Joe Loewenstein is a specialist in Renaissance Literature and Culture. The author of two books on the history of intellectual property and the rise of "possessive authorship," he has taught at Washington University since 1981. He teaches English and Comparative Literature, and directs the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry, and the Humanities Digital Workshop. Right now, his most absorbing intellectual projects is a print/digital edition of the Collected Works of Edmund Spenser for Oxford University Press, but he is also working on a study of the material props of identity in the English Renaissance, tentatively entitled, Accessorizing Hamlet.
What do you do best?
Ask questions. Fuss with sentences. Find opportunities for talented undergraduates. Amuse my spouse. Celebrate.
What makes you the best?
My sentences. My meetings.
What are your aspirations?
To pick up the pace on the Spenser edition. To respond more acutely to verse. To help others respond more acutely to verse. To make time to improve my Latin.
[Superstition dictates that I duck this one.]
Most Challenging Moment?
Spot translating Dante and Virgil for E. H. Gombrich.
For myself: “The First Person to the Blackboard Wins.” For others, I though don’t dare say it to them: “False Modesty Will Do Until the Real Stuff Comes Along"
The Gilpin Loop in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness; Glacier National Park; Sienna; a good deal of Sicily
The sfogliatelle of Piccione, the scones of Amy’s Corner Bakeshop, and Alden shoes.
Roasting coffee. Traditional pocketknives. Tetzlaff’s Bach.