[Milton-L] Leaving the Milton listserv
Carol Barton, PhD, CPCM
cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Sat Nov 4 16:21:26 EDT 2017
I, for one, am sorry to see you both go—and I’m sorry for the quasi-“tolerance” among some members of the present-day Milton list that condones, even abets, this sort of thing.
One of the most endearing accomplishments of the Milton list, and indeed, the Miltonic community, until recent years was its civility, its genial embrace of *all* members (not just those with hefty OUP or CUP publications under their arms), and its abiding decency. I remember taking Tom Kranidas to his first Murfreesboro conference. He was astonished to be unable to tell the accomplished scholars from the newcomers by the way they engaged with or treated one another . . . and when the likes of Kris and Charley and JTS and Stella Revard and ALabriola and Derek Wood and Bill Hunter and Balanchandra Rajan and the others of their generation (forgive me, any old friends whose names I’ve missed) were the constellations, every thread was a “must read.”
That isn’t the case, in recent years, and it’s sad.
I wish you both all the best, Katie and Ryan, and I’m sorry that I can’t say something more encouraging to convince you to stay. To do so would be hypocritical. I feel marginalized myself.
Best to all,
> On Nov 4, 2017, at 4:08 PM, Katie Calloway <Katie_Calloway at baylor.edu> wrote:
> 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!)
> 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 <mailto:Katie_Calloway at baylor.edu>
>> On Nov 4, 2017, at 2:43 PM, Ryan Paul <ryanspaul at gmail.com <mailto: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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