Interested students may pursue a minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies or a major in Renaissance studies under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH). The major offers students the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the early modern world, the seedbed of modern Western civilization, through the integrated study of Renaissance literature, history, philosophy, art history and music. (A full description of the requirements for completing the Renaissance studies track in the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities may be found in the general listing for the IPH.)

Courses are drawn from a wide range of departments. This allows students to develop their own course of study, to select areas of concentration that are of particular personal interest, and to work closely with faculty from different areas. Students study the themes and social issues of the period through art, history, literature and popular culture. Topics examined include the rise of urban life, the flowering of vernacular languages and new literary genres, the growing emphasis on education, the reconception of pictorial representation and architectural space, the expression and subversion of power in politics and culture, and the transformation of religious doctrines and institutions.

Contact:Amy Lehman

Students seeking a major concentration in Medieval or Renaissance studies are advised to pursue it under the aegis of either the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities or in one of the other departments or programs in the humanities. They should achieve foreign language competency in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Latin, Arabic or Greek, and are strongly urged to pursue their studies across several departments and programs.

The Minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

The minor in Western Medieval studies and the minor in Renaissance studies have the same structure. Students must complete two years of college-level language study in Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, German, Arabic or Greek and are encouraged to continue their foreign language study further. They are expected to take six additional courses; three should come from the following list:

Art-Arch 113History of Western Art, Architecture and Design3
History 101CWestern Civilization3
IPH 201CClassical to Renaissance Literature: Text and Tradition3
IPH 203CEarly Political Thought: Text and Tradition3
IPH 209Scriptures and Cultural Traditions3

Units required: 18

Students interested in pursuing the minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies should contact the offices of the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities.

Additional Information

In addition, students must take three courses in either Medieval or Renaissance studies (depending on the concentration chosen) from at least two different departments or programs. Students will select these three courses in consultation with their minor adviser: Michael Sherberg for Western Medieval studies and Joseph Loewenstein for Renaissance studies.

Steering Committee

Joseph Loewenstein
PhD, Yale University

William E. Wallace
Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History
PhD, Columbia University
(Art History and Archaeology)

Gerhild Scholz Williams
Barbara Schaps Thomas and David M. Thomas Professor in the Humanities
PhD, University of Washington

Steven Zwicker
Stanley Elkin Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Brown University


Daniel E. Bornstein
Stella K. Darrow Professor of Catholic Studies
PhD, University of Chicago
(History and Religious Studies)

Nina Cox Davis
Associate Professor in Spanish
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
(Romance Languages)

Robert Henke
Professor of Drama and Comparative Literature
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
(Performing Arts)

Christine Johnson
Associate Professor of History
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
(Early Modern Germany; Renaissance culture; European expansion)

David Lawton
PhD, University of York

Mark Pegg
PhD, Princeton University

Dolores Pesce
Avis Blewett Professor of Music
PhD, University of Maryland

Jessica A. Rosenfeld
Associate Professor
PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Michael Sherberg
Professor of Italian
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
(Romance Languages and Literatures)