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Sarah van der Laan

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Sarah is assistant professor of comparative literature at Indiana University. Her current book project, The Choice of Odysseus: Homer's Odyssey in the Renaissance Imagination, explores the cultural significance of the Odyssey at specific moments in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe and its creative reception in English and Italian Renaissance epic, romance, and opera. Articles in print and in progress examine Milton's engagement with contemporary practices of reading the Odyssey in Paradise Lost and Comus, the Italian epic poet Torquato Tasso's allusions to the Iliad in his Gerusalemme liberata, and the religious context and theological implications of Spenser's revisions of Tasso in Book II of The Faerie Queene. Teaching and research interests include various topics in classical and Renaissance epic and romance, the relationship of literature and music in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, and tyrannicide and resistance theory in early modern literature. Sarah received a BA in Renaissance Studies and a PhD in Renaissance Studies and English from Yale and MA degrees in Renaissance Studies and in Intellectual and Cultural History from Queen Mary, and was Visiting Scholar at CELL in 2007.