About the MRSC Program
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 specific perspectives and programs, the Center seeks to unite faculty and students interested in medieval and Renaissance area studies that transcend disciplinary boundaries. At the same time, it seeks 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 also receives support from the Texas Tech Office of Research and Innovation, the Humanities Center, the Department of History, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
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 on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle in 1923, is rooted in the much deeper histories of peoples from many corners of the world. The lands on which the university is built have been inhabited for thousands of years, and in the last half-millenium, have been home to Comanche, Lipan- and Mescalero Apache, and Teyas peoples. Europeans first encountered the region and its people in the sixteenth century, when a small expedition led by the Spaniard, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, crossed the plains in search of the mythical land of Quivira. Material traces of these earliest explorations and contacts are still being uncovered today by local farmers and professional archaeologists alike. The university's connection to Spanish intellectual and cultural traditions is memorialized in our campus's brick and stone architecture, self-consciously modeled on the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, built in 1553. The Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center at Texas Tech recognizes the complicated and entangled histories that have given rise to the university and by setting them in their deeper contexts, seeks to enrich public discourse on some of the most pressing issues we face today.