By Anand Venigalla
The Pioneer interviewed Edmund Miller, senior professor of English, on his interests in literature as well as his current projects. Miller was a student at Post from 1961-65. He has taught at LIU Post since 1981, and he was the Department chairman for eighteen years (1993-2011). In addition, he was the Features editor of The Pioneer in 1963. He was also also managing editor of Opticon and editor of the literary magazine, then called The Little Review. This semester, Professor Miller is teaching freshman Honors English, the first half of the British Literature Survey and the the first half of the World Literature Survey.
The Pioneer: When did you discover your love of English literature?
Edmund Miller: I probably discovered my abiding love of literature in high school. I was a great reader even as a child, but I had one very good teacher in high school who allowed me to see reading as a calling, a kind of life’s word. As early as eleventh grade at least, I knew I wanted to major in English when I got to college. I didn’t have any particular career goal in mind. In those days one just went to college and followed the siren call of an academic discipline. Most students don’t realize this, it is still true of most professions today: doing well in a major you like for its sake prepares you better than seconding guessing the job.
TP: Is there any issue or area of interest that you’re currently exploring and doing work in?
EM: I have a wide range of interests. The year before last, I published an article on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a medieval poem. This past year, I published two creative books: a poetry book called The Screwdriver’s Apprentice and the creenplay Dueling Lady that won publication in a contest [the Dizzy Emu contest]. I also have some long-range scholarly book projects in the works, one about Shakespeare’s late plays and the other about English nonsense writers.
TP: Where are you from? Where did you study as for higher education?
EM: I grew up on Long Island. The high school I mentioned was Hauppauge. I went to LIU Post as an undergraduate and earned a BA summa cum laude in English, of course. I have an MA from Ohio State University and a PhD from Stony Brook University. Drudgerie Divine: The Rhetoric of God and Man in George Herbert is an expanded version of my doctoral dissertation.