Andrew L. Markus (1954-1995) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated as a child in both American and European schools. In 1975, pursuing a lifelong interest in Asia from the eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.
After attending Keio University in Tokyo, where he studied with Professor Hinotani Teruhiko, one of Japan's leading scholars of Tokugawa-period (1603-1867) literature, Professor Markus earned his doctorate at Yale University in 1985 with a dissertation on the life and career of the early nineteenth-century novelist Ryutei Tanehiko. In 1986 he left the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Kansas to join the faculty at the University of Washington, where he attained the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 1992, the same year that a revised version of his doctoral thesis was published under the title The Willow in Autumn.
In a series of widely admired monographs on such diverse topics as celebrity banquets, lending libraries, and public spectacles in Edo (the modern city of Tokyo), Professor Markus enjoyed a reputation as one of the most gifted cultural historians of early modern Japan anywhere in the world. At the time of his death in October, 1995, he was at work on a number of new projects, including a literary biography of Terakado Seiken and a study of the reception of Chinese drama in Tokugawa Japan. Professor Markus's students at the University of Washington have gone on to promising academic careers of their own, and through their work continue the distinguished tradition of scholarship that he upheld in both his teaching and writing.
Established through the generosity of family and friends, the Andrew L. Markus Memorial Lecture honors Professor Markus's contribution to the study of Asian languages and literatures.