(March 6, 2014) Dr. Jacob Blevins, professor of English at McNeese State University, has released a new book titled, "Humanism and Classical Crisis," published by Ohio State University Press.
The book explores the psychological implications of classical imitation during the Renaissance. Although many previous scholars have acknowledged the tremendous debt owed to classical literature and culture by Renaissance thinkers, this book grounds such influence in a more elemental psychological crisis of identity formation, according to Blevins.
"Renaissance writers struggled to fix their own sense of identity within tradition while simultaneously undermining the tradition itself," said Blevins. This is his fifth book.
Areas and authors covered by the book include imitations and translations of classical works of the 16th and 17th centuries in England and France by Andrew Marvell, Edmund Spencer, Pierre Ronsard, Joachim Du Bellay, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare and John Milton.
Raphael Lyne, senior lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, said about the book, "Convincing and compelling. The argument is thoughtfully framed, intelligently pursued and ultimately successful."
Blevins received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from McNeese and his doctorate from Texas Tech University and has been a full-time faculty member at McNeese since 2000. He served as head of the Department of English and Foreign Languages from 2009-2013.
He is a former Fulbright recipient, winner of the Louisiana Division of the Arts artist fellowship for poetry and editor of the comparative literature journal INTERTEXTS, published by Texas Tech University press with the support of McNeese. His research includes Renaissance literature and culture, lyric poetry, Latin poetry and classical reception.