In Memoriam: Joan Faust, 1955-2022
Joan Faust, innovative scholar and
longtime friend and leading figure of
the South Central Renaissance Conference,
passed away on November 22, 2022.
Joan Faust dedicated her book, Andrew Marvell’s Liminal Lyrics, to the memory of one of her own high-school teachers, whose motto, she wrote, was, “We are but a grain of sand in time, but our mark may last forever.”
She made this lesson her own. Renaissance Studies is a community as well as a discipline. That community is held together, in part, by the knowledge we share—the books and articles that win awards or stir debates. But much more vitally, it is held together by the committees that arrange conferences and dole out those awards, the senior professors who show up at early morning panels to encourage a graduate student as she delivers her first paper, the instructors who share their passions with generations of students and nurture the scholarly societies that give those passions a local habitation and a name. Professor Faust, who passed away on November 22, 2022 at the age of 67, was a maker of community in all those ways.
She also left her mark as Louisiana State University’s president of Phi Beta Kappa, as well as member of the executive committees of the Andrew Marvell Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the South Central Renaissance Conference, and the John Donne Society.
She will of course leave her mark in the scholarship of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her book was a sensitive reading of Marvell’s liminal aesthetics, brilliantly interdisciplinary in the way it opened up dialogues between Renaissance painting and poetics.
But she also left her mark as Louisiana State University’s president of Phi Beta Kappa, as well as member of the executive committees of the Andrew Marvell Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the South Central Renaissance Conference, and the John Donne Society. In that work, she helped to establish networks of mutual support, scholarly critique, and fellowship that will outlast individual members, but that also will rely on individual members to carry this tradition of service. In that way, and many others, she will not only be missed, but appreciated and remembered.
— Blaine Greteman
Blaine Greteman is Professor of English at the University of Iowa and current President of the Andrew Marvell Society.
The SCRC Blog encourages further testimony of Joan’s legacy. Send notes of 200-500 words to Brendan Prawdzik, email@example.com.