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. Dedicated to cross-disciplinary research exchange, she is founding Director of the Renaissance of the Earth Project. A series of themed research collaborations, courses, integrative learning workshops, conferences, keynotes, and public-facing arts programming, the Renaissance of the Earth Project explores how early modern habits of thought and practice might aid in imagining alternative forms of habitation and cultivation of the earth and, in turn, how our current climate crisis and the social justice issues that arise in its wake demand a longer view of both human and environmental history. Her current book project, A World of Words: Language, Earth, and Embodiment in the Renaissance, investigates how lexicographers, language instructors, antiquarians, chorographers, horticulturists, as well as dramatists and poets, variously conceived of the relationships between language, earthly matter, and human embodiment, ultimately developing a mode of thinking that she characterizes as early modern "geo-linguistics."
Joseph Black received his PhD from the University of Toronto and joined the English Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004. His research and teaching interests include seventeenth-century literature, Milton, the Sidney family, the epic tradition, and book history. His major current projects include the Complete Works of Thomas Nashe and Private Libraries in Renaissance England.
Jeffrey Goodhind holds a BA in History from Bard College and an MA in Library Science (Archives and Records Management) from Simmons College. As the librarian, Jeff is responsible for maintaining the Center's library, archiving scholarly papers, developing digital collections, assisting patrons with research, and answering reference questions.
Liz Fox, PhD
Arts & Academic Programs Coordinator, Kinney Center
Managing Editor, English Literary Renaissance
Liz Fox has been awarded a University Sustainability, Innovation, & Engagement Fund Grant for her environmental humanities project, which she is directing at the Renaissance Center. She brings together her interests in Renaissance studies with social justice work. She is currently co-editing a collection titled, "Shakepseare Inside and Out: A Conversation about Prison Education." Liz has taught Shakespeare at Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education, Intro to Literature for Bard College’s Clemente Course in the Humanities (Springfield), and a range of courses for Bay Path University’s American Women’s College.
Fellow, Renaissance of the Earth
Melanie is a Sophomore earning a degree in Horticulture through the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Her current interests include gardening, botany, conservation practices in Indigenous cultures, and community engagement through local gardens. Melanie manages the Renaissance garden while pursuing her own research through the Center's book collection.
Fellow, Renaissance of the Earth
Hannah is a Sophmore in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture working toward a B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming with an English specialization in The Study and Practice of Writing. Hannah’s interests include horticulture, sustainable and ethical farming practices, botany, herbalism, early herbal writing, indigenous representation in early modern English literature, and feminist theory. Hannah works with the Kinney Center's rare book collection to inform Renaissance of the Earth research and programming.
Volunteer, Renaissance of the Earth
Audrey is a junior Forestry major in the College of Natural Sciences. Her special interests include tree climbing, spoon carving, foraging, backcountry skiing (telemark), and adventuring with her Australian cattle dog. Audrey volunteers at the renaissance garden in her free time because to garden is to tend to the soul. She is excited about the collection of medicinal plants in the garden and is learning more about their use and preparation from the Center's rare book collection.
Evelyn Rodriguez is pursuing a dual degree in English and Finance. A member of the Commonwealth Honors College, her senior honors thesis investigates the affect of language barriers on self-represented litigants in Massachusetts courts.
Social Media & Design Assistant
Bec is a second year undergraduate student at UMass, majoring in Art History. Their areas of interest include historical and contemporary fashion, conceptual art, and the intersections of sociopolitical issues with visual culture. Bec is responsible for designing print media as well as creating and managing the Center's social media presence.