Learn about the mission and history of Sodalitas!

The Mission of Sodalitas

Founded in 2017, Sodalitas (from the Latin word meaning “a close association of friends”) is a recognized student organization and social group at the University of Chicago for undergraduate and graduate students interested in all aspects of the early modern period (broadly defined as 1200-1800), with a special emphasis on the history, intellectual life, and culture of the early modern Mediterranean. Our members’ interests range from period costumes to music and theater, to the craft of history and speculative historical fiction, research and manuscripts, food and gaming, but most of all fun.

Sodalitas is committed to fostering a supportive, nurturing, open, and welcoming environment for burgeoning scholars. We recognize how grueling academics can sometimes be and are dedicated to providing a space in which one can rediscover the fun in history. We provide an alternative outlet for students looking to get away from the typical college party atmosphere, who are seeking friends committed to academics and learning outside the classroom. We arrange a variety of events to appeal to our ever-expanding range of members, including reading groups, dim sum outings, theater and concert trips, film screenings, expeditions and private tours to museums and libraries, hands-on sessions with rare books and manuscripts, community outreach events to share early modern history and artifacts with the public, game nights centered around Renaissance-themed board games and role-playing games, and annual Renaissance banquets with period food, costumes, and performances by other students groups on campus doing activities related to early modernity. We run a mailing list announcing our events and update our calendar frequently. If you’d like to learn a little more about the folks in charge of Sodalitas, click here.

Faculty and older students also share their research with the group, and offer mentoring for anyone interested in a Renaissance project. Whether you want to find a fun class, study in a distant archive, design a game, or learn where to find the best gelato in Rome, all kinds of questions and projects are welcome!

Students examine a letter by Michelangelo at the Newberry Library.

Fun and feasting at the annual Renaissance Banquet.

Demonstrating a printing press made by our club’s founder.

Talking about early modern print culture at the 2017 Italian Cultural Festival at Navy Pier.