By Martin Dzelzainis
My first act as incoming president must be to issue a vote of thanks to my predecessor, Timothy Raylor, for his many achievements while in office. He bowed out at the South Central Renaissance Conference at Tucson, where there were no fewer than six panels and a plenary under the auspices of the Society. He thus leaves it in a conspicuously flourishing condition for the seven-year run-up to the quatercentenary in 2021. It no doubt seems a long time, but time, we are reminded, can be “foreshortened.” We shall certainly be very busy.
Next year will see the Society participating in two major conferences on either side of the Atlantic: the SCRC in Raleigh, North Carolina (12-14 March) and the Renaissance Society of America in Berlin (26-28 March). Although there has been no call for papers yet for Raleigh, we already know that the poem singled out for discussion by Marvellians will be Daphnis and Chloe. As for Berlin, we anticipate that there will be a panel on “Elegies and Epitaphs” featuring Diana Trevino Benet, Greg Chaplin, Martin Dzelzainis, and Alex Garganigo, chaired by Blaine Greteman, and a roundtable on Restoration Marvell with Diana Trevino Benet, Martin Dzelzainis, Alex Garganigo, Edward Holberton and Nigel Smith taking part, chaired by Greg Chaplin.
The logistics will be no less strained in 2016, even though both the SCRC and RSA will be in the US (the latter meeting in Boston, 31 March-2 April). This is because the Society was pleased to accept a very generous invitation from Laurent Curelly (Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse) and Jean-Jacques Chardin (Université de Strasbourg) to host a conference on Marvell and Europe in late June. Anyone fortunate enough to have attended the memorable conference at Rheims in 2005, organized by Gilles Sambras, will know that such opportunities are to be seized if at all possible. And, besides, the Alsace was surely known to Marvell. It is true that there is much more about the Rhone than the Rhine in The Rehearsal Transpros’d, but it is also the case that in 1672 he was following closely the careers of those prominent supporters of Louis XIV, the Bishops of Cologne and Strasbourg. It’s hard work keeping up with the most travelled English poet of the seventeenth century, but someone’s go to do it!
University of Leicester