Skip over navigation

Nigel Smith

  • English
Position: Faculty Associate
Title: Professor of English.
Office: 31 McCosh Hall
Phone: 609-258-4064
Nigel Smith

Faculty Associates


Nigel Smith (D. Phil., Oxford University) is Professor of English and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Books and media. He has published mostly on early modern literature, especially the seventeenth century. His interests include poetry; poetic theory; the social role of literature; literature, politics and religion; literature and visual art; heresy and heterodoxy; radical literature; early prose fiction; women’s writing; journalism; censorship; the early modern public sphere; travel; the history of linguistic ideas. The authors he has covered include Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Hobbes, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, and Marvell. New work involves comparison of English with literatures in other European and vernacular languages in the context of political and scientific transformation between 1500 and 1800, notably as authors and texts migrated from one place to another often in order to escape persecution. His works include the Longman Annotated English Poets edition of Andrew Marvell’s PoemsIs Milton Better than Shakespeare? Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-1660, and Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion, 1640-1660. He has also edited the Journal of George Fox, the Ranter pamphlets, and, with Nicholas McDowell, The Oxford Handbook of Milton Studies. A biography of Marvell will be published in 2010. He is a Senior Behrman Fellow at Princeton, has been the recipient of British Academy and NEH Research Awards, and was the British Academy Chatterton Lecturer for 1998. He has been active in radio and TV broadcasting in the UK and the US since 1989. In 2008, he was the co-organizer with Sara S. Poor of Mysticism, Reformation, and the Birth of Modernity” a conference sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion. Papers from this conference are now being prepared for a volume to be published by Notre Dame Press.