Classes @ the Renaissance Center

The Center offers a wide variety of classes - many free of charge - for undergraduate and graduate students, children and youth, and the community at large.


Courses in Renaissance Studies topics are usually held at the Center unless enrollment is excessive for the space. Participation is limited to graduate students enrolled in any course of study at the University.

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Adult classes run once a week generally for six to twelve weeks and are taught by independent scholars, retired faculty, and experts in particular fields within Renaissance Studies. Open to all at no charge.

Community Classes

Shakespeare with Tony Burton:

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays September 11th - November 13th (no class Sept. 18 - Yom Kippur)

Shakespeare's The Tempest Starting Sept. 11th- Nov. 13th on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm -- 9:00 pm (except on Sept. 18th – Yom Kippur) and running 8 weeks.   His last play (except for modest and uncertain collaboration in plays attributed to others) and probably attracting the largest number of interpretations, from both historical and contemporary viewpoints, the class will, after a very brief presentation of background fact, begin by reading the play through aloud by class members, parts assigned according to expressed preferences and then as necessity requires.  Next, open discussions of the play as a whole, the various characters, and what we all — as a troupe of actors — deem is most performable by our troupe, and what must be left for the reader's study at leisure. Interspersed throughout, we will watch DVD's of stage, TV, or film performances. Please read the material prior to class. Reading Room

Science During the Renaissance with James van Luik, Professor Emeritus in Philosophy of Science from UMass

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays September 12th - October 24th

Wednesday afternoons at 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, running 6 weeks. Science During the Renaissance:  Professor van Luik will explore science during the Renaissance and most particularly, the strengthening developments during the Renaissance. Upstairs Classroom


Shakespeare with Marie Roche, Ph.D.

Title: Shakespeare's Kick-Ass Mothers
Including, Coriolanus (Volumnia), Hamlet (Gertrude) and Henry VI (Marguerite of Anjou)
This course will be a traditional semester-length starting September 17 - December 3rd (12 weeks, 11/12/18 Veterans Day - Renaissance Center is Closed

In this class, we will look at the role of mothers and power in Shakespeare's plays. What is it that makes these women so strong? From where do they derive their authority? Why are the men subjugated? What is the dynamic of these relationships? These and more questions we will explore as we will read, sometimes for the first time, these plays. No previous knowledge needed, everything will be provided in class- All are welcome. Reading Room

Please register for all Community Classes by emailing us at with the following information: The class you want to attend, your name, telephone number and email address. Please include the same information if you are also registering another person.

Many thanks for your cooperation.


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The Center also sponsors classes and events that connect school-age children with the literature and history of the Renaissance in interesting and engaging ways.

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