About the Program
The Designated Emphasis on Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (DE) draws on UC Berkeley’s exceptional faculty strength in arts, humanities, and social sciences to foster interdisciplinary research on the Renaissance and early modern period, and to provide an intellectual community for those working in these areas. It offers comprehensive training in a wide range of departments and disciplines. Students combine seminar work in intellectual and cultural history, material culture, and languages to supplement their traditional doctoral studies. The DE fosters cutting-edge research and close collaboration with faculty.
To be admitted to the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, an applicant must already be accepted into a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. For further information regarding admission to graduate programs at UC Berkeley, please see the Graduate Division's Admissions website.
Students are invited to apply for admission to the DE during their second semester of graduate study at Berkeley.
The application consists of an application form (which can be downloaded from the REMS website), a brief (two-page single-spaced) essay stating the student’s rationale for applying, any relevant coursework or other preparation for the DE, and the student’s projected pathway through the program; a writing sample (no more than 20 pages); and the name and email address of a Berkeley faculty member who knows your work well and will support your application to the DE.
Designated Emphasis Requriements
The required course of study consists of five courses: two required core courses offered by the DE, and three approved electives, one of which may be used to satisfy the DE’s language requirement.
The first of the core courses is “Critical Approaches and Methodology.” This course engages with diverse disciplines, interpretive traditions, bibliographical resources, and scholarly practices (such as paleography, iconology, history of the book, and philology) in order to provide students with essential intellectual tools for graduate-level interdisciplinary research in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.
The second core course (although it may be taken first) is “Intellectual History.” This course focuses on major texts, artists, authors, and themes (such as humanism, the Reformation, the Baroque, Machiavellianism, courtliness, and colonialism) that provide crucial intellectual contexts for interdisciplinary research in the field.
The three electives will be chosen in consultation with the head graduate adviser. At least one of these electives must be taken outside the student’s home department. This breadth requirement cannot be satisfied by a course that also fulfills the language requirement.
Students in the DE in REMS combine seminar work from an array of departments in intellectual and cultural history, material culture, and languages to supplement their traditional doctoral studies. The REMS website lists courses that DE students may take in fulfillment of their requirements.
The language requirement may be satisfied by an upper division course in a language outside the student’s department, as approved by the head graduate adviser. Students must demonstrate that the chosen language will be essential to their dissertation projects. For many students, this language will be Latin, the lingua franca of the early modern and Renaissance world. However, the language might also be Italian, or Dutch, or Classical Arabic, if the student’s dissertation project requires it. The language requirement may also be satisfied by previous coursework or by a translation exam, as approved by the head graduate adviser.
The QE must include examination in an interdisciplinary field of knowledge within the DE; students must receive written approval of the field from the head graduate adviser before taking the QE. At least one faculty member affiliated with the DE must participate in the QE. Satisfactory performance on the QE will be judged according to the established procedures of the student’s home department.
The dissertation must include research in an interdisciplinary field of knowledge within the DE. This research may take several forms, which will vary from student to student: for instance, students might analyze texts that are outside the normal purview of their home departments, or they might apply interdisciplinary knowledge that has been obtained through study within the DE. The dissertation committee must include at least one faculty member affiliated with the DE, and the committee should be formed in consultation with the head graduate adviser.
The DE will be acknowledged solely in conjunction with the PhD in an established PhD program and will be signified by the transcript and diploma designation, “PhD in [major] with a Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.”
Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
4207 Dwinelle Hall
Diego Pirillo, PhD
6327 Dwinelle Hall
Head Graduate Advisor
419 Wheeler Hall
Graduate Student Services Advisor
4207 Dwinelle Hall