Jonathan Koch

Graduate Student, Literature

My work addresses the ways in which literature shapes and is shaped by theology and politics, most especially the theology and politics of early-modern religious toleration. In my dissertation, “The Poetics of Religious Toleration in Revolutionary England,” I examine the voices and formal character of religious toleration in seventeenth-century England, aiming to discern and understand what religious toleration meant and how it felt. To do so, I draw on poetry and theater, satire and polemic, sermons and essays and argue that the movements of authors and readers between and among confessional positions and voices—between and among the spiritual styles and characters that they produce, inhabit, and ventriloquize—create and sustain the experience and practice of begrudging forbearance—the very center of toleration and its aesthetic.

Publications

  • “‘No empty place for complementing Doubt’: The Spaces of Religious Toleration in Andrew Marvell’s ‘Flecknoe’,” Review of English Studies (forthcoming).

  • “‘The Phanaticks Tyring-Room’: Dryden and the Poetics of Toleration,” Studies in Philology 116, no. 3 (2019): 539-66.

  • Review of Eva Griffith’s A Jacobean Company and its Playhouse: The Queen’s Servants at the Red Bull Theatre (c. 1605-1619) in Shakespeare Newsletter 66, no. 1 (2016): 24-25. 

Conferences

  •  “When a Nazarite Marries a Philistine: Mixed Union in Milton’s Samson Agonistes,” International Milton Symposium, Strasbourg, France, June 2019.

  • “‘No Empty Place for Complementing Doubt’: The Spaces of Religious Toleration in Marvell’s Anticlerical Satire,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, March 2019.

  • “‘The Phanaticks Tyring-Room’: Dryden and the Poetics of Toleration,” English Graduate Student Colloquium, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, November 2018.

  • “Anti-Arminian Pamphlets on the Eve of the English Civil War,” English Graduate Student Conference, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, April 2016.

Awards & Fellowships

  • Washington University Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, August 2014 – present.

  • Mellon Vertical Seminar, “The History of Ideas,” Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Fall 2019.

  • Mellon Dissertation Seminar, “The Problem of Ideas in Early Modern Literary Culture,” Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Summer 2019.

  • Mellon Dissertation Seminar, “What is a Problem in Early Modern Studies?”, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Summer 2017.

  • First Place, Cornelison English Award for Best Essay in Literary Criticism Written for Course Work, English Department, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, May 2016.

  • First Place, Charles E. Lloyd Award for Best Non-Fiction Essay, English Department, Davidson College, Spring 2011.

  • Abernethy Award for Independent Summer Research, Davidson College, Summer 2010.

Teaching

  • Instructor, “The Material Culture of Books in a Digital Age” (English Literature 5950: Seminar in Special Topics), University of Missouri–St. Louis, MO, Fall 2019. 

  • Teaching Assistant, “Literature and the Literary Lives of Seventeenth-Century England” (English Literature 3524), Course Instructor: Steven N. Zwicker, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Spring 2018.

  • Instructor, “What is Justice?” (Writing 103: First-Year Composition), Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Fall 2017.

  • Instructor, “What is Justice?” (Writing 103: First-Year Composition), Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Spring 2017.

  • Instructor, “What is Justice?” (Writing 103: First-Year Composition), Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Fall 2016.

Research

  • Research Assistant, Twenty-First Century Oxford Authors: John Dryden, Oxford University Press, edited by Steven N. Zwicker, Washington University in St. Louis, August 2016 – December 2018.

  • Participant, Paleography Skills Course, Folger Institute, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C., December 2018.

  • Participant, A Folger Orientation to Research Methods and Agendas, Folger Institute, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C., May 2018.

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