Professor Mark Malvasi
Randolph-Macon College History Professor Mark
Malvasi is the author of The Finder (Cranberry Tree Press, 2013), a book
A collection of 30 poems, The Finder is Malvasi’s first book of poetry.
“I‘ve always loved poetry,” says Malvasi. “I must have read a thousand, maybe ten
thousand poems, before I tried to write one. As a child, though, I constantly made
up little rhymes, and drove my parents mad listing all the words I could think of
that rhymed with a word they had just used. It was a start.”
Later, Malvasi, who serves as chairman of the History Department, discovered a more
serious purpose in poetry.
“We live in an age of inflation of almost everything, including words. The more
there is of something, the less value it has. Poetry forces economy of language
upon us. It demands that we use the fewest words possible to plumb the depths of
the human experience, and then it shows us that we can’t do it—that human beings
are too complex ever to understand. In that way, too, poetry, with its insistence
on complication, may offer an antidote to the uniformity that totalitarianism imposes,
countering the belief that the state or any organization can fully control the mental
and emotional lives of individuals.”
Malvasi is also the author of The Unregenerate South (Louisiana State University
Press, 1997), A History of the American Economy, 1865-2000 (Beacham Press,
2001), Religion and American Life (Beacham Press, 2002), Slavery in the
Western Hemisphere, 1500-1888 (St. James Press, 2003), Merigan: A Novel
(BookLocker, 2006), and numerous journal articles. In addition, he edited and
wrote the introduction for Remembered Past: John Lukacs on History, Historians,
and Historical Knowledge (ISI Books, 2005). He is currently at work on
a memoir, a second book of poetry, and a study of illness and death in the blues.
Malvasi, the Isaac Newton
Vaughan Professor of History, earned his B.A. from Hiram College, his M.A.
from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.