Tanya Schmidt '12
Prior to beginning graduate school in Renaissance literature at New York University, Tanya Schmidt played volleyball professionally in Belgium and Germany.
These occupations may seem unconnected, but underlying themes of curiosity about the world and a thirst for knowledge connect Tanya’s adventures. She has studied six languages and wishes to learn more. Experiences such as trekking to Machu Picchu in Cuzco, CouchSurfing in Istanbul, and learning Mandarin in Taipei fuel her imagination and questions about threads between civilizations ancient and modern.
Particularly fascinated by the European Renaissance in the 14th-17th centuries, Tanya finds the creativity of Renaissance artists, scientists, politicians, and writers—this is the era of Michelangelo, Galileo, Queen Elizabeth, and Shakespeare—relatable to the innovation of entrepreneurs in the modern age of technology. While she watches and encourages her peers working in startups, this Silicon Valley native looks to classical and Renaissance literature to remember and rediscover timeless gems of wisdom. Her research interests include Renaissance society and politics, reception of classical texts in the Renaissance, Shakespearean and other Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and Milton’s poetry and prose. Her 2015 summer project is to read through Vergil’s Aeneid in the original Latin.
As a MENSA Foundation Scholar, National Collegiate Athletic Association Postgraduate Scholar, West Coast Conference Postgraduate Scholar, Alumni Epsilon Scholar, and NYU Charles Wickham Moore Scholar, she is working toward a Master of Arts degree, upon completion of which she aspires to continue to a doctoral program in English. Her ultimate goal is to teach at a university. She is very excited about a life with Renaissance literature as a home base, a lens through which she may glean similarities and differences between then and now. Since moving to New York, she has become picky about bagels, jazz clubs, and subway etiquette—a few reasons why she is grateful to live now as opposed to then. She plans to comment on current events and Renaissance literature as a newly minted academic.