Texas Tech University

Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center

MRSC header
The “Bull of Quivira” (one of the Plains “cities of gold”), woodcut of a bison by Christoffel Jegher [1569-1652]

Texas Tech University, although established in 1923, is rooted in the middle ages and the Renaissance. This is true of the abstract ideals of the university and of its arts curricula. It is also true of the campus architecture, a Spanish Renaissance theme based ultimately upon the Administration Building's recapitulation of the plateresque style of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, built in 1553. It is literally true of the earliest European presence here on the High Plains, where the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado left behind chain mail, crossbow bolts, and vellones minted during the reign of Enrique IV of Castille (1454-75), perhaps the oldest circulating coins ever discovered in U.S. territory.

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center (MRSC) is dedicated to the advancement of Medieval and Renaissance studies at Texas Tech, in the State of Texas, and in the lands beyond. It currently supervises a graduate certificate program in medieval and Renaissance studies, provides some conference participation support for students working in these areas, and sponsors guest lectures and other activities related to medieval and Renaissance studies. Whereas traditional academic programs are organized to support their own specific perspectives and programs, the Center seeks to unite faculty and students interested in medieval and Renaissance area studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries. It seeks is to enhance campus, state, and national knowledge about Texas Tech programs already in place. The Center, approved in 2011, is located administratively within the College of Arts and Sciences but is also funded in part by the College of Visual and Performing Arts.


Geraldine Heng Online Lecture

"The Politics of Race in the European Middle Ages"

Washington University of Saint Louis's Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies will host an online lecture on 26 October at 5PM CST by Geraldine Heng, Perceval Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages; England and the Jews: How Religion and Violence Created the First Racial State in the West; and Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy. Heng is Founder and Director of the Global Middle Ages Project, and editor, with Ayanna Thompson, of the University of Pennsylvania Press series, Race B4Race: Critical Studies of the Premodern, as well as editor, with Susan Noakes, of the Cambridge University Press 40-title Elements series on The Global Middle Ages. Her Cambridge Element, The Global Middle Ages: An Introduction, and an edited MLA Options for Teaching volume on the global Middle Ages, will appear in 2021. More information and the Zoom link to the lecture can be found here

MRSC Student Assistant Part-time position

The Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center (MRSC) at Texas Tech is seeking one Student Assistant to help the directors throughout November 2020 to build online content, develop a monthly newsletter, and promote MRSC activities to a broad audience via email and social media. More information here

Spring 2021 Medieval & Renaissance Studies Courses

Our list of Spring 2021 Medieval and Renaissance course offerings is now available. Please note that Dr. John Beusterien will be offering the required cornerstone course for the Med-Ren Studies Certificate, MRST 5301: Methods in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Wednesdays 2-4:50 pm. 

MRSO Symposium

MRSO Symposium Poster F20 

TTU's student-led Medieval and Renaissance Studies Organization is holding a virtual symposium September 18th and 19th to "read and workshop papers on all topics Medieval and Renaissance." All are welcome to attend. Paper submissions are now closed, but all are encouraged to attend and participate. Contact jessie.rogers@ttu.edu for more details.

Join the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Organization!

Calling all Texas Tech students interested in Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Tech's student-led Medieval and Renaissance Studies Organization is alive and thriving! Please check out their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TechMRSO. They would love to hear from you!

Recent Publications

Beusterien_Transoceanic_Animals_bookThe TTU Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center would like to take special note of the publication of Transoceanic Animals as Spectacle in Early Modern Spain (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), by MRSC affiliated faculty and board member John Beusterien, Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the Comparative Literature Program at Texas Tech. 

We note also the publication of Reformation of the Senses: The Paradox of Religious Belief and Practice in Germany (University of Illinois Press, 2018) authored by our affiliated faculty and Board member Dr. Jacob M. Baum, Associate Professor, Department of History. Congrats to Drs. Baum and Beusterien!

In other MRSC faculty publication news, Texas Tech University  awarded the First Place Faculty Book Award for 2018-19 to Dr. Angela Mariani, Professor of Musicology, for her monograph Improvisation and Inventio in the Performance of Medieval Music (Oxford University Press, 2017).

We encourage the members of our MRSC community to send us news of your publications or other research and creative activity, so that we may share it here! (Contact janis.elliott@ttu.edu or angelamariani.smith@ttu.edu). 

Upcoming Events

TEMA 2020


The 30th annual Conference of the Texas Medieval Association will take place virtually on October 2-3, 2020, hosted by the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. The conference theme this year will be "Medieval STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics," and will feature an an Inaugural Permanent Conference Thematic Strand:
Race and Medieval Studies. 



International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2021

The 2021 International Congress on Medieval Studies will be held May 13-15 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. They are "still hoping for an in-person congress while simultaneously exploring a myriad of hybrid and virtual possibilities."  Many of the papers that were to be presented at the cancelled 2020 conference will be given in 2021. We will keep you posted! 

Past Events

The TEMA 2019 conference was held at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, 18-19 October 2019. For the program see https://www.texasmedieval.net/

South Central Renaissance Conference (SCRC) 2019 at TTU hosted by Dr. Brian Steele (School of Art, TCVPA Associate Dean)

Exhibit on "Pre-Modern Bibles"

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