'English Literary Renaissance' Celebrates 50 Years, Announces New Editorial Leadership
By Sarah Gibbons | Thursday, January 23, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
English Literary Renaissance (ELR), a widely respected journal founded at UMass Amherst by Professor Emeritus Arthur F. Kinney and other faculty members, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special issue published by the University of Chicago Press. The issue contains 22 essays on “The State of Renaissance Studies” by leading scholars whose work has previously appeared in the journal, along with a history of ELR written by Professor Kinney.
In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of ELR, which is dedicated to the study of English literature from 1485 to 1665, this issue marks the retirement of Professor Kinney as editor and Professor Kirby Farrell as co-editor. A new editorial team has been named by the journal's editorial board, including Professor Joseph Black, Associate Professor Jane Hwang Degenhardt, and Associate Professor Adam Zucker of the UMass Amherst Department of English and Professor Mary Thomas Crane of Boston College. “It’s an honor for us to carry on the work that Arthur began,” says Zucker. “He built a lasting legacy here at UMass, and the international prominence of ELR is a tribute to all that he was able to accomplish.”
Since its founding in 1970, ELR has grown from its roots as a local publication to become one of the world’s leading journals in its field. It is now published by the University of Chicago Press and read globally by thousands of scholars and students researching sixteenth and seventeenth century English literary culture.
Three ELR issues appear each year containing rigorously peer-reviewed and carefully edited scholarship on work by William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, John Milton, and their contemporaries. The journal is especially well known for its focus on less-than-famous—but always fascinating—authors and texts from Tudor and Stuart England, for its short editions of important manuscripts that would otherwise remain inaccessible in archives, and for its early support of research on women authors of the English renaissance, helping scholars to recognize their importance.
“We plan to build on the journal’s past successes and continue to provide a home for new, innovative voices in our field,” says Zucker. “The ideas in early modern literary studies are always changing. Since 1970, ELR has been sparked by the excitement of that change, by the evolution of knowledge, and by the lessons of older traditions. That combination of past, present, and future—so central to Arthur’s vision and to humanities scholarship at UMass—will guide our way forward.”
“As founder and editor of ELR, Arthur Kinney wielded tremendous influence, while promoting a rich range of perspectives. This, in combination with his establishment of the Renaissance Center, now named in his honor, have made UMass Amherst an internationally-known hub in the field of early modern English literary studies,” says former Dean Julie Hayes of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
“Just as the Renaissance Center continues to shine under the direction of UMass Amherst English faculty," she says, "I’m confident that English Literary Renaissance will similarly endure under the new editorial guidance of this accomplished team. I look forward to seeing the journal thrive under their leadership.”