With the launch of the Renaissance Company, Frank and Deborah are realizing their longstanding ambition of making the rich cultural legacy of the Italian Renaissance, the enduring meaning of its art and ideas, more broadly available as a passionately personal intellectual and reflective human experience.
Francis John Ambrosio
Frank is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He received his PhD. from Fordham University with a specialization in contemporary European philosophy. He is the author or editor of three books, the latest, Dante and Derrida: Face to Face (2007), and published numerous scholarly articles.
He founded and directs the “MyDante” Digital Project at Georgetown (dante.georgetown.edu), a web based, interactive pedagogy designed to enrich readers’ appreciation of Dante’s great poem. Frank has received several major awards for excellence in teaching at Georgetown. In 2009, The Teaching Company released his 36 lecture series, entitled “Philosophy, Religion and the Meaning of Life,” in their “Great Courses” catalog (http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=4610). For more than 15 years at Georgetown, Frank led study toursfor Georgetown alumni, parents and students.
Deborah Ross Warin
Deborah Ross Warin is co-founder and co-director of The Renaissance Tour Company. While at Georgetown University as Director of Continuing Education for ten years, Deborah led more than twenty five academic tours to Italy in association with at Georgetown’s Charles Strong Center at Villa Le Balze in Fiesole, as well as spending a sabbatical semester there.
In addition to her faculty position at Georgetown, Deborah has held leadership positions in higher education as a director at the American Council on Education, assistant vice president of Trinity University, as well as serving as expert adviser to the European Council’s Higher Education, Civil Responsibility and Democracy Initiative in Strasbourg, France. She has been a member of the Executive Council for Liberal Studies at Georgetown University, and an adviser to Shakespeare Magazine, where she was Managing Editor its founding year.
Deborah has lectured in a variety of settings in the United States and abroad on her forthcoming book Battista Sforza and the Ducal Court of Urbino. Her talks have included a sold-out engagement at the Embassy of Italy’s Italian Cultural Society, a lecture before nearly 200 as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associates program, and a lecture for students, faculty, and alumni of Georgetown University’s Graduate Program in Liberal Studies.
The principal activity of the Renaissance Company will be to offer flexible programs for adults who wish to invest their leisure in learning about the origins, development and leaders of the Renaissance in central Italy, throughout Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche, as well as in the city of Florence. Liberal education is always a communal activity, so our programs are designed to offer participants the leisure of time to reflect on and discuss with colleagues and peers the implications of the Renaissance for the transformation of their own ways of living. “Renaissance” means new birth and a renewal of society; personal initiatives and reflective dialogue are its primary sources.
At the core of all of the Company’s diverse programs will be an exploration of the economic, religious, political, intellectual artistic and cultural dynamics of change that characterize this period and made it among the most unique in Western history. Through guided visits and discussion led by expert teachers, participants will come into contact firsthand with the environment and artifacts of the early Italian Renaissance.
Lest this sound too academic, too intensely guided, our complimentary objective is to at least as often move out of the way, giving travelers a great amount of free time to experience the cultural and beauty of these places on their own. After many years of leading these tours, we are committed to the integrity of the individual experience, which so shaped the many articulations found in the human achievements of the Renaissance and therefore we hope to set the context rather than interfere with the resonance found in the individual experience of our travels. Therefore, we think it equally important to allow for all of those possibilities as well.
Above all else, our goal is to allow our travelers to enjoy the leisure of becoming at home in a place of breathtaking beauty, both the beauty of nature enhanced by centuries of human craft and the beauty of human experience transformed by imagination and art.