Gordon Teskey

Gordon Teskey

Francis Lee Higginson Professor of English Literature
Gordon Teskey
  • Region(s): England
  • Time Period(s): 16th century; 17th century
  • Theme(s): Milton; Spencer; Shakespeare; continential philosophy; history of allegory

Education: B.A. Trent University; M.A. (Milton), PhD. (Spenser), University of Toronto

Teaching: Cornell University, 1982-2002; Harvard 2002-present


Gordon Teskey is author of Allegory and Violence (1996); Delirious Milton (2006); The Poetry of John Milton (2015); Spenserian Moments (2019); The Norton Edition of ‘Paradise Lost’, 2nd edition revised and updated (1st ed .2005). Recent essays are on Chaos in Spenser and Milton; “Bent Abstraction” and “The Metaphysics of the Metaphysicals.”

He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on John Milton, Edmund Spenser, the Bible and the Arts, Seventeenth-Century lyric poetry, and, for first-year students, the Art of Noticing.

A Miltonist by profession, a Spenserian by temperament, Gordon's contiguous fields of interest are in philosophy, history, theory (in the practical sense), and art history. His current research (perhaps, in his case, the more modest word, “meditation,” should be used) is on Foucault’s last lectures at the College de France (Le courage de la vérité: Le gouvernement de soi et des autres, II; February, March 1984) and Antonin Artaud’s Le théatre et son double (1938), both in relation to Shakespeare.

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