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Marjorie Rubright

Associate Professor

photo of Marjorie Rubright

(413) 545-9927

E448 South College

Marjorie Rubright joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst English faculty in 2017. Prior to her arrival, she was Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto. Her areas of research and teaching specialization include: early modern English literature and culture, early modern race and ethnicity studies, feminist criticism, renaissance lexical culture, and critical approaches to the study of the global renaissance.

Her current book project, A World of Words: Language and Earth in the English Renaissance, traces the earthly substrates of renaissance lexical culture. In its broadest strokes, the book examines period-specific ways of thinking about human sameness and difference that emerge when one attends to how language and linguistic identity are imaginatively linked not only to ethnicized and racialized human bodies, but also to a diversity of earthly matter. In it, she investigates how lexicographers, language instructors, antiquarians, chorographers, horticulturists, as well as dramatists and poets, variously conceived of the relationships between language, earth, and embodiment, ultimately developing a mode of thinking that she characterizes as early modern ‘geo-linguistics.'

Research Projects:

Marjorie is author of Doppelgänger Dilemmas: Anglo-Dutch Relations in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), which argues that a necessary corollary to current scholarship on early modern constructions of ethnic and racial difference is the study of how identities were rendered similar. She is co-author of ‘So Long Lives This’: A Celebration of Shakespeare’s Life and Works, 1616-2016 (Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 2016), winner of the 2017 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab Award.

Research-Creation and Public Exchange:

Marjorie is a collaborator on the Early Modern Conversions project, an international team of scholars and artists studying the first great Age of Conversion, 1400-1700. In 2016, she co-curated the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library Special Exhibit: ‘So Long Lives This’: Celebrating Shakespeare’s Life and Works, 1616-2016 and co-authored the exhibition catalogue. In 2012, she co-organized an international and interdisciplinary conference, Early Modern Migrations: Exiles, Expulsion, and Religious Refugees 1400-1700. In conjunction with this conference, she worked closely with Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Poculi Ludique Societas to produce a full-scale production of Richard Daborne’s A Christian Turn’d Turk (1612). With Kristina Bross (Purdue), she co-organized a faculty symposium at the Newberry Library, Chicago: Symposium on the English and Dutch in the Early Modern World.

Her research has been supported by: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the Connaught Foundation; University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute; the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities; as well as The Huntington, Newberry, and Folger Shakespeare Libraries.


Recent courses include the department’s Shakespeare lecture; Early British Literature and Culture to 1700: The World, the Word and the Wanderer; and Shakespeare’s Global Afterlives. This winter she will be teaching a graduate seminar: Renaissance Keywords and the New Queer Philology.


PhD in English, University of Michigan

MA in English Literature and Traditional Oral Poetics, University of Missouri-Columbia

BA in ancient Greek, Vassar College