Reimagining Andrew Marvell: The Poet at 400

The School of English at St Andrews is delighted to announce the eighth annual English Colloquium, ‘Reimagining Andrew Marvell: The Poet at 400’, scheduled for 6-8 May 2021 (rescheduled from May 2020 due to Covid-19), in coordination with the British Academy, the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Society for Renaissance Studies.

This conference takes its place in a distinguished tradition of anniversary celebrations of Andrew Marvell, the great poet and politician from Hull. In 1921, the tercentenary of Marvell’s birth, the Bishop of Durham presided over a special service in Hull in Marvell’s honour. That same year, T. S. Eliot published an appreciation in the TLS which permanently established Marvell’s reputation as a poet. Some sixty years later, in 1978, scholars gathered on a number of campuses to mark the tercentenary of Marvell’s death, an occasion which produced a trio of celebratory volumes. ‘Reimagining Andrew Marvell’, the first of the quatercentenary celebrations, promises to be the most prestigious gathering of Marvell scholars in a generation.

Contributors to this weekend colloquium represent some of Marvell’s leading editors, biographers, and critics of the last four decades, as well as new and emerging voices within the field of early modern studies. Over three days, these invited speakers will be reflecting on a hundred years of Marvell scholarship and, at the same time, looking forward to its next century. Since the ‘historical turn’ of the 1970s and 80s, politics have become the privileged paradigm of new research on Marvell. But what comes ‘after’ politics? The answer may be ‘more politics’ – but politics newly conceived, newly configured according to time, place, language, the body, the soul, or according to integers which are just now being imagined. However, fresh approaches are also being discovered in a return to form, to poetry and poetics, to the life of writing and the life in writing. Papers will cover the whole of Marvell’s career, in verse and prose, but the emphasis falls upon Marvell’s poetry, reaffirming – and reopening inquiry into – those aesthetic qualities which have over the last hundred years assured Marvell’s recognition as the second most important seventeenth-century poet after John Milton, and indeed, as a poet in certain respects without match.

OrganisersMatthew Augustine and Giulio Pertile are Senior Lecturer and Lecturer, respectively, in the School of English at the University of St Andrews.

Invited speakersMartin Dzelzainis (University of Leicester); James Loxley (University of Edinburgh); Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute); Nicholas McDowell (University of Exeter); Victoria Moul (University College London); David Norbrook (University of Oxford); Tessie Prakas (Scripps College); Joanna Picciotto (University of California, Berkeley); Diane Purkiss (University of Oxford); Nigel Smith (Princeton University); David Carroll Simon (University of Maryland); Noël Sugimura (University of Oxford); Gordon Teskey (Harvard University); Esther van Raamsdonk (Queen Mary University of London); Nicholas von Maltzahn (University of Ottawa); and Steven N. Zwicker (Washington University, St Louis).

Schedule: Thursday through Saturday, 6 – 8 May 2021, presented via Microsoft Teams

Full Programme: