Michael Milburn, PhD

English and English Education Program Chair


Michael Milburn earned his PhD in English at Baylor University and his BA in English from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He wrote his dissertation on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's theory of fantasy. His scholarly interests include romanticism, British literature, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, religion and literature, aesthetics, and literary theory.

His course on theory presents the study of literature as an intellectual tradition going all the way back to Plato and takes such concepts as beauty and sublimity as worthy objects of rational inquiry. A course on British literature through the 18th century explores the formation of the modern subject in keeping with John Henry Newman's view of literature as the autobiography of man. A Shakespeare course focuses on comedy and tragedy: their significance for his work and our lives. And finally, Milburn's Tolkien course centers on the author's Catholic romanticism as the key to understanding his tremendous literary achievement.

About the Program

The English and English Education programs introduce students to the great texts of the Western tradition as an encounter with the good, the true, and the beautiful. Students examine literary form in light of related fields such as theology, philosophy, and history. They also develop the thinking and communication skills employers are looking for in college graduates. The English Education program further prepares students to become effective teachers of middle and high school English, meeting the eligibility requirements for North Dakota state licensure, grades five through twelve.

Coleridge on Spenser: Imaginative Fancy in The Faerie Queene. Explorations in Renaissance Culture. 2013; 39:2.

Art according to Romantic Theology: Charles Williams' Analysis of Dante Reapplied to J.R.R. Tolkien's "Leaf by Niggle." Mythlore. 2011; 29:3-4.

Coleridge's Definition of Imagination and Tolkien's Definition(s) of Faery. Tolkien Studies. 2010:7.

Tolkien on Truth with a Capital "T." C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society Conference. 2010.