[Milton-L] Last Tango in Murfreesboro

Kevin Donovan Kevin.Donovan at mtsu.edu
Fri Aug 28 12:39:38 EDT 2015

Dear Mario (may I?),

Mille grazie for your gracious comments, which mean a great deal coming from a scholar of your status. We’re sorry you can’t join us but certainly understand why. I also appreciate your continuing contributions to the Milton list.

All good wishes,

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Mario DiCesare
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2015 12:10 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Last Tango in Murfreesboro

Dear Kevin Donovan,

All Miltonists, I'm sure, are immensely grateful for all that you and Kris Pruitt and Charlie Durham have done for us over the years, not just in the organizing of sessions -- itself a thankless task -- but also in the spirit of comradeship and intellectual give-and-take which the three of you have so selflessly provided.  In my dotage, I don't expect to get to many, if any, meetings, and I must say I miss them. Yours were among the best, and the three of you deserve heartiest thanks for the generous spirit with which you fostered all of us.

As my forebears would have said, A cent'anni  and  Baci ed abbracci!!!

Mario A. DiCesare
Fairview, NC

On Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 8:08 PM, Kevin Donovan <Kevin.Donovan at mtsu.edu<mailto:Kevin.Donovan at mtsu.edu>> wrote:
Following Charley’s announcement, I too would like to comment on the fact that this will be our last conference—Milton studies’ Last Tango in Murfreesboro.

This is our 24th anniversary, the thirteenth biennial Milton conference held in Murfreesboro since 1991. Over the years the conference has attracted most of the leading American and Canadian scholars in the field of Milton studies. We have also attracted scholars from further abroad: past participants have come from as far as Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and Norway. The conference has included participants at all ranks, from senior faculty with established reputations to graduate students beginning their academic careers. A particular source of satisfaction has been watching scholars who first attended as graduate students later becoming full professors and referring their own students to the conference. The conference has also resulted in a series of collected essays published by Susquehanna UP and Duquesne UP. Two of these collections, Arenas of Conflict: Milton and the Unfettered Mind (1997) and Milton’s Legacy  (2005), won the Irene Samuel Prize awarded by the Milton Society of America for multi-author publications on Milton, on his era, or on the context and methodologies that illuminate our understanding of his life and works. A complete list of the collections can be found at the conference website.

My co-directors, MTSU Professor Emeritus Charles W. Durham and Kristin A. Pruitt, Professor Emerita of Christian Brothers University, have both served as past presidents of the Milton Society of America. They co-edited the first eight collections of essays from the conference, including the two Samuel Award winners. Kris is also the author of Gender and the Power of Relationship: “United as one individual soul” in Paradise Lost (Duquesne UP, 2003). More recent collections of essays from the conference were edited by Louis Schwartz and Mary C. Fenton; meanwhile Thomas Festa and I are preparing a collection originating from the 2013 conference.

It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with Kris and Charley over the past quarter century. Our friendship remains strong, and I look forward to many a cheerful hour and neat repast with them in the years to come.

Kevin J. Donovan
Professor of English
P.O. Box 70
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
ph: 615-898-5898<tel:615-898-5898>
fax: 615-898-5098<tel:615-898-5098>

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