‘Samson Agonistes’ and the Sabbath

Clausen-Brown receives distinguished award from Milton Society of America

Karen Clausen-Brown, Walla Walla University associate professor of English, has been selected to receive the James Holly Hanford Article Award from the Milton Society of America for her article “‘Not in their idol-worship, but by labor’: The Sabbath and the Book of Isaiah in Samson Agonistes.”   

The James Holly Hanford Article Award recognizes a published article or multiauthor collection of essays on the subject of the 17th-century poet, John Milton. The award is the highest honor presented by the society for an article. Previous recipients include distinguished Milton scholars from across the country from the past 50 years.

Clausen-Brown’s article examines how Milton’s drama Samson Agonistes responds to debates about Sabbath-keeping in early modern England. She argues that Milton draws his understanding of the Sabbath chiefly from the final chapters of Isaiah and therefore that his drama depicts the Sabbath as a day to liberate the oppressed.

Clausen-Brown has a bachelor’s degree from WWU with majors in English, religion, and biblical languages, a master of arts degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctor of philosophy degree in English from the University of Notre Dame. Her areas of teaching focus in the English department at WWU include biblical, medieval, and Renaissance literature. She also teaches courses for the Honors Program.

Clausen-Brown was scheduled to receive the award from the Milton Society at an event dinner this spring, which has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Visit wallawalla.edu/English to learn more about studying English at WWU, degrees offered, and international study tour options through the Department of English.

Posted May 12, 2020

Clausen-Brown’s article examines debates about Sabbath-keeping in early modern England.