Judith H. Anderson (1940-2022)

Belatedly, but no less sadly, we would like to notify the readers of Connotations that Judith H. Anderson passed away last year, leaving a gap in our editorial board that we have felt acutely. In an article on Donne published in Connotations in 2018, she set out by wondering in disbelief how close reading could ever be framed in opposition to cultural studies or indeed any investigation of intellectual and material history and presence. “Language,” she writes “is the basic building block of human culture, whether as philosophy, as politics, as literature, or as something else, and it clearly has material dimensions, as sound, letter, speech act, social communication, and constructor of institutions.” No one could have put the raison d’être of Connotations more succinctly and emphatically: We believe in reading literature closely in order to understand much more than the words on the page.