The Global Renaissance project is a scholarly-pedagogical experiment, made up of content produced by undergraduate students in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, at the University of Maryland-College Park, and headed by Juan Luis Burke, PhD, assistant professor of architectural and urban history at UMD.
The project operates under the premise that the teaching of architectural history has traditionally favored an idealization of the exceptional, and the teaching of Renaissance architectural history is no exception. The issue with this narrative is what is left out, namely, how classicism in the early modern period travels, is adopted beyond Italy, and becomes adapted, incorporated into local idioms, and for what reasons.
The Global Renaissance project features research into buildings localized in regions of the world that have traditionally been left out of the mainstream narratives, both in Europe and outside it.
Additionally, the histories of these buildings are stories of alterity, tied to shaping national or regional identities, exercises of power display, subjugation, or colonialism. These are stories, ultimately, of how the world became modern and globalized, and this project gives testament to the teaching and learning processes involved in discussing these issues. We hope that this webpage serves as a resource for anybody interested in learning more about architectural history in the early modern period as it relates to the concepts of the Renaissance, classicism, mannerism, Baroque, and other related ones, and may this site serve as inspiration for similar endeavors.