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Seth Swanner

Visiting Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Northwestern University


Seth Swanner (Ph.D. Northwestern University) specializes in early modern English literature, environmental criticism, seventeenth-century theories of governance, and book history. His recent work includes a forthcoming article analyzing the shifts in formal posture across several editions of George Herbert's The Temple (Studies in Philology, 2018). As an instructor at Northwestern in 2016, he received the student-nominated Graduate Teaching Excellence Award. He has taught courses on an array of topics, including Shakespearean adaptation, the environments of horror literature, and the politics of form.

His current book project, "Quartering the Wind: Early Modern Nature at the Fringe of Politics," explores the seditious political values that undermined seventeenth-century arguments for what was "natural" in human governance. By analyzing literary treatments of early modern ruptures in the “natural” order of things—including the Gunpowder Plot, the 1625 plague, and the English Civil War—he discovers political visions of the natural world that seemed to legitimize subversive political categories like treason, tyranny, and rebellion. 

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