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Faculty and Staff

Melissa J. Rack, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: English
USC Salkehatchie
Phone: 843-549-6314
Melissa Rack


2015    Ph.D. in English Literature and Renaissance Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2008    M.A. in English and American Literature, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

 2006    B.A. with Honors in English Literature, University of South Florida, Tampa

Fellowships and Grants

2020 Fellowship, The Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, University of Innsbruck, Austria.

2020 RISE: Research Initiative for Summer Engagement Grant, University of South Carolina, Office of the Vice President of Research

2018 RISE: Research Initiative for Summer Engagement Grant, University of South Carolina, Office of the Vice President of Research

Selected Publications

“The Neo-Latin Context of Spenser’s Lyric.” The Spenser Review 52.2. Special Issue: A Selection of Spenser Essays from the 68th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (Spring 2022).

“Rémi Vuillemin, Laetitia Sansonetti and Enrica Zanin, eds., The Early Modern English Sonnet: Ever in Motion.” The Spenser Review 51.2 (Spring-Summer 2021).

“Linda Grant’s Latin Erotic Elegy and the Shaping of Sixteenth-Century English Love Poetry: Lascivious Poets.” Renaissance Quarterly 73.3 (Spring, 2021).

“‘Thou thyself likewise art lyttle made’: Spenser, Catullus, and the Aesthetics of ‘smale poemes.’” Renaissance Papers, Eds. Jim Pearce, Ward J. Risvold. Rochester, New York: Camden House, 2019.

“A Song of Silence: Plaintive Dissonance and Neoteric Method in Edmund Spenser’s Daphnaïda,” Studies in Philology, vol. 116.4 (Fall 2019), pp. 668-695. 

“Sukanta Chaudhuri’s A Companion to Pastoral Poetry of the English Renaissance,” The Spenser Review 48.3 (Fall, 2018). 

“Alex Wong’s The Poetry of Kissing in Early Modern Europe: From the Catullan Revival to Secundus, Shakespeare, and the English Cavaliers,” The Sidney Journal, vol. 36, no. 2 (Fall, 2018), pp. 116-120.

Recent Presentations

 “The Protestant Legacy of Paulus Melissus: A unique copy of Melissa Schediasmata poetica; secundo edita multo auctiora (1586) at the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli.” The Sixteenth-Century Society Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 26-30.

“The Neo-Latin Context of Spenser’s Lyric. The Renaissance Society of America, Dublin, Ireland, March 30-April 2, 2022.

“Paulus Melissus and Neo-Catullan Influence in Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella,” Sidneian Texts and Contexts, The Sixteenth Century Society Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, October 17-19, 2019.

“Neoteric Poetry: Rethinking Ovidianism in the English Epyllion.” Rethinking Source and Structure in Renaissance Literature, The Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, Ontario, March 17-19, 2019.