Ground-breaking discoveries in science, navigation, and art; a dramatic shift in religious thought; and a rediscovery of classical texts and classical architecture all shaped the Renaissance era. In poetry, politics, and plays, this inflection point in history saw the founding of our modern understanding of individual worth and identity, of religion and repression.
Renaissance Studies is a unique interdisciplinary program that combines academic learning with understanding through experience and active participation. Students will explore how we have come to know ourselves as ethical, creative, and self-creating beings in a complex, often confounding, world.
Students will acquire knowledge of terminology, research methods, and library reference tools while developing skills in organization, critical and logical thinking, and good, clear writing.
In this major, special attention is given to the development of Renaissance drama. The Blackfriars Playhouse, located just two blocks from campus, offers Renaissance Studies students at Mary Baldwin College opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Students can study in an active, professional theatre devoted to the performance of Renaissance drama and can learn experientially through face-to-face talks with the actors and directors, guided tours of the playhouse, and live interaction with MBC professors at plays.
The Renaissance Studies major can also partner with History, Art History, English, or Theatre as a double major to prepare students in an innovative way for careers in law, teaching, directing or acting, scholarship, editing, and publishing. All Renaissance Studies students will work with MBC graduate students as well as professors who are active scholars, writers, and directors.
Students can pursue a BA with a major in Renaissance Studies.
Renaissance Studies is a part of MBC’s School of Arts, Humanities, and Renaissance Studies and is available through the College for Women and Adult Degree Program in Staunton.