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KNOXVILLE — Heather Hirschfeld, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, associate professor of English, has been named the new Riggsby Director of the university’s Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Hirschfeld is set to begin work Jan. 1, 2011.

A specialist in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama and a UT faculty member since 2000, Hirschfeld said she looks forward to building on the Marco Institute’s “rich institutional foundations and promoting its dedication to scholarship, teaching and outreach.”

The Marco Institute is an interdisciplinary center that supports humanities education and research across eight departments and two colleges at UT. The institute offers an annual symposium that draws scholars from across the U.S. and around the world, presenting the latest research in the history and culture of the late antique, medieval and Renaissance periods.

Outgoing interim director Laura Howes said she was very happy with the selection process.

“We couldn’t have found a better person to lead the institute at this critical juncture in its history,” said Howes, also an associate professor of English. “Heather’s commitment to maintaining Marco’s research profile for faculty and graduate students, as well as her plans to enrich undergraduate education, ensure that the institute will be well served.”

The institute’s directorate is named for Stuart Riggsby, former dean of UT’s College and Arts and Sciences.

For more information on the Marco Institute, visit http://web.utk.edu/~marco/.

C O N T A C T :

Vera Pantanizopolous-Broux, Marco Institute (865-974-1859, marco@utk.edu)

Charles Primm, UT Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180, primmc@utk.edu)