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  • Matthew Rinkevich, Unidel Center for Material Culture Studies Fellow

    Unidel Center for Material Culture Studies Fellow
    213 Memorial Hall
    (302) 831-6597


    Matthew was born and raised in Levittown, PA. After graduating from West Chester University in 2013, he earned his M.A. in English literature at the University of Delaware​ in 2015​. As a doctoral candidate, Matthew studies sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British literature, and his research focuses on liturgy and sacramental theology, material cultures of religion, actor-network theory, and book history and print culture. He is also interested in the reception of Shakespeare after the early modern period.

    In his dissertation, "Signs That Save: Sacramental Matter and Agency in English Literature, 1550–1650," Matthew argues that the sacraments of the early modern English church should contribute to our understanding of matter and material agency during the period. Analyzing the works of authors like Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, and Hester Pulter, he considers the ways in which religious conflicts during the Reformation articulated combating epistemologies and phenomenologies of matter. He posits that, while the official theology of the English church limited or denied matter's ability to act, literature provided an imaginative space where belief in matter's agency could express itself. Doing so, he offers sacramental matter (water, bread, wine, oil, etc.) as essential for understanding the Reformation, the relationship between objects and humans in early modern England more broadly, and our own interactions with nonhumans today.

    Additionally, Matthew teaches in the English department. He regularly teaches English 110: Seminar in Composition, including sections for the Honors Program. Literature courses that he has taught include English 205: British Literature to 1660 and English 280: Approaches to Literature for Non-Majors. This last course, he has taught online.

    Graduate Advisor

    Kristen Poole

    Recent Publications

    "Reading Ritual: Biblical Hermeneutics and the Liturgical 'Text' in Pre-Reformation England." Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 41, no. 2 (2018). 37-63.









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University of Delaware
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361