The Department of History

College of Arts & Sciences


Medieval & Renaissance

The UT history department offers an MA and PhD concentration in European history before 1600, working closely with the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Candidates receive their degrees in history, but are encouraged to participate widely in the interdisciplinary life of the institute, which brings together faculty and graduate students from eight different UT departments. Within the Medieval and Renaissance History concentration, students are encouraged to focus in one of the department’s areas of strength: Mediterranean History, Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, the Crusades and Christian-Muslim relations, Medieval and Renaissance Intellectual History, and Continental Reformation.

Our faculty have won numerous national and international research awards, including the NEH, ACLS, and Fulbright Fellowships, the Rome Prize, the National-Humanities Center Fellowship, and the Macarthur “Genius” Fellowship awarded to Jay Rubenstein in 2008. We publish widely and actively encourage graduate participation in the scholarly world. We are supported by faculty in other departments who serve on graduate committees and take part in training students in the technical, linguistic, and methodological tools that are necessary to study medieval and Renaissance history. There are presently about twenty students working on graduate degrees on the Middle Ages and Renaissance in the history department. Recent and ongoing dissertation topics include “Written in the Stars: Albertus Magnus,” Speculum astronomiae and its readers, appeals to the public during the early years of the English Reformation, the culture and practice of crusading in medieval Iberia, kingship in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, fourteenth-century Latin intellectuals, and the problem of continued Islamic expansion, the manuscripts of the Latin translation or al-Ghazali’s logic and metaphysics, and court culture and jousting in Angevin England.

Through the Marco Institute, this cadre of graduate students in pre-modern Europe can not only take advantage of one of the best summer medieval Latin programs in North America, but also interact with another two dozen graduate students from other departments, and all of whom take part in numerous annual activities, including scholarly symposia and ongoing interdisciplinary research seminars in Mediterranean Late Antiquity and the High Middle Ages. They also are eligible for travel and research awards as well as a dissertation writing prize. The Middle Ages and Renaissance are a key focus of the UT Libraries collections and UT has all the resources necessary to conduct original research in Marco Institute fields, including complete sets of the Patrologia Latina and Graeca; the Corpus Christianorum; the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the Rolls Series, the Acta Sanctorum, and important databases such as the Early English Books Online (EEBO) and the International Medieval Bibliography.


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