Promise Li

B.A., Occidental College, 2017

Promise joined the Department of English in 2018. His work lies broadly in the field of early modern British literature, with a focus on poetry and Reformation writing. His research takes sixteen and seventeenth-century British poems as sites of political thinking. His project seeks to reframe the prehistory of liberalism in the history of political thought by looking not at traditional political treatises, but psalm translations, print verse, and other occasional manuscript lyrics. Poetry reveals the fundamental contradictions of early modern liberalism, surrounding political subjecthood, rights discourse, and imperialism, as a shared set of formal and philosophical problems developed by writers that cut across different confessional and political milieus, like Mary Sidney Herbert, John Milton, and Katherine Philips. Other research interests include the philosophy of Spinoza, the poetry of Edmund Spenser, Reformation theology, historical poetics, prosody, Marxism, and early modern political philosophy.