Studying a legendary poet’s impact on national identity has earned Elizabeth Sauer a place as one of nine distinguished scholars across Canada.
Sauer, a professor in the Department of English, is only the second Brock professor to receive the Killam Fellowship, an award that comes with two years of funding to focus exclusively on one’s area of research.
Her works focus on the writings of John Milton, the famous early modern poet and polemicist, who composed one of the most celebrated works in the English literary canon, Paradise Lost.
“I feel deeply honoured by the award, which I view as validation of my research and as testimony of the importance accorded at the national level to scholarship at Brock, particularly in the humanities,” Sauer said.
Her research aims to demonstrate the value of literary and cultural evidence for investigations into issues of toleration and nationalism, as seen in Milton’s works and in writings produced in an era when liberty became a distinguishing factor of national identity.
Sauer’s case studies of Milton’s works will include explorations of historical representations of the Irish, the Spanish, Amerindians, Jews, European Catholics, and dissenters in England and the New World, while highlighting such themes as exceptionalism (national election); exclusionism (foreign relations, anti-Catholicism); disestablishment (divorce of temporal and spiritual authority); the Only Parallel (Old Israel/England/New England); and mixed marriages (cultural and racial difference, coexistence).
“We are enormously proud to see Dr. Sauer receive Brock’s second Killam Research award,” said Rosemary Hale, dean, Faculty of Humanities.
“She epitomizes everything the Killam Research Award is about – world-class scholarship and a generosity of spirit.”
“The fellowship to Dr. Sauer demonstrates the excellent world-class research activities conducted at Brock University which is not only recognized in Canada, but the world,” noted Liette Vasseur, vice-president, Research.
“Her work reflects the need for deeper thoughts on various cultural issues that are currently being debated in the world.”
Killam Research Fellowships enable Canada’s best scientists and scholars to devote two years to full-time research.
Elizabeth Sauer's research