English faculty awarded best article of the year in Renaissance and Reformation journal

Grambling, La. – November 30, 2022 – Grambling State University Department of English faculty members Professor of English Hugh F. Wilson and Associate Professor James Clawson teamed to write an article, “De Doctrina Christiana and Milton’s Canonical Works: Revisiting the Authorship Question,” that was recently awarded the Natalie Zemon Davis Prize as the best article of the year in the journal Renaissance and Reformation for 2022 (Issue 44).


Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, bilingual quarterly. The journal publishes articles and book reviews on all aspects of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern world: literature, geography, history, religion, art, music, society, and economics. Articles on related periods of history are also considered. Issues published more than one year ago are openly accessible. The prize announcement characterized the duo’s work for “taking on an important piece of scholarly orthodoxy at the core of Milton studies, Clawson and Wilson argue for the removal of a key text from the Milton canon.”


“Because the assumption that Milton wrote this text is so deeply imbricated in the interpretation of his writings, its removal entails wide implications for the study and interpretation of his other works. The daring thesis is well supported, and the article is a model for how digital-humanities strategies like stylometry can be combined with more traditional philology to challenge an accepted consensus.”


Clawson said he and Wilson are both pleased and somewhat surprised with the recognition the article earned according to Renaissance and Reformation.


“It’s also something Grambling [State] should be proud of, since winning articles in the past decade have come from places like University of London, University of Tennessee, King’s College London, Pennsylvania State University, University of East Anglia, Seoul National University, George Washington University, and Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, (Italy),” Clawson said. “Clearly, Grambling holds its own.”


“This is also an opportune time to thank the university once more for the travel funding support we received in 2019, when we were presenting this very research to international audiences in Canada and France. The article I’m currently writing is the first article to be published from that project. If all goes well, Dr. Wilson will soon be able to share the good news about a second article from that project also making its way through the publishing gauntlet.”


Clawson, who received his B.A. from Denison University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, focuses his research on 20th-century literature, especially Lawrence Durrell, James Joyce, and contemporary Scottish authors, with further interest in the digital humanities.


Wilson, who received his B.A. from John Hopkins University; and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, is an associate member of the GSU’s graduate faculty and a Renaissance scholar specializing in the work of Shakespeare, Milton, and Donne. He has published articles on Shakespeare, Milton, Anne Southwell, Ben Jonson, and David Masson, the great Victorian Miltonist. He has also helped win two grants for summer institutes at GSU from the National Endowment for the Humanities.