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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Graduate Students in Rennaisance

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Catherine Elliott

Catherine Elliott received her BA(hons) in English from Union College (NY) and is in the process of completing her MA/PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is in her second year studying English Literature of the Early Modern period focusing specifically on Materialism and the tragicomedies of the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Her research touches on travel narratives, concepts of utopia and dystopia, Early Modern economics, miasma and contagion theory, and history of medicine.

“How the Other Half Lives: Mercantile Ideology and Shared Rule in Heywood’s Fortune by Land and Sea.”  Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. Eleventh Annual Meeting. Amherst, MA. Fall 2013.

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Liz Fox

Liz Fox received her BAs in English and Drama from Ithaca College and completed her MA in English at UMass Amherst.  She is currently working on her PhD in English Literature with a focus on early modern drama.  Her current research interests include representations of audiences on stage and the codes of signification through which early modern drama was made and understood.   
"Audience Response as Spectacle in John Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan."  Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. Amherst, MA. Fall 2013.

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April A. Genung

April studies women and the household 17th century British literature and culture. Her work considers the drama of the period alongside quasi literary texts such as household recipe books and manuals, letters, and other domestic papers in order the claim the household as a site of women's authority and competence. She is also interested in the transmission of knowledge through networks of women, particularly the exchange of culinary, medical, and scientific knowledge that originates in the household. April is an editorial assistant for the Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture book series, and one of several Graduate Employee Organization Stewards for the English department. She lives in the Mt. Toby woods with her husband, baby boy, and two cats.

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Jessie Hill Gillooly

Jessie Gillooly received her BA in Dramatic Arts with a focus on Costume Design from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is currently working on her MA/PhD in Renaissance English Literature.  Her current research interests include the literature of the British Civil War and the epic and romantic modes in the Renaissance. 

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Josephine Hardman

Josephine Hardman received her BA in English from Florida Atlantic University. She is currently in the MA/PhD program at UMass Amherst, working on the comparative study of English and Spanish Renaissance dramas. Josephine is also interested in translation theory and the diachronic development of literary genres. She recently co-translated a Golden Age play by Tirso de Molina, which premiered at UMass's Curtain Theater in 2011, and has presented conference papers at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.

"Sincere and Performative Conversions: The Role of Spanish Desengaño in 'The Two Noble Ladies' and Calderón's 'El mágico prodigioso.'" Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. Ninth Annual Meeting. Amherst, MA. Fall 2011.

Charles Peters Prize for best UMass Graduate Essay in Renaissance Studies. Spring 2011.

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Tom Hopper

BA, Honors, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2009; MA, UMass Amherst, 2011. Interests include poetry and prose of British Renaissance, especially the reception of classical ideas and transmission of classical texts in the period.

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William Hrusovsky

William Hrusovsky received his BA in literature from Kent State University and his MA with a focus in Renaissance Literature from Texas Tech University. He is currently working on his PhD in Renaissance Literature with research focusing in Early Modern poetry and prose, Textual Studies and Book History, and Digital Humanities. William is currently the Editorial Assistant for English Literary Renaissance housed at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.

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Lauren Rollins

Lauren Rollins received her BAs in Government and International Politics and English from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and her MA in English from Georgetown University. She is currently completing a PhD in Renaissance English literature. Her research interests include Tudor and Stuart drama, particularly the work of Thomas Heywood, diplomatic relations between England and Spain, and early modern naval piracy.

“Republicans Behaving Badly: Anachronism, Monarchy, and the English Imperial Model in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Tenth Annual Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies Graduate Conference, October 6, 2012. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 
“‘That which is above us pertains nothing to us’: The Lessons of Spanish Imperialism in Robert Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay” Nations and Empires, March 9, 2012. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
“Piratical Performativity: Toward a Phenomenology of Early Modern Class Consciousness.”Performance and Theatricality in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. February, 11, 2011. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance     Studies, Tempe, AZ.
“Conflated Classes: Early Modern Piracy, National Identity, and the ‘Crisis of the Aristocracy.’” Piracy: A Conference. October 22, 2010. Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
“Approaching the Question and Answer Session.” Literature Department Panel: How to Make Effective Conference Presentations. February 1, 2010. American University, Washington, DC. Invited guest presenter.
“Split Subjectivity and the Pursuit of Eternal Return in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” Annual Literature Colloquium. October 4, 2008. American University, Washington, DC.

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC
Selected participant, Empire and Culture in the Early Modern English Caribbean, Carla Pestana and David Shields, Fall 2010.

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC
Selected participant, Mastering Research at the Folger, Dr. Zachary Lesser,            Spring 2009.

American University, Washington, DC
Prize Awarded for Best Graduate Student Paper Presented, Annual Literature Colloquium, October, 2008.

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Anna-Claire Simpson Steffen

Anna-Claire Simpson Steffen received her BA in English Literature from UCLA. She is currently working on her MA/PhD in English Literature at UMass Amherst, with a focus on Renaissance drama. Her interests include representations of childhood onstage, child actors/acting troupes, marginalized figures (in terms of age, socioeconomic status, and race), and performance theory.
"Big Trouble in Little Bodies: the Politics of Age Transvestitism in Child Performance." Child Performance/Reception. Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association. Atlantic City. November 2013.
"Death and the Afterlife of the Cyber Celebrity." Philosophy and Popular Culture:  War, Death, And Television. North East Popular Culture Association Conference. St. Michael’s College, Vermont. October 2013.
"Bussy D'Ambois to Men." UMass Graduate Conference for Renaissance Studies. Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. October 2012.
Folger Library, An Introduction to Research Methods. Spring 2013.

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William Steffen

Will received his BA from Hampshire College in 2011. He is currently transitioning from finishing his MA coursework to beginning his PhD coursework. His primary research focuses on early modern English drama and travel writing, empire studies, and cannibalism.
"'Does this taste funny to you?': Cannibalism and Capitalism on the Early Modern Stage." Cruelties of History. USC Cruelty Conference. University of Southern California. April 2013.
"'What ‘tis to be damned cannibals': Performance and Influence in Fletcher and Massinger’s The Sea Voyage." Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies Graduate Conference. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. October 2013.

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Anne-Marie Strohman

Anne-Marie Strohman received her BA in English (minor in Music) at Whitworth University, Spokane, WA, and her MA in English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After teaching composition, literature, and argumentation at the university level, she began studies in Renaissance Literature at UMass, Amherst. She is completing her dissertation on Elizabeth's self-presentation, Spenser, Sidney, and Shakespeare, with an eye toward Cognitive theory, particularly Conceptual Blending Theory titled "'A More Natural Mother': Concepts of Maternity and Queenship in Early Modern England." Anne-Marie served for two years as the Walter Chmielewski Fellow for the journal English Literary Renaissance. She has presented at graduate conferences and at RSA, and has two articles coming out in 2013 in book collections.

“Deferred Motherhood in Spenser’s Faerie Queene.” Renaissance Society of America. Venice. April 2010.

"Mother and State: Sidney's Arcadian Mothers." Early Modern Identities in English: Religion, Gender, Nation. Ed. Lorna Fitzsimmons. Belgium: Brepols, 2013.
“Deferred Motherhood in Spenser’s Faerie Queene,” for an anthology on maternity and early modern romance narrative, edited by Karen Bamford and Naomi J. Miller. (in review)

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