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Active Focal Group


Renaissances at Stanford is an interdisciplinary working group serving the university’s early modern scholars. Its purpose is to bridge disparate fields, methodologies, languages, and geographies to explore the Renaissance in its European and global contexts. Renaissances’ members include faculty and graduate students from the English, Comparative Literature, History, Art History, Religion, Music, and Classics departments, among others; fellows from the Stanford Humanities Center; and early modernists from the broader scholarly community. Each year, Renaissances offers a range of events designed to build relationships among peers, mentors, and external institutions and scholars. Our affiliation with the Renaissance Society of America, the largest professional organization of early modernists, and our partnership with the Humanities Center journal, Republics of Letters, extends Renaissances’ community beyond Stanford and the Bay Area. Together, our members explore the complexity and the plurality of the Renaissance.

Graduate Research Series:

Renaissances’ flagship program, the Graduate Research Series, was founded in 2015. Each quarter, a senior graduate student member invites an external scholar to campus. These collaborations culminate in roundtable discussions open to the Renaissances community. Student and expert present pre-circulated draft materials – dissertation chapters, article drafts, book excerpts, etc. – to an audience of graduate students and faculty members. Both speakers then field questions moderated by Renaissances’ graduate coordinators. Participating graduate students receive individualized mentorship, networking opportunities, and the support of the Renaissances’ community. Their audience benefits from their example. The Graduate Research Series provides professional development opportunities for both advanced graduate student presenters and their junior peers while broadening the Renaissances community.

Professionalization Workshop Series:

In 2022, Renaissances debuted a second discussion forum: the Professionalization Workshop Series. This program has assumed various formats. In 2022–2023, the Professionalization Workshop Series featured quarterly guest lectures by external scholars. The following year, the series highlighted Stanford professors at quarterly roundtables. Regardless of design, each iteration of the Professionalization Workshop Series explores issues central to the study of early modernity while emphasizing mentorship and providing students key opportunities to network and to collaborate.


Renaissances’ external branches, its Renaissance Society of America (RSA) affiliation and its partnership with the Humanities Center journal, Republics of Letters, offer public visibility for our members and their work. Renaissances hosts up to three panels at RSA’s annual conference. With the help of Renaissances’ faculty advisor, graduate students develop, coordinate, and participate in these roundtables. Meanwhile, Republics of Letters provides a venue for graduate students to publish their work, fulfilling a crucial professional milestone.

 Mailing List:

 Stay up to date with Renaissances events by contacting our coordinators (below) to join our mailing list. We look forward to hearing from you.


Faculty PIs