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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Faculty Profiles: Joseph Black

Contact Information:
452B Bartlett Hall
Amherst, MA 0l003
p: 413-545-0979
f: 413-545-3880


Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Joseph Black received his BA and PhD from the University of Toronto. He joined the English Department in 2004, after six years as Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He was Editor of the Sidney Journal (2000-05), on the General Editorial Board of the Broadview Anthology of British Literature, and currently serves on the editorial board of English Literary Renaissance (co-editor, 2007-08).

His speciality is early modern British literature, with research interests that fall under the broad rubric of book history. His recent work explores the interplay between early modern writings and the material and social contexts of their production and reception, focusing particularly on pamphlet warfare and the public sphere, oppositional communities and the social uses of texts, the complex dialogue between print and manuscript culture, and the history of private libraries.

Black's publications include The Martin Marprelate Tracts (Cambridge University Press, 2008); The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place (University of Toronto Press, 2013), with Germaine Warkentin and William Bowen; Private Libraries of Renaissance England, vol. 7 (MRTS, 2009) and vol. 8 (MRTS, 2013), both with R. J. Fehrenbach; The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, vol. 2: The Renaissance and Early Seventeenth Century (Broadview, 2006), with Anne Lake Prescott; The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century English Verse and Prose (Broadview, 2000), with Alan Rudrum and Holly Nelson; articles in journals such as History Compass, Spenser Studies, Sixteenth Century Journal, and Publishing History; contributions to essay collections and to Oxford Handbook of Spenser, Oxford Handbook of English Prose, c.1500-1640, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Dictionary of Literary Biography; and reviews in journals such as The Medieval Review, The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Renaissance Quarterly, Renaissance and Reformation, Seventeenth Century News, and Sidney Journal.

His teaching interests include seventeenth-century literature, Milton, Shakespeare, the epic tradition, and book history.

Areas of Specialization: Book History and Textual Studies, Digital Humanities and Media Studies, Renaissance Studies