Note from the President

Welcome to the Andrew Marvell Society!

We have started 2022-23 by reuniting with old friends, and welcoming new, as we contemplate ways the society can serve students, scholars, and anyone interested in Marvell, during a time of massive institutional changes.

We were disappointed that the SCRC needed to shift to an online format again this year, but very grateful to our hosts at the University of Alabama for an engaging and nearly seamless experience. Joshua Phillips, from the University of Memphis, gave our keynote on “Meeting Houses: Space and Monasticism in Early Modern England.” Though he initially demurred from talking about “Appleton House,” we forced the issue, and it was a great conversation!

Dr. Jennifer Chibnal gave us a fantastic, thought-provoking, introduction to our round table on “Music’s Empire,” which lead to some of the most exciting and illuminating close reading I’ve encountered in a long time.

In our hosted panel on “The Material World,” Brendan Prawdzik gave a shape-shifting talk on “Doubting Thomas: The Materialisms of Browne’s Garden of Cyrus and Traherne’s Centuries of Meditations.” And Professor Hyunyoung Cho surprised and utterly convinced me that we’ve been missing a really great reading of the “ball” of “sweetness” in “To His Coy Mistress” (but I’m not going to give you a spoiler, because I suspect she’ll be publishing some version of “Birds and Bugs in ‘To His Coy Mistress’: Reimagining Egyptian Solar Mythology in the Age of Bacon” soon!).

Speaking of, we elected Professor Cho to serve on the AMS Executive Committee, along with Dr. Tessie Prakas and Professor Christopher D’Addario, who will replace me as incoming Vice President as I shift into the role of President.  Anita Sherman will take over as Secretary from Katie Kadue, who will continue to fill in with Tweets as Andrew Marvell. Our thanks also to Giulio Pertile and Madeline Lesser, who are rotating off of EC.

And of course our supreme thanks to Joanna Picciotto, who is moving from President to Past President after guiding us through two years of disrupted but never disappointing programming. She’s now doing the heroic work of hosting the SCRC Conference in Berkeley next spring (more on that below).

Thanks also to outgoing past president Matthew Augustine; I suspect the “past is never really past” for him, as long as our website continues to be hosted by St. Andrews. Here, you’ll soon be able to find the minutes from our recent meeting, where we continued to discuss the future of the society, our relationship to SCRC, and some ways we might respond to a changing profession by maintaining a lively, if sometimes virtual, intellectual community.

Speaking of which, we were very pleased to gather with the Spenser Society for a joint “Spenser and Marvell @ Random” event via Zoom on April 13. Throughout the pandemic, the Spenser Society has been holding “Spenser@Random” Zoom sessions in which they spin a “Wheel of Fortune” to select a random stanza to discuss. For this event, we selected a random stanza from the Faerie Queene and one from Appleton House to discuss the ways they spoke to one another (or didn’t). The conversation was excellent, and we had so much fun that we all agreed we should do it again – as well as hosting our own Marvell @ Random events in the future. Stay tuned for something in late summer/early fall, which will serve as a nice appetizer for SCRC and our annual meeting.

Speaking of: please mark your calendars for April 27-29, 2023. That’s the likely date for SCRC next year in sunny Berkeley, CA, where we plan at long last to gather in the flesh and hoist a glass (or a cup? I could really do with some Peet’s) to the past and future of our small but mighty society!

 

Blaine Greteman

President, Andrew Marvell Society

May 2022