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The Centre's History

The interdisciplinary study of the Renaissance has been a strong feature of the University of Warwick since the appointment of the charismatic John Hale (1923-1999) as the founding professor of History in 1964. Strongly supported by his fellow founder, Professor George Hunter (1920-2008) of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Sir John Hale inspired the Graduate School of Renaissance Studies, the forerunner of the present Centre for the Study of the Renaissance.

The historians Professor Michael Mallett (d. 2008, obituary) and Dr Humfrey Butters made Warwick a continuing centre of Florentine Renaissance studies through their editorships of the Lorenzo de’ Medici correspondence, whilst the influence of Venice was sustained by Dr Martin Lowry (d. 2002). The History of Art department, founded in 1974 with Foundation Professor Julian Gardner (now one of our Honorary Professors), strengthened the scholarly links with Italy.

Other ‘early’ Warwick faculty with Renaissance interests have also included such outstanding scholars as Nicholas Mann, Terence Cave, Ronnie Mulryne and Paul Hills.

From 1999-2004 the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance also incorporated the AHRB Centre for the Study of Renaissance Elites and Court Cultures with funding of £1.7 million. This involved Europa Triumphans, a research project on Italian Renaissance élites and the John Nichols project, intended to produce a critical edition of and commentary on The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth (1823), and The Progresses, Processions and Magnificent Festivities of King James the First (1828). The then Director, Professor Mulryne also gained an AHRB Resource Enhancement Grant for the digitisation of the British Library’s incomparable collection of Festival Books, which now features on the British Library’s Treasures in full website. John Nichols's The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I. A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources was seen through the press by Elizabeth Goldring, Faith Eales, Elizabeth Clarke, and Jayne Elisabeth Archer. The prize-winning, five-volume set was published by Oxford University Press in January 2014.

See the section 'Research Projects' for more recent research initiatives in the CSR.

Themes and activities

Thematically, the CSR offers particularly strong expertise in:

  • religious, political and social history (see the pages, for instance, of Aysu Dincer, Peter Marshall, Beat Kümin, Jonathan Davies, Luca Molà);
  • manuscript studies, print culture and the history of the book (e.g., Ingrid De Smet, David Lines, Bryan Brazeau, Rosa Salzberg, Maude Vanhaelen, Paul Botley);
  • late-medieval to early modern thought and intellectual culture, including the history of scholarship and universities; the Classical tradition / reception studies; commentaries and translations; the history of medicine and the history of science (e.g., Michael Bycroft, Caroline Petit, Paul Botley, David Lines, Mark Knights, Ingrid De Smet, Maude Vanhaelen, Rich Rabone);
  • medieval and Renaissance literature, theatre, and performance (e.g., Catherine Bates, Paul Prescott, Teresa Grant, Margaret Shewring, Carol Rutter, Paul Botley, Rich Rabone, Natalya Din-Kariuki);
  • the visual arts and the world of artisans, especially in Italy (e.g., Lorenzo Pericolo, Louise Bourdua, Giorgio Tagliaferro).

Directors:

Prof. David Lines (Sep. 2018-

Prof. Ingrid De Smet (Oct 2014-Aug. 2018)

Prof. Beat Kümin (Feb 2014 -Sept 2014)

Dr Maude Vanhaelen (2012-Feb 2014)

Dr Penny Roberts (2010 -2012)

Dr Ingrid De Smet (2007-2010)

Prof. Steve Hindle (2005-2007)

Prof. em. Julian Gardner (2003-2005)

Prof. em. Ronnie Mulryne (until April 2003)


 Vintage Renaissance Graduate School poster



Working with colleagues in the History Department: details of the recent 50th Anniversary Celebrations for their Venice Programme

Tour with Jonathan Davies

Venice Tour with Jonathan Davies