Student groups, graduate workshops, and faculty groups.

Jump down to see Graduate Student Workshops and Faculty Groups.

Student Groups


Sodalitas is a recognized student group (RSO) social group for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the Renaissance. It organizes Renaissance banquets on campus, theater and concert outings, film screenings, museum expeditions, craft projects, sessions with faculty, work with rare books and manuscripts, community outreach events to share Renaissance culture with the public, and fun with Renaissance-themed board games, RPGs, TV, and historical fiction. The Sodalitas mailing list serves as a hub, announcing and publicizing the activities of the other Renaissance student groups.  More information or contact student organizer John-Paul Heil.

The Dean’s Men

Founded in 2006, The Dean’s Men is a primarily undergraduate group dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare. Through performances and other activities, they bring the Bard’s writing to the school and create a community of theater makers. In addition to their quarterly University Theater show, they take part in community outreach, and endeavors such as working with local middle school students, organizing play readings, hosting Shakespeare-themed movies, and organizing gatherings with renowned Shakespeare scholar David Bevington.  See their website, or contact or for more.

Attori Senza Paura (Commedia dell’Arte Troupe)

The University of Chicago Commedia dell’Arte troop, “Attori Senza Paura” (Actors Without Fear) is a student performing troop which combines improv, clowning, and mime to create zany performances in the classical style of Italian Commedia dell’Arte. We perform skits, sketches, gags, and fun theatrical romps using the traditional masks and characters of the celebrated Italian professional comedy which flourished in the later Renaissance, originating in Italy and spreading across France and continental Europe to influence Shakespeare and other great English dramatists.

Learn more on their Facebook page, or contact

Early Music Ensemble

The Early Music Ensemble is a historically-oriented performance and study group led by David Douglass and Ellen Hargis of the Newberry Consort. Participation is open by audition or permission to anyone in the University community with music-reading experience, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. Repertoire is drawn from 15th- to 17th-century sources, with emphasis on historically-informed performance practices such as reading from original notation, improvisation, and ornamentation. The ensemble hosts an open house each autumn quarter; all interested musicians and novices are invited to attend. Contact Aimee Gonzalez at More

Camerata Singers

The University of Chicago Camerata is a student-conducted and managed chamber vocal ensemble at the University of Chicago that specializes in a capella works of the Renaissance. The group consists of both graduate and undergraduate students.

Contact through Facebook

Or e-mail: or


Classical Entertainment Society

The Classical Entertainment Society was founded by the Classics Department to facilitate “all things Classical,” from plays to chariot races to marathon readings of epic poems. CES has evolved to produce “modern classics,” re-tellings of ancient stories, and works by later playwrights set in the ancient world, including Renaissance dramas such as their 2017 production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The prominent presence in the Renaissance of Latin and ancient Greek, and of revived classical drama, make Renaissance Studies and the Classical Entertainment Society natural allies. Contact through Website or Facebook

Graduate Student Workshops


Early Modern and Mediterranean Worlds (1200-1800) Workshop

The Early Modern and Mediterranean Worlds Workshop focuses on presentations on the subjects of history, Romance languages, art history, music, and Near Eastern languages & culture from circa 1200 to 1800. A broad range of periods and geographic regions are represented, including projects on the relationships between Mediterranean cultures and distant regions, from East Asia to the Americas. Topics presented frequently include matters of religion, political institutions and law, political theory, science, economics, literature, and the republic of letters. (This workshop was formed in 2017, through the union of the previous "Early Modern Workshop" and "Western Mediterranean Culture Workshop.") More information.

Renaissance Workshop

The bi-weekly Renaissance Workshop gathers graduate students and faculty who work in many fields and study many regions, though the majority of presentations treat literary topics, especially English literature and Shakespeare. Recent presentations have treated topics such including early modern poetry, prose, and drama, humanist pedagogy, classical reception, politics and law, theological controversy, book history, the literature of trade and exploration, the history of the emotions, and much more. More information.


Other graduate student workshops on campus sometimes host events of interest to Renaissance scholars, or co-sponsor events with the Renaissance or EMMW Workshops. Such workshops include the Medieval Studies Workshop, the Latin America and the Caribbean Workshop, the Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Workshop, the Ancient Societies Workshop, the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science Workshop, the Jewish Studies Workshop, the Rhetoric and Poetics Workshop, the Research in Art and Visual Evidence Workshop, the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop, the Middle East History and Theory Workshop (MEHAT), the Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop, the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Cultures Workshop, and others.

Faculty Groups


Chicago-Area Renaissance Faculty Seminar

A monthly gathering of Renaissance faculty in diverse disciplines from institutions around Chicago and the tri-state area. Founded in the 1950s by faculty at the University of Chicago, the seminar is hosted on campus and runs monthly during the school year, commencing with a friendly dinner, followed by a presentation by an invited speaker. A wonderful way to meet colleagues outside one’s institution, especially visiting fellows at the Newberry and other scholars present in Chicago for brief intervals. Co-chaired by Richard Strier (U of C) and Virginia Strain (Loyola). Email: