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Joshua Rushton

My term spent in Venice during my MA was the second opportunity that I had to take advantage of the University of Warwick’s deep roots in the lagoon city. Having completed my BA in History in 2018, I decided to continue my studies at Warwick through the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance (CSR). The interdisciplinary culture of the Centre, along with a range of modules offered to masters students, and, of course, the Venice term, were enough to convince me that this was the best place to pursue my interests in the social and cultural history of early modern Italy. The ability to study Venetian culture in situ was the most valuable aspect of the Venice term for me. Living and working in this unique city allowed me to immerse myself in Venetian culture and archives. In situ learning also allowed me to experience importance spaces, architecture, and objects first-hand. In addition to the core modules delivered by leading experts in Italian medieval and Renaissance culture, I benefited from the numerous cultural enrichment events and activities offered in Venice. One of these included a behind the scenes look into the (now completed) restoration process of Vittore Carpaccio’s Saint Ursula cycle in the Gallerie dell’Accademia conducted by Save Venice Inc. Read more about their wonderful conservation work here!


Back in Warwick, students continue their studies of the European Renaissance through the program’s core module and a choice modules offered by other participating departments. I decided to continue pursuing my interest in the relationship between religion and society through a module delivered by the Department of History. My learning in Warwick was further supported by skills-based sessions that focussed on things like writing a literature review and using research resources. There is also the option to develop new skills in palaeography (Italian or English) or maintain existing skills in Latin. During my MA, I decided to follow the English palaeography sessions. I enjoyed my time so much that I returned to Warwick to follow the Italian palaeography course! I left the CSR and the MA program there with exceptional preparation for the next step in my academic career which is a PhD at Leeds generously funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH). I was also delighted to have received two academic awards for my MA work named after two leading scholars of the Renaissance with connections to Warwick: Martin Lowry and Sir Jonathan Hale. My time living and working in Venice was integral to the early development of my doctoral project which focuses on the relationship between Catholic Reform and lay spirituality in Venice. I also teach early modern history to a wonderful set of undergraduate students. I sometimes find myself embellishing my teaching with relevant anecdotes of my time in Venice such as my experience of the spaces of the Jewish Ghetto while teaching on early modern religious minorities or my time spent wandering around Baroque Catholic churches while discussing the Counter-Reformation!


I spent a wonderful four years at the University of Warwick and especially enjoyed my time in the Centre as a postgraduate. The taught MA is an incredible course and the integrated term in Venice makes it the only one of its kind in the UK. Whatever your interest in the Renaissance, the MA offers a range of opportunities to explore and support these and the Centre itself is made up of an incredible team that foster a culture of collegiality, personal growth, academic rigor, and mentorship.

Joshua Rushton & David Lines

Collecting prizes from the Renaissance Centre's Director, Prof David Lines. Details here.