Ed Duffy


Associate Professor - Emeritus

The poetry of the English romantic poets, in particular Shelley and Wordsworth, has been my central professional concern.  The study of these poets has led me both backward and forward in time, backward through the centuries-long, polyglot tradition of Western poetry that they come out of and profoundly alter, and forward in time to such diverse continuers of their way with words as Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, and Adrienne Rich. As suggested by its title, my Rousseau in England: the Context for Shelley’s Critique of the Enlightenment (1979) closes with a picture of Shelley’s poetry as the enactment of a way of thinking that was even then, in 1822, being repressed and marginalized by the dominant intellectual and epistemological assumptions of modern Western culture.  Such philosophical preoccupations have led me to a cross-disciplinary engagement with the “ordinary language” philosophy practised in various ways by John Austin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Stanley Cavell.  This lateral move into philosophy has eventuated into two recent books: The Constitution of Shelley’s Poetry: The Argument of Language in Prometheus Unbound (Anthem Press, 2009) and Secular Mysteries: Stanley Cavell and English Romanticism (Bloomsbury, 2013). 

Selected Publications



English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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