The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies is an internationally leading center for the study of the culture and achievements of the Renaissance period (1400-1700). The Center contributes to the field of Renaissance studies through research, teaching, and outreach to the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, the Amherst community, and beyond.

Home to the scholarly journals English Literary Renaissance and The Sidney Journal, as well as the book series Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture, the Center is a lively scholarly community with a rich program of lectures, seminars, and conferences along with graduate and undergraduate classes and programs for the wider Amherst community. Visiting scholars from four continents have made use of the research opportunities at the Center, and the Center's work reaches across both geographic and disciplinary boundaries.

We welcome all qualified scholars and students to do specialized research using our unique collection of more than 30,000 items, including primary and secondary texts, manuscripts, microfilms, CDs, DVDs, and one of the largest collections of books printed between 1500 and 1700 in the Northeast. This rich library includes, in addition, digitized resources and the papers of the Yale Thomas More edition, Dame Helen Gardner, Harriet Hawkins, C.A. Patrides, and Marvin Rosenberg, and the professional papers of many major Renaissance scholars as well as the working libraries of J.H. Hexter, Sam Schoenbaum, Arthur Kinney, Vincent Ilardi, and Carol and Robert Kaske.

Arthur F. Kinney, Director

The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies


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The Center in the News

Italian Renaissance Harvest Banquet: The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies has ‘something that interests everyone’: The Daily Collegian

13th Annual Community Renaissance Festival held in Amherst: MassLive


The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies invites you to check out their calendar of events>> to see the exciting lineup of events for Fall 2015!

Informal adult community classes are free and open to the public, and are taught on a variety of subjects pertaining to the Renaissance. Classes take place at the Renaissance Center. See our offerings for Fall 2015 below:

Shakespeare with Tony Burton: Measure for Measure and The Tempest Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm -- 9:00 pm starting September 29th and running 9 weeks. Pious rulers let the reins slip away, with a variety of unexpected results. Please read the texts first, and have questions and biases ready to discuss.

The Hand-Press Book with Jeff Goodhind, Renaissance Center Librarian Mondays from 10:00 am - 11:00 am October 5th, 19th, 26th, and November 2nd An introduction to early printed books including paper, typesetting, printing, illustration, and binding. No knowledge of book history required. Class will take place in the upstairs classroom.

The Madrigal with Emiliano Ricciardi
Monday October 19th and 26th and November 2nd and 9th at 3:00 pm. The goal of this class is to develop a musical and historical understanding of the madrigal, one of the most important genres of vocal music in the late Renaissance. In the class we will examine select works by prominent practitioners of this genre, such as Willaert and Marenzio, placing them in the context of larger musical and cultural trends. No musical background is required.

Pre-registration required for each class at 413-577-3600 or email us at renaissance@english.umass.edu.

For pictures from our most recent Renaissance Festival, click here!

Click here to go to our Renaissance Garden page>>

Click here to view a short video about the Center>>