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An image of Marjorie Rubright wearing glasses with straight blond hairMarjorie Rubright

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 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."

She is co-curator, with Joe Black, on the campuswide Shakespeare Unbound Exhibit 2023-2024

An image of Joseph Black with short dark hair and black rimmed glassesJoseph Black
Associate Director

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.

He is co-curator, with Marjorie Rubright, on the campuswide Shakespeare Unbound Exhibit 2023-2024


An image of Liz Fox, with shorter brown hairLiz 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.



An image of Joseph Black with short dark hair and black rimmed glassesEvan MacCarthy
Director of Elements

Evan MacCarthy is s Five College Visiting Associate Professor of music history in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received a B.A. in classics and music from the College of the Holy Cross, and earned a Ph.D. in historical musicology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the history of fifteenth-century music and music theory, late medieval chant, German music in the Baroque era, as well as nineteenth-century American music.

Elements explores earth, air, fire, and water at the intersections of history, literature, music, dance, philosophy, politics, popular culture, history of science, and visual arts. We seek to bring together scholars and practitioners in a comparative and interdisciplinary forum for conversations that explore both human and non-human relationships to the elements and ask how we might reimagine earth, air, fire, and water in pre-modern, contemporary, and future worlds. The events of Elements in 2024 will be oriented around the element of water and its many visual, sonic, and textural states and qualities across time: from rivers, lakes, and oceans to fog, snow, and glaciers, from freezing, flooding, and melting to nourishing, cleansing, and preserving.


An image of Jeffery Goodhind with short red hair and beard. Jeffrey Goodhind

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.


Melanie Morgan
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.


Hannah Gould
Fellow, Renaissance of the Earth

Hannah is a Junior at UMass Amherst working toward a B.S in Sustainable Food and Farming and B.A in English with a specialization in Environmental Humanities. Hannah is currently serving as the Undersecretary of Sustainability in the Student Government Association. 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.


Audrey Kissin
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
Staff Assistant

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.