Bowen Du is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. He received his bachelor’s in Narrative Studies and Mathematics from the University of Southern California. His scholarly interests center on the intersections of race and ethnicity, poetics, and the environment with a focus on the relationship between air, breath, and energy. He is also interested in researching how poetry can disrupt settler colonial deployments of geometry.
Beth Dubow is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, and incoming Wiener-Anspach Research Fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Her research addresses the connections between sixteenth-century poetics, mathematics, and organic form. The title of her thesis is ‘“And That Misformed Shape, Misshaped More”: The Stranger Mathematics of The Faerie Queene’.
M.K. Foster is a Renaissance literature scholar and poet from Birmingham, Alabama. Grounded in early modern ecocriticism, her research focuses on spectacular monstrosity and horror in the natural world. Her recent projects include her dissertation on figurations of the Flood in 17th-century Europe and her chapter on apex predators in the Amsterdam University Press critical volume Reassessing Epistemic Images in the Early Modern World, which she is also co-editing. Foster’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review; The Gettysburg Review; The Columbia Review; and elsewhere. She is the grateful recipient of several fellowships and grants, including support from the National Alumni Association, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Vermont Studio Center. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama.
John Garganourakis is pursuing his doctorate in English at St. John’s University in New York City. His areas of specialization are Shakespeare, the environmental humanities, and film criticism. His dissertation will analyze the ways in which film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays can function as ecological texts that speak to our present-day era of climate crisis. He has been teaching as an adjunct professor at Mercy College since 2012. More recently, he has been teaching college classes to high school students at the Queens School of Inquiry. He has presented his research a number of times to the Comparative Drama Conference.
Jeffrey B. Griswold is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow in the English Department at George Mason University. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2019. His teaching and research focus on the literature and political philosophy of the English Renaissance. His book project, entitled Human Insufficiency: Politics, Servitude, and Species Difference in Early Modern English Literature, considers how writers of the period distinguished humans from other animals and how these distinctions strategically excluded groups of homo sapiens from the political domain of “the human.” The project investigates texts that represent humans as frail and fragile creatures requiring care from less vulnerable bodies. Broadly, his scholarship explores issues of political belonging, consent, embodiment, race, the human, environment, and allegory. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Spenser Studies, Renaissance Drama, Studies in Philology, and Critical Survey.
Katie Kadue is Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows and Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, with departmental affiliations in English and Comparative Literature. Her research interests include domesticity, gendered labor, georgic, and ecological thought in early modern English and French literature. She has articles published or forthcoming in Studies in Philology, Montaigne Studies, and Modern Philology. Her book, Domestic Georgic: The Poetics of Preservative Labor from Rabelais to Milton, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press, and she is at work on a second project on flowers, gender, garbage, and commonplaces in Renaissance lyric.
Colin J. Keohane is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Victoria, where he studies maritime culture and technology in medieval texts. His master’s essay offered an ecocritical reading of the role genre plays in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Before joining the English department, Colin received a master’s degree in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of West Florida with a special focus on underwater archaeology, during which he divided his time between writing about John Gower’s use of Middle English nautical vocabulary and diving on shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ashley Sarpong is PhD candidate at the University of California-Davis in the department of English. Before Davis, Ashley earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with the Highest Distinction from Duke University in 2010 and a Masters of Arts in English from University of Delaware in 2013. Her research interests center on ecological transformation during the early modern period and the ways ecology can help us better understand the legacies of colonialism and the construction of racial difference. Her dissertation is titled ‘Making Land, Making People: Rhetorics of Value and Improvement in Early Modern Literature.’
Kirsten Schuhmacher is a PhD Student at the University of California, Davis. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature with an emphasis in Medieval and Early Modern Studies from the University of Victoria. Primarily, she studies early modern poetry and prose with special attention payed to ecology, agriculture, and early modern rhetoric. Currently, she is working on a 1610 edition of Foxe’s Actes and Monuments; a project for which she was awarded the Erasmus Award for best graduate student essay.
Conor Wilcox-Mahon is currently completing the final year studying for a Ph.D. at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, having completed an undergraduate degree at St John’s College Oxford. His work focuses on themes of progression and rest in The Faerie Queene, under the supervision of Dr. Gavin Alexander.
Spenser, Ecology and the Dream of a Legible Environment – Bios
Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer, scholar of Renaissance literature and the author of The Pain of Reformation: Spenser, Vulnerability, and the Ethics of Masculinity (Fordham UP, 2012), the co-editor of Renaissance Posthumanism (Fordham, 2016), and the author of three collections of poetry, The Book of Faces (Graywolf, 2005), Natural Selections (2012), and The Book of Life (Tupelo, 2019). Recently published essays treat figurations of creaturely life in Renaissance England – busy bees, bleeding trees, and crocodile tears. Current projects include a study of children, futurity, and sovereignty in Shakespeare entitled The Child’s Two Bodies, a two-volume collection on Renaissance insect life called Lesser Living Creatures.
Alexander Lowe McAdams specializes in early modern literature and its epistemological intersections between intellectual histories of science, philosophy, and religion. Alexander has published on Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, an article that situates early modern theories of cosmological influence alongside current critical trends in ecofeminist discourse and studies in the “blue humanities.” In April 2020, Alexander successfully defended her dissertation, titled Theophanic Reasoning: Science, Secrets, and the Stars from Spenser to Milton. She currently works as the program manager for Rice University’s Civic Humanist program, a public humanities initiative that partners with secondary schools across the greater Houston metropolitan area. In January 2021, she will transition to a postdoctoral fellowship, funded in part by the Humanities Research Center’s Public Humanities Initiative at Rice University. She is active on Twitter, where she can be found discussing and promoting the importance of equity, access, and inclusion in higher education.
Steve Mentz is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City. His most recent book, Ocean, appeared in 2020 in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. His work in early modern studies, ecocriticism, and the blue humanities appears in four earlier books, Break Up the Anthropocene (2019), Shipwreck Modernity: Ecologies of Globalization, 1550-1719 (2015), At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean (2009) and Romance for Sale in Early Modern England (2006). He has also edited or co-edited five collections of essays: The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400-1800 (2020), The Sea in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literary Culture (2017), Oceanic New York (2015), The Age of Thomas Nashe (2013), and Rogues and Early Modern English Culture (2004). He has published numerous articles and curated an exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library, “Lost at Sea: The Ocean in the English Imagination, 1550 – 1750” (2010).
Will Rhodes is an assistant professor of English at the University of Iowa, where he teaches courses on medieval and Renaissance literature and the environmental humanities. He is completing a book manuscript on the interplay of labor and ecology in medieval agrarian poetry and its ramifications in early English colonial writing. He has published on Piers Plowman, English Reformation Literature, and Spenser’s poetry and prose, and his work can be found in The Yearbook of Langland Studies, ELH, Personification(ed. Ramakers and Melion), and Rereading Chaucer and Spenser (ed. Badcoe, Stenner, and Griffith).
Dyani Johns Taff is a lecturer in the English Department at Ithaca College. Her research and teaching interests include gender studies, maritime humanities, romance, monstrosity, piracy, translation, and re/interpretations of biblical narratives. She is the author of essays on Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Margaret Cavendish, and Chaucer, and is currently writing a book titled Gendered Seascapes and Monarchy in Early Modern English Culture.