Arthur F. Kinney, English professor emeritus, was a faculty member in the English department at UMass Amherst for 50 years. Professor Kinney, who earned a B.A. from Syracuse University and an M.S. from Columbia University as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, retired in 2016 with distinction as the Thomas W. Copland Professor of Literary History. He is widely published with numerous works including Renaissance prose, poetry, drama and twentieth-century American literature with specialties in William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Dorothy Parker.
Professor Kinney founded the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program that has enrolled thousands of students at the UMass Amherst campus and has been replicated nationwide. Professor Kinney is the recipient of the prestigious Triple Crown award for academic achievement. He is also founder of the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies that plays a unique and important role in research and teaching. He devoted his career to building, preserving and disseminating a body of work and knowledge related to the Renaissance.
In recognition of Professor Kinney’s leadership, generosity and commitment to UMass Amherst’s future by including a bequest for a gift from his estate, UMass Amherst was honored to rename the Center as the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.
“In his half century of service to this university, Professor Kinney demonstrated an unyielding passion for renaissance literature and culture,” wrote the chancellor in his recommendation. Through the center, he said, Professor Kinney made his “most extraordinary contributions” to the university.
Professor Kinney resides in Amherst and enjoys writing, publishing and traveling to lecture on his works. He remains very involved with the Renaissance Center.
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