Renaissance and Early Modern
The Department features a vibrant community of faculty and students whose research focuses on the Renaissance and early modernity in England, from the Tudor period to the late seventeenth century. We collaborate in our long-running Renaissance Workshop, which provides a forum for exchanging ideas and presenting new work rigorously and collegially. The strengths of our faculty include comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives on the poetry, drama, and prose of the English Renaissance, with close attention to the intersection of formal, historical, and philosophical modes of study. Timothy Harrison focuses on literature and its relationship—both historical and conceptual—to the life sciences, philosophy, and theology; Ellen MacKay works on performance as a domain of social risk and social formation in early modern England and the early Americas; Noémie Ndiaye focuses on drama in Western Europe (England, France, and Spain) and its participation in the social, political, and cultural struggles of early modernity, especially those pertaining to race; Joshua Scodel works on Renaissance literary history’s relation to the classical tradition and to intellectual and political history. The study of the Renaissance at Chicago is enriched by the teaching and workshop participation of emeritus professor Richard Strier (who works on religion, politics, Shakespeare, and the lyric).