Melissa M. Caldwell
Associate Professor of English and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office: 3050 - Coleman Hall
My research interests include early modern intellectual history and moral philosophy; the transmission, adaptation and influence of skepticism in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; religious and political polemical literature of the Reformation and the English Civil War; hybridity in literary-philosophical texts; and the relationship between word and image in literary, philosophical, and religious texts. My book project Skepticism and Belief in Early Modern England: The Reformation of Moral Value is forthcoming from Routledge. In this project, I am interested in how writers use skepticism as a means by which to negotiate competing interests of reform and orthodoxy and how skepticism becomes a stabilizing yet generative force as more complex didactic modes of thought and writing replace dogmatic ones. By expanding current critical formulations of early modern skepticism, I offer a fuller account of skepticism’s history and examine its relationship to early modern epistemology, ethics and aesthetics. My publications include "Minds Indifferent: Milton, Lord Brooke, and the Value of Adiaphora on the Eve of the English Civil War" in The Seventeenth Century, and "Skepticism and Post-Reformation Ethics: Richard Hooker’s Galen" in Studies in Philology.
I teach courses on Milton, Shakespeare, medieval and Renaissance literature, and the classics alongside general education courses on a variety of literature.