This page lists centers, institutes, and other resources within the university which support Renaissance studies.

Smart Museum of Art

As the fine arts museum of the University of Chicago, the Smart is home to thought-provoking exhibitions and an exquisite collection of more than 15,000 objects, including modern masterpieces, millennia-old Chinese artworks, rich examples of European painting, and provocative works of contemporary art. It has substantial Renaissance, Medieval and classical collections, ranging from Roman statues to an elaborate silver and enamel reliquary built for Alessandro Farnese (Pope Paul III).  Many hundreds of objects are not on public display which students, teachers, and researchers can arrange to see. More information.

Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center holds the university's world class collection of rare books, manuscripts, University Archives, and other unique collections. Its extensive Renaissance collection includes numerous manuscript books, early printed books, letters, and documents, everything from books of hours and grammar textbooks to humanist manuscripts and scientific works expurgated by the Inquisition. Special Collections makes these resources available to students, faculty, and independent researchers. The research center also hosts two classrooms where Renaissance faculty teach courses on subjects ranging from humanist philosophy to the history of censorship. More information.

Court Theatre

Established in 1955, Court Theatre is the professional theater of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court mounts theatrical productions and audience enrichment programs in collaboration with faculty, including period projects such as the Court's recent Greek Cycle, three plays of Euripides translated and planned by university faculty. Such collaborations facilitate the re-examination classic texts and let those conducting research on theater history experiment with performance realities. More information.

Franke Institute for the Humanities

The Franke Institute for the Humanities is both an idea and a place. Conceptually, it represents the highest research and teaching ambitions of the University of Chicago, sponsoring creative and innovative work in established academic disciplines in the arts and humanities and encouraging new projects that cross traditional disciplinary lines. Materially, its physical space (a suite of offices and public rooms in the Regenstein Library) provides facilities where scholars and artists can work, and where their work can be tested and disseminated through discussions, debates, symposia, and conferences. It offers fellowships to graduate students and junior faculty in humanities and, occasionally, the social sciences. More information.

The Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine supports teaching and research in the history of science and medicine at the University of Chicago. Its powerful core of associated faculty includes specialists in the Renaissance and early modern worlds. With its headquarters in the Social Sciences building, the Fishbein center provides funding for doctoral students, supports faculty research projects, and organizes a graduate student workshop and a reading group discussing recent publications in the history of science. More information.


Program in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

The university's powerful program in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations is itself an interdisciplinary group, comprising philologists, linguists, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, students of religion and law, and others. Collaboration with NELC prepares our Renaissance students and scholars to look East beyond Europe, to the Byzantine and Ottoman worlds and other regions which were intimately connected with Europe via trade, cultural exchange, and political engagement, but are often neglected by Renaissance specialists. The presence of the Oriental Institute on campus, with its world class collection of near eastern artifacts, also provides research and teaching opportunities. More information.

Nicholson Center for British Studies

The University of Chicago is a center of remarkable strength in British Studies broadly conceived. Historically oriented work on Medieval, Early Modern and Modern Britain is now being conducted in the departments of History, English, Sociology, Political Science, and Philosophy, as well as in the Law and Divinity Schools.To further this mission of interdisciplinary study, the center: funds short- and long-term graduate research in the UK; funds undergraduate research in the UK; sponsors lectures in British Studies; hosts graduate-run conferences and other projects on topics of broad interest; and co-sponsors a variety of campus events involving British Studies. More information.

IFK - Institute on the Formation of Knowledge

The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge unites scholars to study the process of knowledge formation from antiquity to the present, and, in correlation, to explore how this history shapes our modern world. The institute organizes talks, conferences, a workshop on the formation of knowledge, research grants and seed grants for faculty projects. Two-year postdoctoral research fellowships bring to campus a broad range of younger researchers who offer innovative courses, some co-taught with IFK faculty. IFK courses treat the history of knowledge formation broadly, and include both undergraduate courses and graduate seminars. The IFK journal Know publishes speculative and editorial type pieces reflecting on knowledge formation. Several members work on the Renaissance, and the IFK building provides offices and event space, and hosts Renaissance-related events such as our 2017 Shakespeare film screening series. More information.

Renaissance Costume Library

Ada Palmer in the History Department runs a lending library of Renaissance costumes for stage and performance use. Collected from past performances and professional theaters' used costume sales, the pieces are ruggedly designed for quick dressing and costume change. A wide range of costumes, accessories, and props is available for loan to faculty and student groups for stage performances, concerts, classroom activities, and other Renaissance events. The library has also been used for theater projects by affiliated universities around the tri-state area, and even by Chicago-area middle schools and high schools. Contact adapalmer@uchicago.edu for more details.