Graduate Program

Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

The Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is an interdisciplinary program that creates a framework and community for diverse approaches to the study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The program complements doctoral or master’s students’ work in their home departments with interdisciplinary study of the broad range of culture in the medieval and early modern periods, as well as of the theories and methods that attend them. The Concentration is designed to train specialists who are firmly based in a traditional discipline but who can work across disciplinary boundaries, making use of varied theoretical approaches and methodological practices.


The Concentration consists of twenty credits, all of which will also count towards a student’s graduate degree, distributed under the following rubrics: Proseminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (4 points); Medieval and Renaissance Media: Visual and Material Cultures (4 points); Late Latin and Early Vernaculars (4 points); and Medieval and Renaissance Studies Workshop (2 points per semester taken twice in an academic year). At least one course must be taken outside a student’s home department. In addition, students pursuing the Concentration will present a paper at least once either in the Workshop or in a conference offered by the Medieval and Renaissance Center.

Core Course Descriptions

Proseminar – MEDI-GA 1100
An introduction to the primary materials, reference works, journals, and research methodologies that pertain to the field of Medieval and Renaissance Studies together with an introduction to its sub-disciplines, including religion, psychology and philosophy, secular art and literature, architecture, historiography, economics and trade, science, translation studies, and the history of the book. The course is team taught.

Medieval & Renaissance Studies Workshop – MEDI-GA 2000
A forum for cultivating the interdisciplinary work of students working in the medieval and early modern periods and for preparing students to meet the demands of the professional world of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Workshop activities will include discussing and critiquing per-circulated papers or works-in-progress presented by NYU faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the Workshop; learning and practicing the protocols for submitting papers for conferences and various forms of publication, and for writing grant proposals; designing teaching strategies; and discovering and experimenting with new research tools. In all of these activities Workshop participants will also engage with overarching issues of concern to the field such as the benefits and limitations of periodization and the role of Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the academy and in society at large.

Medieval Latin and Early Vernaculars – MEDI-GA 2100
This course has two aims: to improve students' ability to read and translate medieval Latin, and to increase students' understanding and appreciation of medieval Latin literature.  Students will read selections from a variety of Latin texts, of which the earliest author is Boethius and the latest author is Dante.  The study of poetic selections will include attention to meter.