[Milton-L] Leaving the Milton listserv

Katie Calloway Katie_Calloway at baylor.edu
Sat Nov 4 16:08:19 EDT 2017


Hello, list,

While I’ve enjoyed listening in on the discussions down the years, I will be following Ryan Paul off the listserv in solidarity.  (I realize this is not great loss as I’ve contributed maybe twice!)  

Best,

Katie Calloway

Katherine Calloway
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of English
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97404
Waco, TX  76798-7404
(254) 710-6883
Katie_Calloway at baylor.edu




> On Nov 4, 2017, at 2:43 PM, Ryan Paul <ryanspaul at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Dear All,
> 
> This is a note to say that I am leaving the Milton listerv.
> 
> I'm not a Miltonist per se, and I don't contribute often to the discussion, so my departure from the list probably won't mean much to many of you. But I think I at least have to make a small statement about why I'm leaving.
> 
> This list could be a lively, fascinating, and educational venue for us to share ideas. It is full of brilliant scholars with great minds. But, it has been hijacked by a troll spouting thinly veiled white supremacist rhetoric and self-promoting his two-bit, hack "artwork." 
> 
> I appreciate the devotion to a Miltonic belief in the free exchange of controversial ideas that many of you have espoused. It is admirable, particularly in these days of acrimonious division. But I think your faith in our troll's better nature is misplaced. 
> 
> Perhaps if you haven't spent much time in the dark underbelly of the internet, you don't recognize trolling for what it is. It is fairly clear, to me at least, that Terrance Lindall has no abiding interest in Milton, Milton studies, or in promoting collegial intellectual discourse. His only interests are self-promotion and spreading hatred; maybe there's a third rail there too: the sick pleasure trolls get from pushing people's buttons and making the marginalized feel even more so. 
> 
> It seems that at least 50% of the emails I get from this list are about Lindall and his nonsense: whether to ban him, whether he's racist, whether or not Milton would approve. This does nothing to improve my understanding of Milton or 17th century poetry or any other related subject. All it does is fill my inbox with more free advertising for a quasi-fascist of very, very minor talents. 
> 
> I know no one wants to play the role of Empson's God and moderate this listserv, but chaos and racist nonsense is not conducive to the pursuit of truth. As a Renaissance scholar and a person of color, I expected and hoped for much better from an academic community. I hope that this community will organize itself, bounce the alt right trolling with a permanent ban, and turn its attention to important, meaningful matters related to Milton. Until then, I'm out.
> 
> Peace and love to all of you, 
> And may Terrance Lindall one day be cured of the hatred that motivates him.
> 
> Ryan Paul
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