Anthony Welch

Associate Professor


Anthony Welch specializes in Renaissance literature and culture. His scholarly research focuses on John Milton and seventeenth-century poetry, the European epic tradition, and relations between orality and literacy. His book, The Renaissance Epic and the Oral Past, shows how the period’s epic poets struggled to make sense of ancient oral poetry—from Homeric Greece to Celtic Britain—and how those struggles led to new models of authorship and changing theories about the origins of civilization. Dr. Welch’s current research explores how epic poetry and other traditional literary forms were adapted to tell early modern stories of global exploration, intercultural encounter, and colonial conquest.

Dr. Welch teaches undergraduate courses on Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and the literature of late Renaissance Europe. Recent graduate courses include The Age of Milton, Fictions of Authority in Seventeenth-Century England, and Seventeenth-Century Poetry: Critical Approaches and Controversies.


B.A., University of Western Ontario
M. Phil., Trinity College, Cambridge
Ph.D., Yale University


  • The Renaissance Epic and the Oral Past (Yale University Press, 2012)

Representative Articles:

  • “Editing Paradise Lost with Richard Bentley,” in Approaches to Teaching Milton’s Paradise Lost, ed. Peter C. Herman (Modern Language Association, 2012).
  • Poetic Tradition, Epic,” in Milton in Context, ed. Stephen B. Dobranski (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 68-77.
  • “The Cultural Politics of Dido and Aeneas,” Cambridge Opera Journal 21 (2009): 1-26.
  • “Milton’s Forsaken Proserpine,” English Literary Renaissance 39 (2009): 527-56.
  • “Epic Romance, Royalist Retreat, and the English Civil War,” Modern Philology 105 (2008), 570-602.
  • “Losing Paradise in Dryden’s State of Innocence,” in Uncircumscribed Mind: Reading Milton Deeply, ed. Kristin A. Pruitt and Charles W. Durham (Susquehanna University Press, 2008), 222-42.
  • “Reconsidering Chronology in Paradise Lost,” Milton Studies 41 (2002): 1-17.