This Newsletter was published on Sunday 4 August 2013

Report from the Executive Secretary

By Joan Faust and Emma Annette Wilson

Read Report from the Executive Secretary by Joan Faust and Emma Annette Wilson

The Marvell Society at SCRC 2013

Moving from the balmy breezes of New Orleans in 2012 to the frigid flurries of Omaha, Nebraska, in 2013, the Andrew Marvell Society enjoyed a prominent place at the 2013 South-Central Renaissance Conference held 21-23 March. The Society sponsored fifteen papers in five sessions: “Restoration Marvell,” “Marvell among the Satirists,” “Elegy and Endings,” “Rehearsal Transpros’d: Managing Decorum within Networks,” and a session on “Marvell’s Bermudas.” The sessions, as always, were lively and well attended.

An especially memorable session was provided by our own Nicholas von Maltzahn who presented the Louis Martz Lecture, “Andrew Marvell’s Paperwork: The Secretary-Poet,” to a packed house, tracing the manuscript evidence of Marvell’s political career in relation to his work as a newsman for the Hull Corporation and as a poet. To celebrate, members of the Marvell Society and friends journeyed through the snow to share dinner at a local Italian restaurant. What was missed in Sazeracs was gained in good Chianti.

Another highlight of the conference was the awarding of the first annual John M. Wallace award to Matthew Augustine, Lecturer in Seventeenth-Century English Literature at the University of St. Andrews, for his paper, “‘A Mastery in Fooling’: Marvell and the Scriblerians.” The Wallace Award honors the best paper on Andrew Marvell by an early career scholar presented at the conference and recognizes the signal contribution to Marvell studies of John M. Wallace (1928-93), Professor of English at the University of Chicago and author of the ground-breaking interdisciplinary work, Destiny his Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell (1968). Matthew received his award from Sean Benson, President of the SCRC, at the closing luncheon of the 2013 conference. We congratulate Matthew on this honor.

We also encourage other graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty below the rank of associate professor (US, Canada) or equivalent (i.e. within the first five years of a permanent teaching appointment) to apply for the 2014 award. Applicants should submit full papers to the Executive Secretary of the Andrew Marvell Society by 1 March 2014. Applicants should be ready to read their papers at SCRC 2014 in Tucson, Arizona, where the award will be presented by the President of SCRC at the closing luncheon.

Marvell at RSA 2013

This year some Marvellians were lucky enough to hear one another’s new work twice in a fortnight, as the Society hosted two panels at the Renaissance Society of America conference in San Diego in April 2013.

The first panel, on “Maritime Marvell,” led seamlessly on from Nicholas von Maltzahn’s SCRC plenary, as Edward Holberton began proceedings by discussing The Last Instructions in the context of the conflicting interests and capabilities (or lack thereof) of England’s maritime institutions, the ambitions of the court, and more locally Hull as a maritime community in the 1660s. Nigel Smith likewise examined Marvell’s Restoration verse satires, this time reconsidering these from the fresh perspective of Dutch broadsheets and other popular publications to make a case for the interaction of Dutch and English writing in this period.

The second panel, on “Marvell and Education,” saw three speakers offering a triadic reconsideration of Marvell’s most famous lyric, To His Coy Mistress, via three different influences from his formative years. Emma Annette Wilson commenced by demonstrating that the early modern logical strategies used by Andrew Marvell senior in his manuscript sermons calling the denizens of Hull to religious action are the same as those deployed for a very different type of carpe diem in Marvell junior’s bedroom lyric. This was followed by Russell McConnell arguing that Marvell simultaneously used the modal tactics from his school-time training in grammar to create the play of desire and obligation within the poem. Finally, Robert Dulgarian turned to Marvell’s university years to discuss his engagement with early modern metaphysics to refashion a commonplace from the Book of Judges originally used by John Hall in “To His Tutor, Master Pawson, An Ode,” all via the reading of the same figure on Lyle’s golden syrup.

All in all at the RSA, “out of the strong came forth sweetness.”

The Upcoming Year for Marvellians: Our Plenary and CFP

Our next major gathering will be the 2014 South-Central Renaissance Conference in Tucson, Arizona, 3-5 April 2014. There we are delighted to be hosting Professor Edward Jones of Oklahoma State University who will present on the State Papers of Marvell and Milton.

The Call for Papers is already active, and we look forward to hearing a plethora of new Marvellian discussions in Tucson. Sponsored by the University of Arizona, the conference will be held at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa. Information about the hotel can be accessed here. The Andrew Marvell Society will be hosting sessions on a variety of topics concerning Marvell’s poetry and prose. Proposals for papers or for sessions are now invited.

Proposals are especially welcomed on the following topics:

– Marvell and Modern Poetry
– Marvell and Translation
– Explorations of Eyes and Tears

Full details about the conference are posted on the SCRC website.

Abstracts only (400-500 words; a shorter 100-word abstract for inclusion in the program), for papers of no more than twenty minutes reading time, should be submitted online no later than 15 December 2013 via the SCRC website’s abstract submission form.

Sessions should be proposed no later than 15 December 2013.

Hope to see you all in Tucson.

Southeastern Louisiana University (JF)
University of Western Ontario (EAW)