Jay David Miller
PhD, English, University of Notre Dame (May 2020)
Jay David Miller is a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame. His broad field of research includes the literatures of colonial North America, the early American republic, and the antebellum United States, and he is committed to recovering and historicizing texts that contribute to the revision of received literary histories. His current book project, Quaker Jeremiad, is a study of a neglected genre of agrarian writing used by Quakers from the English Civil Wars through the aftermath of the American Revolution. Unlike the Jeffersonian agrarianism that became central to the ideology of the new American nation, Quaker literary agrarianism developed a critical appraisal of the interconnected forms of exploitation that characterized transatlantic agrarian capitalism, including indentured servitude, African enslavement, and Indigenous displacement. Drawing on pamphlets, promotional writing, journals, diaries, natural history, and novels, his project recovers the literary history Quaker jeremiad, revealing its broader influence on American literature and performing a rapprochement between agrarianism and environmental justice. Archival research for this project has been supported with grants from the Center for American Literary Studies and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. In January 2020 Miller was the Junior Scholar of the Month for the Society of Early Americanists.
“‘Friend Thou Art Often in My Remembrance’: A New Letter by Elizabeth Ashbridge,” Early American Literature 54.2 (2019), 511-527.
“‘Nature Hath a Voice’: John Woolman’s Wilderness Habitus,” Religion and Literature 45.2 (Summer 2013), 27-54.