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  • Thomas Fulton
  • Professor of English
  • At Rutgers Since: 2003
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  • tfulton@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 43 Mine Street, Room 204, College Ave Capmus
  • Office Hours:

    by appointment.

  • Primary Areas of Specialization: Milton; Shakespeare; Politics and Philosophy; Biblical and Religious Culture; Book History; Renaissance Literature
  • Field of Interest: Book and Media History, Drama & Performance Studies, Early Modern, Seventeenth Century
  • About:

    Professor Fulton writes about the cultural intersections of politics and religion, about problems in rhetoric and generic form, and on the history of reading and media history. His work on Erasmus, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and other medieval and early modern writers has appeared in several journals and edited collections. His first 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 analyze 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 his second book, The Book of Books: Biblical Interpretation, Literary Culture, and the Political Imagination from Erasmus to Milton (2021), which investigates the intersections 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 few collections of essays, most recently The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage (2018), co-edited with Kristen Poole, which investigates the ways that Shakespeare engaged contemporary practices of biblical interpretation. In a related edited volume, The Bible and English Readers (JMEMS, 2017), a group of ten international scholars attempt to reconstruct the reading habits of both unknown and well-known biblical readers, asking what these reconstructions of readership tell us about biblical reception, English religion, national identity, and literature. With his colleague Ann Baynes Coiro he co-edited Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton (2012), which reconsiders the practice of historicism and cross-disciplinary scholarship in a series of essays from major scholars.  

    Thomas Fulton 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.

    Professor Fulton particularly enjoys teaching Shakespeare in performance, and leads a group of students to study with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and at the Globe Theatre in London in the summer travel course, Shakespeare in England. He is eager to advise graduate students with a wide variety of interests.

  • Book(s):
  • Books (additional):

    The Book of Books: Biblical Interpretation, Literary Culture, and the Political Imagination from Erasmus to Milton (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) Historical Milton: Manuscript, Print, and Political Culture in Revolutionary England (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010) The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage: Cultures of Interpretation in Reformation England, co-edited with Kristen Poole (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018) Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, ed. with Ann Baynes Coiro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

  • Undergraduate 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
  • Graduate Courses Taught:
    • Renaissance Drama and Social Justice (with Emily Bartels)
    • Cavendish and Milton: Poets, Philosophers, Revolutionaries (with Ann Baynes Coiro)
    • Renaissance and Reformation from Erasmus to Milton
    • Book History and the Early Modern Text
    • Literature and Revolution: Social and Scientific Discovery in the Age of Milton
    • Advanced Research Methods
    • Mastering Research Methods at the Folger (Folger Library)
  • Awards:
    • The Bible and English Readers, a special note of The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 2017 (vol. 47, no. 3). Best Special Award, from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, MLA 2019.
    • 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
  • Other Publications:
  • Other Information of Interest:
  • Education: PhD, Yale University BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison