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Welcome to Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Ingrid Pierce wins 2013 Thomas Ohlgren Award

Comitatus (Purdue's medieval student organization)  Check out the updated website here.

The concept of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (or MARS) is an integral part of the tradition of the university. The interdisciplinary major and minor are designed to appeal to students who desire to cultivate a broadly integrated understanding of Western civilization. Unlike the vertical orientations of departmental disciplines, which follow one field of study from its beginnings to the present, MARS cuts horizontally across fifteen subject areas such as art, architecture, drama, history, music, vernacular and Latin literature, philosophy, and political science. The program presents a variety of ways to acquire perspectives concerning the nature and origins of the world in which we live.

Founded in 1970, the interdepartmental program coordinates things medieval and renaissance at Purdue. These include an undergraduate major and minor and two interdisciplinary courses. MARS hosts the Fall Symposium, in which two distinguished scholars are invited to speak, and it organizes two graduate conferences: the Comitatus Conference for Medieval Studies (usually in February), and the Renaissance Prose Conference (usually in November). Now in its second decade, "MARS Mondays" is a lunch-time lecture series featuring talks by faculty and students that meets typically four times in the Fall and Winter semesters. MARS also cooperates with other IDIS programs such as Comparative Literature and Literature and Film and it is active in Medieval Academy's CARA (Committee on Centers and Regional Associates). It also sponsors two awards for the best papers on medieval and renaissance topics at the annual Literary Awards contest.

The program is administered by an interdepartmental committee, composed of members from the participating departments. There is an appointed chair and secretary. The program receives an annual budget from the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Video Introducing Interdisciplinary Programs at Purdue (via YouTube)

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