Jay David Miller
Areas of Interest
Early American Literature, History, and Culture; Literature and the Environment; Book History and Print Culture; Religion and Theology; the Atlantic World
MA, English, The Pennsylvania State University (2015)
BA, English and Politics, George Fox University (2011)
Jay David Miller's work focuses on how colonial American literature configures the relationship between theology, land, and economy. He is particularly interested in how Quaker writers render this relationship, and how their writings develop and change from the English Revolution to the American Revolution. By employing a capacious understanding of Quaker literary history that includes writers such as William Penn, Jonathan Dickinson, Elizabeth Ashbridge, Anthony Benezet, Elizabeth Drinker, William Bartram, and Charles Brockden Brown, and by situating these writers within larger literary and historical contexts, his project tracks a variety of Quaker theological visions of the environment as they respond to the problems of empire and commerce in the Atlantic world. His related article on John Woolman's idea of wilderness has been published in the journal Religion and Literature.
In the summer of 2014 Miller conducted archival research at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, supported by a grant from the Center for American Literary Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. As a part of his developing interest in German language literature in North America, during the summer of 2016 he studied German at the Goethe Institut in Mannheim, Germany, supported by a grant from the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves as the editorial assistant Early American Literature, the official journal for the Society of Early Americanists and the Modern Language Association’s Forum on Early American Literature.
Recent Scholarly Activity:
"'[A]nswerable to the design of our creation': John Woolman’s Agrarian Vision," 10th Biennial Conference of the Society of Early Americanists, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, March 1-4, 2017.
"Jamaica, Jonathan Dickinson, and the Quaker Atlantic World in the Late Seventeenth Century," The Colonial Caribbean in Context, Symposium Hosted by the University of Notre Dame History Department, South Bend, IN, February 7-8, 2016.
"God’s Protecting Providence in Print: Jonathan Dickinson’s Captivity Narrative in the Quaker Atlantic World," Bustle and Stir: Movement and Exchange in Early America An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, Philadelphia, PA, October 8-10, 2015.