Lara Dodds

Lara Dodds


  • Administration
  • Graduate Faculty


  • Professor


  • Head of the Department of English



  • 2304 Lee Hall


  • Ph.D. 2004 Brown University
  • A.M. 1999 Brown University
  • B.A. 1997 DePauw University

Teaching Interests

  • Milton
  • Early Modern British Literature
  • Early Modern Women’s Writing
  • Research Methods

Lara Dodds specializes in seventeenth-century literature, with a particular focus on Milton and on early modern women’s writing. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Milton, seventeenth-century British literature, and, occasionally, Shakespeare. In addition, she frequently teaches the first half of the British literature survey and Honors Composition II.

She frequently teaches EN 8103, Research Methods in English, in which she enjoys introducing first year MA students to the challenges of academic research.She is the author of the The Literary Invention of Margaret Cavendish (Duquesne UP, 2013) which describes Cavendish’s debts to English Renaissance Literature, with a particular focus on Cavendish’s critical appropriation of works by Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, and Milton. She has also published essays on Milton and early modern literature and science.  In her current book project Science Fiction and the Fall, she traces the debts to Milton’s Paradise Lost in 20th and 21st century science fiction.


Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Death and the ‘Paradice Within' in Paradise Lost and Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake." Forthcoming in Milton Studies 56 (2015):115-50.
  • "Women's History, Gender History, and Milton Studies: A Review Essay." Milton Quarterly. 48.3 (2014): 172-178.
  • Bawds and Housewives: Margaret Cavendish and the Work of ‘Bad Writing.'" Early Modern Studies Journal 6 (2014): 29-65.
  • "'To due conversation accessible': The Problem of Courtship in Milton's Writings on Divorce and Paradise Lost." Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 56.1 (2014): 42-65.
  • "Reading and Writing in Sociable Letters; Or, How Margaret Cavendish Read Her Plutarch." English Literary Renaissance 41.1 (2011): 189-218.
  • "'To change in scenes and show it in a play': Paradise Lost and the Stage Directions of Dryden's The State of Innocence and The Fall of Man," 36 pp. ms., forthcoming Restoration.
  • "Reading and Writing in Sociable Letters; Or, How Margaret Cavendish Read Her Plutarch," 46 pp. ms., forthcoming English Literary Renaissance.
  • "'Poor Donne Was Out'": Reading and Writing Donne Verse in the Poetry of William and Margaret Cavendish," 53 pp. ms. forthcoming in John Donne Journal.
  • "'Great things to small may be compared': Rhetorical Microscopy in Paradise Lost." Milton Studies 47 (2008):  96-117.
  • "Milton's Other Worlds." Uncircumscribed Minds: Reading Milton Deeply. Ed. Charles Durham and Kris Pruitt. Susquehanna University Press, 2008. 164-82.
  • "Margaret Cavendish's Domestic Experiment." Genre and Women's Life Writing in Early Modern England. Ed. Michelle Dowd and Julie Eckerle. Ashgate Press, 2007.  151-68.
  • "'Art and Fallacy' or ‘the Naked Offer'?: Style and Science in Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica." Prose Studies 29 (2006): 223-233.
  • "Poetic Authority in Manuscript and Print: The Case of Milton's Paradise Lost and Dryden's The State of Innocence and Fall of Man." A Manuscript Miscellany. Ed. Steven May. The Folger Institute.

Forthcoming Publication

  • "Sidney, Cary, Cavendish: Playwrights of the Printed Page and a Future Stage" with Margaret Ferguson. Forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to Renaissance Drama, 2nd edition. Edited by Arthur Kinney and Thomas Hopper.  39 pp. ms.
  • Short-term Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2007.
  • Research Initiation Grant, Mississippi State University, 2006.
  • Participant in NEH Summer Faculty Institute ("The Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England"), 2005.