Professor Nicholas McDowell
Professor of Early Modern Literature and Thought
Telephone: 01392 724269
Nicholas McDowell was born and brought up in Belfast, where he was educated at a city grammar school. He left to read English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating with a first-class BA degree in 1994. He then moved to Oriel College, Oxford, to complete M.Phil. (1996) and D.Phil. degrees (2000).
In 1998 he was elected to a stipendiary Research Fellowship of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; he left this post in January 2001 to take up a lectureship in the Department of English at the University of Exeter, where he has since been Senior Lecturer (2005) and Associate Professor (2009). He was promoted to a Personal Chair at the beginning of 2012. He is currently departmental Director of Research and is preparing the 2014 REF submission for what is now one of the largest English departments in the UK.
Professor McDowell was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in the category of Modern European Languages in 2007, and has held visiting interdisciplinary research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2009) and the Centre for Research into the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Cambridge (2011).
He is the author of The English Radical Imagination: Culture, Religion, and Revolution, 1630-1660 (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil Wars: Marvell and the Cause of Wit (Oxford University Press, 2008). He is the co-editor, with Nigel Smith, of The Oxford Handbook of Milton (Oxford University Press, 2009; paperback, 2011), which won the 2009 Irene Samuel Award of the Milton Society of America for the most distinguished collection on John Milton. He is also the editor, with N. H. Keeble, of The Oxford Complete Works of John Milton. Volume VI: Vernacular Regicide and Republican Writings (Oxford University Press, 2013), for which he has completed a new scholarly edition of Milton's 1649 prose works in defence of the execution of Charles I. He is Associate Editor of the Blackwell Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature (3 vols., 2012) and editor of a special issue of Critical Quarterly on 'Shakespeare, Milton and the Early Modern: Current Issues and Future Approaches' (2010). Currently he is contracted to Princeton University Press to write John Milton: An Intellectual Biography.
Most recently, Professor McDowell's essay 'How Laudian was the Young Milton?', in Milton Studies 52 (2011), won the James Holly Hanford Award of the Milton Society of America for the most distinguished essay published on Milton in 2011, and he contributed two essays on Marvell to The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution, ed. Laura Knoppers (Oxford University Press, 2012). In 2012-13 he has given invited papers at Aberystwyth University, the University of Sheffield, the University of Kent, the University of Edinburgh, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Oxford, and the Institute for Historical Research in London, and examined doctorates at Royal Holloway, London (on Marvell and justice), Trinity College Dublin (on Restoration plague literature) and University College Cork (on Milton and romance). He is external examiner of the Masters degree in English (1550-1700) at the University of Oxford from 2012-15.
An interview with The Guardian about Professor McDowell's career and research can be accessed here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/feb/26/highereducationprofile.academicexperts