Discoveries


Online Publication of the South-Central Renaissance Conference

George Klawitter Honored at Annual Marvell Meeting

Posted on June 4, 2012

By Joan Faust

At the Andrew Marvell Society Business Meeting on the morning of the final day of the 2012 South-Central Renaissance Conference, March 10, 2012, a roomful of grateful Marvellians honored one of the founding fathers of the Marvell Society and the backbone of the Society for almost a decade. George Klawitter, Professor of English at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, will retire from St. Edward’s at the end of this semester and relocate to Notre Dame this summer; more significantly for the Marvell Society, he will relinquish the editorship of The Marvell Newsletter and the Marvell Society Website he has shepherded for as long as most members of the organization can remember. It is only fitting we learn more about this warm, witty, energetic, and productive colleague.

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Exploring the Renaissance 2012: New Orleans

Posted on March 13, 2012

The 2012 meeting of the South-Central Renaissance Conference took place March 8-10 at the Hotel Monteleone, which (conference-goers were told) is the largest privately owned hotel in the country. Its history can be read on the hotel’s website. By virtually any measure, the conference was a huge success, and it is always a treat to return to New Orleans.

Special thanks are due to our local arrangements person, Catherine Loomis of the University of New Orleans. Debra Barrett-Graves (Cal State U, East Bay) assembled a very satisfying program. And our three keynote speakers—Sabine Mödersheim (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Claire Jowitt (Nottingham Trent University), and Sharon O’Dair (University of Alabama)—did not disappoint.

Program details are posted here; do consider joining us next year when we meet in Omaha, Nebraska (details forthcoming).

Photo details: The picture of the Hotel Monteleone is a multi-row panorama created from 20 separate images (5 across, 4 high), shot with a 50mm lens. The components were shot at various exposures: the top area was brightest, and so received the shortest exposure. The bottom area was exposed one stop brighter than the top (i.e., twice as much light). And a 21st image of the area under the awning was exposed one stop brighter than its surrounding images (i.e., receiving four times as much light as the top level). Stitched using PTGui and 21st image layered in by hand in Photoshop CS5. (Photo by Arlen Nydam)


Review: Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance, edited by Scott L. Newstok and Ayanna Thompson

Posted on March 5, 2012

Scott L. Newstok and Ayanna Thompson, eds. Weyward Macbeth:  Intersections of Race and Performance.  New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.  xvii + 288.

Reviewed by Kate Pogue
Independent Scholar/Freelance Director, Houston TX

In this year of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the connections between American nineteenth-century history, the Civil War, and Macbeth should inspire English departments across academia to offer classes using this book as a primary text. Its essays, co-edited by Scott Newstok and Ayanna Thompson,  are revelatory concerning this important era; however, they are not limited to history. A number of the contributors address such modern issues as color-blind casting (Amy Scott-Douglass, “Shades of Shakespeare…”) and the relationship of Macbeth to playwrights such as Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, and Suzan-Lori Parks (Philip C. Kolin, “Black Up Again”).

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Queen Elizabeth I calendar available

Posted on October 3, 2011

Aficionados of Queen Elizabeth I may be interested in this commemorative calendar. From the makers’ website:

Calendar to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012:

Blanche Parry and Queen Elizabeth I

This limited edition souvenir calendar, with superbly beautiful photographs, cannot be repeated. It is produced through the generosity of the owners of the pictures who include H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. [. . .] This calendar is recommended and is selling fast as a collector’s edition.

For more information visit the Blanche Parry website; purchase from Amazon.co.uk.


In Memoriam: Kate Gartner Frost

Posted on September 22, 2011

SCRC mourns the loss of longtime friend and colleague Kate Frost. The following obituaries appeared first in the Austin American-Statesman (21 September 2010) and the second in the John Donne Journal vol. 29 (2010), respectively. (Reprinted with permission.)



Kate Gartner Frost, professor emerita of English at the University of Texas at Austin, died on Sunday, July 25th, 2010, in Austin, after a long battle with cancer. A scholar of the English and European Renaissance and past president of the John Donne Society, Kate came to UT in 1974, where she taught until her retirement two years ago. Continue reading →


Review: Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon, by Nigel Smith

Posted on September 18, 2011

Nigel Smith. Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon.  Pittsburgh:  Yale University Press, 2010.  xiv + 400.

Reviewed by Alan J. Altimont
Saint Edward’s University, Austin TX

To Londoners watching the funeral cortège of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) may well have seemed the least interesting of the three bureaucrat-poets following in its wake—the brilliant John Milton and the well-connected John Dryden being the other two. English literary history has perpetuated something of the same perception, wedging the achievements of Marvell between the Age of Milton and the Age of Dryden, like a crofter’s cottage between a cathedral and a town mansion. Because Marvell’s life and work are harder to pin down, though, they have become all the more intriguing, all the more susceptible now to our shifting interpretations. Continue reading →


Review: Music and Culture in Late Renaissance Italy, edited by Iain Fenlon

Posted on September 15, 2011

Discoveries 22.1 (2005). 14 May 2005

Reviewed by Susan Treacy

Iain Fenlon has gathered under one cover ten essays, eight of which have previously been published in other collections.  Now revised and updated, these essays as complementary chapters in a book present a fascinating portrait of post-Tridentine Italian culture and the intertwining of statecraft, ceremony, devotion, and music.  To make the book more accessible to a wider audience, Fenlon has eliminated passages deemed musically too technical.  The unifying points for such a collection of essays are two—that music was used by sixteenth-century power brokers to accomplish their various agendas, and secondly, that contrary to commonly-held views, late Renaissance Italy was not a period of decay but in fact responded with vitality and originality to the challenges of the Catholic Reformation.

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Of Devotion and Dissent: An Collins’s Divine Songs and Meditacions (1653)

Posted on September 15, 2011

Discoveries 22.1 (2005). 14 May 2005

By W. Scott Howard

For this inaugural, digital issue of Discoveries in Renaissance Culture, I thought it may be fitting to offer an essay about one of the small discoveries in Renaissance literary studies I was lucky enough to stumble across during my graduate training at the University of Washington: the poetry of An Collins, a mid-seventeenth century English devotional and political writer. This essay has a four-fold purpose: first of all, to deliver a brief and true relation about my so-called discovery of An Collins; secondly, to introduce a digital readership to her writing that still remains largely unknown; thirdly, to trace the reception history of Collins’s work from 1815 to 2005; and fourthly, to articulate a political analysis of her poetry that reflects upon the contingent synergy between research methods, pedagogy, scholarly interpretation, and critical debate.

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A Note on Yeats, Harold Bloom, and Hamlet’s ‘Heart’s Core’ (3.2.68)

Posted on September 15, 2011

Discoveries 22.1 (2005). 14 May 2005

By James S. Baumlin

In a letter of 30 November 1922, William Butler Yeats recalls “walking through Fleet Street very homesick”:

I heard a little tinkle of water and saw a fountain in a shop-window which balanced a little ball upon its jet, and began to remember lake water. From the sudden remembrance came my poem Innisfree my first lyric with anything in its rhythm of my own music. (qtd in Jeffares 30)

While Yeatsian in its music, evidently the poem’s famous ending — “I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; / While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray, / I hear it in the deep heart’s core” (10-12) — recalls more than “lake water lapping.” A reflection of Yeats’s literary memory, the phrase “heart’s core” offers, as A. Norman Jeffares suggests, “perhaps an echo of Shelley’s Adonais” (31), specifically its stanza 22: Continue reading →


Shakespeare’s Feminized Friar

Posted on September 15, 2011

Discoveries 22.1 (2005). 14 May 2005

By Constantina Michalos

Other than actual clergymen who, by necessity, populate his history plays, William Shakespeare makes little use of this character type. Friar Laurence is, perhaps, his most famous fictional cleric. The Prioress appears as a maternal deus ex machina to resolve the confusions of A Comedy of Errors and reconstitute her family. Disguised as a friar and, thus, paradoxically relatively invisible yet powerful, the duke of Vienna retreats to the margins of society to observe his overzealous deputy in Measure for Measure and returns to effect an uneasy resolution at play’s end. Only in Much Ado About Nothing, however, does Shakespeare deliberately infuse his friar with spirituality, manifested in his empathy for Hero’s plight. Moreover, the friar’s understanding emerges from a feminized perspective of her circumstances; that is, he correctly interprets Hero’s non-verbal behavior and responds with Christian charity instead of speaking her moral condemnation.

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