Thomas Fulton
Associate Professor of English


Early Modern

Biblical and Religious Culture; Book History; Renaissance Literature; 
Milton; Shakespeare

Professor Fulton has written on cultural intersections of politics and religion, on problems in rhetoric and generic form, on media history, and on the history of reading.  His work on Erasmus, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and other medieval and early modern writers has appeared in several journals and edited collections.  His book, Historical Milton: Manuscript, Print, and Political Culture in Revolutionary England (2010)uses the manuscript record of Milton’s thinking – mainly the reading notes in his commonplace book – to rethink Milton’s rhetorical methods and reading practices in the broader context of early modern methods of reading, note-taking, and writing.  A similar set of interests motivates Thomas Fulton’s second book project, entitled The Biblical Renaissance: Politics, Interpretation, and Literary Culture from Erasmus to Milton, which is a study of the history of biblical interpretation and literary production during the English Renaissance, focusing on such texts as Erasmus’s Education of a Christian Prince, Tyndale’s Obedience of a Christian Man, Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Professor Fulton has also edited a collection of essays with Ann Baynes Coiro entitled Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton (2012), which reconsiders the practice of historicism and cross-disciplinary scholarship.  He is the recipient of a Folger Shakespeare Library Long-term Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, several grants from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Fellowship, a Mellon Fellowship, and a Goheen Prize in Classical Studies.  He will is presently on leave in Washington DC doing research at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Office / Office Hours

43 Mine Street, Room 204, College Ave Capmus


  • “Gilded Monuments: Shakespeare’s Sonnets and the Mediated Text,” in Comparative Textual Media: Interplays between Making and Critique, ed. byN. Katherine Hayles and Jessica Pressman (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
  • “New, Old, Now,” Introduction, with Ann Baynes Coiro, to Rethinking Historicism, forthcoming.
  • “Historicism, Rhetoric, and Ideology: Erasmus, Colet, and the Present,” in Ann Baynes Coiro and Thomas Fulton, eds., Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, ed. with Ann Baynes Coiro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)., forthcoming.
  • Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, ed. with Ann Baynes Coiro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • John Milton's "Digression" in The History of Britain: An Online Facsimile Edition of
    Harvard MS Eng 901 (
  • "Paradise Lost and the English Revolution," in Peter Herman, ed., Approaches to TeachingParadise Lost (MLA Publications, 2011).
  • "Shakespeare's Everyman: Measure for Measure and English Fundamentalism," Premodern Shakespeare: A special issue of Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 40.1 (2010): 119-47
  • "Edward Phillips and the Manuscript of the 'Digression'" 
    Milton Studies 48, 2008
  • “Speculative Shakespeares: The Trials of Biographical Historicism” 
    Modern Philology 103.3, 2006
  • “Mankind in a Year without Kings” 
    with Jessica Brantley, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.2, 2006
  • Areopagitica and the Roots of Liberal Epistemology” 
    English Literary Renaissance 37.1, 2004
  • "'The True and Naturall Constitution of that Mixed Government': Massinger's The Bondman and the Influence of Dutch Republicanism" 
    Studies in Philology 99.2, 2002
  • “Hamlet’s Inky Cloak and Donne’s Satyres” 
    The John Donne Journal 20, 2001

Courses Taught

  • Seminar: John Milton
  • Principles of Literary Study
  • British Literature to 1800
  • Shakespeare: The Elizabethan Works
  • Shakespeare: The Jacobean Works
  • Utopia and Dystopia: Political Fiction from Plato to the Present
  • Vices, Machiavels, and Revengers: A History of English Tragedy
  • Shakespeare in England, A Travel Course
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Book History and the Early Modern Text
  • Literature and Revolution: Social and Scientific Discovery in the Age of Milton
  • Renaissance and Reformation from Erasmus to Milton
  • Mastering Research Methods at the Folger (Folger Library)

Awards and Affiliations

  • NEH/ Folger Shakespeare Library Long-term Fellowship, 2015-2016
  • Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, 2015-2016 (declined)
  • Rutgers Research Council Grant, 2010
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2008


PhD, Yale University
BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison