Graduate Faculty

Coiro, Ann

  • Portrait
  • Professor
  • Department: Department of English
  • Email:
  • Tel: : (848) 932-8082
  • Office: Murray Hall, Rm 104A


Ph.D., University of Maryland

B.A., George Washington University

Research Interests

Seventeenth-century literature, including the Restoration; Milton; court culture; seventeenth-century drama; early modern women writers.

Biographical Notes

Professor Coiro specializes in seventeenth-century literature and culture. She is currently completing a book on Milton and drama. Her recent and forthcoming publications include "Milton & Sons: The Family Business," in a special issue of Milton Studies 2008 devoted to Milton and historicism; "'A thousand fantasies: The Lady and the Masque," forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Milton (eds. Nigel Smith and Nicholas McDowell, 2009); "The Dramatic Contexts of Milton's Poetry," in Milton in Context (ed. Stephen Dobranski, 2009); and "Old, New, Now," the introduction to a volume of essays she co-edited with Thomas Fulton entitled, Rethinking Historicism: Essays in Early Modern Literature and Culture (forthcoming).

She is the author of Robert Herrick's "Hesperides" and the Epigram Book Tradition (1988) and editor of Ennobled Numbers for the Presse, a special issue of the George Herbert Journal devoted to Herrick (1992). Among her essays are: "Anonymous Milton, or, A Maske Masked" (ELH: English Literary History, 2004); "'A ball of strife': Caroline Poetry and Royal Marriage" (The Royal Image: Representations of Charles I, ed. Thomas N. Corns, 1999); "Fable and Old Song: Samson Agonistes and the Idea of a Poetic Career," (Milton Studies, 1998); "Writing in Service: Sexual Politics and Class Position in the Poetry of Aemelia Lanyer and Ben Jonson," (Criticism, 1993); "Milton and Class Identity: The Publication of Areopagitica and the 1645 Poems"(Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1992); and "'To repair the ruins of our first parents': Of Education and Fallen Adam," (SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1988).

She is the recipient of an American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship and a New Jersey Governor's Fellowship. She won the Milton Society of America's James Holly Hanford Award for her article "Fable and Old Song: Samson Agonistes and the Idea of a Poetic Career," and she has received Rutgers' Outstanding Graduate Teaching award and the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship, 2004-5

James Holly Hanford Award for “Fable and Old Song: Samson Agonistes and the Idea of a Poetic Career,”

Milton Society of America, 1998

Warren I. Sussman Award for Excellence in Teaching, Rutgers University, 1996

Outstanding Graduate Teacher, Rutgers University, 1995

Nominee, President’s Award for Distinguished Public Service, 1993

Board of Governors’ Research Grant, Rutgers University, 1990-1

Selected Publications


coiro_1988      coiro_2012







Robert Herrick's Hesperides and the Epigram Book Tradition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988. Robert Herrick’s Hesperides and the Epigram Book Tradition examines Herrick and Hesperides in a new context—that of the epigram book, a genre that invited a variety of interpretations during the Renaissance. The book provides a full appreciation of the work's complex unity and illuminates the structure and function of a long-neglected genre.

Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, Cambridge University Press, 2012. Reading literary texts in their historical contexts has been the dominant form of interpretation in literary criticism for the past thirty years. This collection of essays reflects on the origins of historicism and its present usefulness as a mode of literary analysis, its limitations and its future. The volume provides a brief history of the practice from its Renaissance origins, offering examples of historicist work that not only demonstrate the continuing vitality of this methodology but also suggest new directions for research. Focusing on the major figures of Shakespeare and Milton, these essays provide important and concise representations of trends in the field. Designed for scholars and students of early modern English literature (1500–1700), the volume will also be of interest to students of literature more generally and to historians.

Articles and Book Chapters:

"Reading," 21st Century Approaches to Early Modern Theatricality, ed. Henry S. Turner Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

"The Personal Rule of Poets: Cavalier Poetry and the English Revolution," Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution, ed. Laura L. Knoppers Oxford University Press (2012)

"Epigram," Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, ed. Roland Greene Princeton University Press (2012)

Drama in the Epic Style: Narrator, Muse, and Audience in Paradise Lost Milton Studies 51, ed. Laura L. Knoppers (2010)

"Poetic tradition, dramatic" Milton in Context, ed. Stephen Dobranski (2010)

"A Thousand Fantasies: The Lady and the Maske" The Oxford Handbook of Milton, ed. Nicholas McDowell and Nigel Smith (2009)

"Milton & Sons: The Family Business" Milton Studies 48 (2008)

"Anonymous Milton, or, A Maske Masked" ELH 71 (2004)

"A ball of strife': Caroline poetry and royal marriage" The Royal Image: Representations of Charles I, ed. Thomas Corns (1999)(2009)

"Fable and Old Song: Samson Agaonistes and the Idea of a Poetic Career" Milton Studies 36 (1998) Winner of James Holly Hanford Award, Milton Society of America

"Writing in Service: Sexual Politics and Class Position in the Poetry of Aemilia Lanyer and Ben Jonson"

Criticism 35 (1993)

Milton and class identity: The Publication of Areopagitica and the 1645 Poems" Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 22 (1992)

"'Ennobled numbers for the Presse': On the Edgers of the Seventeenth Century"

introductory essay, George Herbert Journal, Special Issue on Robert Herrick, edited by Anne Baynes Coiro, 14 (1992)

"'To repair the ruins of our first parents': Of Education and Fallen Adam"

SEL: Studies in English Literarature 28 (1988)

Courses Offered


Ben Jonson

Early Modern Women Writers


Milton and Margaret Cavendish

Milton and Ovid

Milton and Shakespeare


Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century Literature


Early Modern Women Writers

Milton and the Restoration

Seventeenth-century Drama

Seventeenth-century Literature

Sixteenth-century Literature


Milton and English Drama

Before the Revolution: British Culture 1620-1642

Professional Membership and Affiliation

  • Member, Modern Language Society of America
  • Member, Renaissance Society of America
  • Member, Milton Society of America
  • Member, Shakespeare Association of America
  • Member, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies