About the Renaissance Institute
The inaugural year of the Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies will focus on the topic of "Literature and Religious Conflict in the English Renaissance."
Our modern world faces a great deal of newly prominent religious conflict, ranging from 9/11 and subsequent Al Qaeda attacks to the Chinese repression of the Falun Gong, the international Anglican/Episcopalian split over ordaining gay bishops, and harsh debates in the US about abortion. In this context, 21st-century literary scholarship has felt compelled to a new engagement with its own earlier experience of violent religious conflict - the bitter struggle we now know as the Protestant Reformation.
During the years from 1526 to 1659 religio-political violence was ignited over and over again, throughout the English world: in Ireland, in the Low Countries, in France, and in England itself. All the great English Renaissance writers, from Sir Thomas More through Sidney and Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton, took up complex positions of interrogation, resistance, and personal commitment regarding many of the most inflammatory issues that arose. The UT English Renaissance community is devoting the 2009-10 school year to exploring these questions. The tabs on this page lead to a variety of individual and community projects that together constitute the year's Institute: the fall Odyssey course, the spring speaker series, the summer symposium, and the work of individual faculty and graduate students.
- Renaissance media and video: Watch the Spring Lecture Series now, featuring talks by James Simpson, Julia Lupton, and Nigel Smith.