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Faculty and Staff

Melissa J. Rack, PhD

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


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


The Slender Muse: Neoteric Poetics in Spenser’s Late Pastorals (book manuscript in process)

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

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

 “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. 1 (2018).

 O Carefull Verse: Neoteric Poetics in the Shorter Poems of Edmund Spenser. Dissertation. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2015.

 “Elizabeth Bearden’s The Emblematics of the Self: Ekphrasis and Identity in Renaissance Imitations of Greek Romance,” The Sidney Journal, vol. 32, no. 1 (2014).

 “A Formal Signature: Reclaiming the ‘privileged sphere of individuality’ in Thomas Wyatt’s ‘Whoso list to hount,’” Fons Luminis, vol. 2 (2012).

 “‘I nam no divinistre’: Heterodoxy and Disjunction in Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale,’” Medieval Perspectives, vol. 25 (2010 [2012]).

 Selected Presentations

“Lyric’s “Doleful” Plaint: Alexandrian Echoes and Epic Disruption in Spenser’sAstrophel.” The 67thAnnual Meeting of the South-Central Renaissance Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 12-14, 2018. 

 “Spenser’s Lotichius and Catullus’ ‘squiblets’: Mining Lee Piepho’s ‘Immerito’ Manuscript.” The 21stBiennial New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Sarasota, FL, March 8-10, 2018. 

 “‘Thy decay thou seekst by thy desire’”: Neoteric Imagination in Spenser’s Mutabilitie Cantos,” Against Progress: Pastoral Innovation in Medieval and Renaissance Poetry (Roundtable), The 51stInternational Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 12-15, 2016.

 “Denique Testis: Murder and Mourning in Spenser’Muiopotmos,” New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, New College, Sarasota, March 6-8, 2014.    

“Death by Rhetoric: Seeking Silence in Spenser’s Daphnaida,” Spenser Society at Kalamazoo, The 49thInternational Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 8-11, 2014.