
  • 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

The Poem's Two Bodies: The Poetics of the 1590 Faerie Queene
  • 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


Books Edited

A Touch More Rare: Harry Berger, Jr., and the Arts of Interpretation
  • 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

The Production of English Renaissance Culture
  • Collection by by David Lee Miller, Sharon O'Dair, and Harold Weber
  • The Production of English Renaissance Culture
  • Cornell University Press, 1994
Approaches to Teaching Spenser's <em>Faerie Queene</em>
  • 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

After Strange Texts: The Role of Theory in the Study of Literature
  • 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

Selected Essays

Recent Presentations

Other Information

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.

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