The Early Modern Studies pathway invites you to study the vibrant culture of Europe between 1300 and 1700. Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on aspects of history, religion, and visual culture from the period as well as on its literature. In order to develop your understanding of pre-modern documentary and material culture, our teaching involves close study of original manuscripts and early printed texts and of early objects.
Working alongside distinguished scholars in English Literature you will be asked to think about what we mean by the terms ‘Medieval’ and ‘Early Modern’, and to formulate conclusions using a profoundly interdisciplinary approach: you will examine the literature, history, religion, visual culture, social relations, and politics of the period. Imaginative and ambitious themed modules enable you to study some of the most influential writers working between the 14th and 17th centuries within their cultural and historical context: Chaucer, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Donne, and Milton amongst others. You’ll construct a historical understanding of the key movements, debates, and ideas that shaped the period in preparation for researching and writing your dissertation.
Queen Mary’s strong early-modern cluster is widely recognised for its vibrant teaching and research strengths. The early-modern MA programme offers core study in medieval and early-modern historiography, and archival, bibliographical, and research skills. The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
Other research specialisms include prison writing, network theory, the history of reading, late-medieval London literary production, forgery, early-modern political thought, literary-scientific relations, medieval chronicles, prison writing, pre-Shakespearean drama, John Donne, John Milton, Thomas Browne.
You will be trained to a very high level in research skills and you’ll get hands-on experience of working with a variety of early modern items, with access to otherwise uncatalogued and unexplored materials. You’ll work with rare books and manuscripts during this training. Throughout, you’ll be considering the impact of developments in manuscript culture and the new technologies in printing and publishing in the period.
The optional modules draw on the interests of our leading researchers and vary from year to year. We have particular concentrations in globalisation, trade, the exotic, and cartography (Jerry Brotton, Alfred Hiatt); book history, the material text, and editing (David Colclough, Joad Raymond, Claire Preston, Julia Boffey, Tamara Atkin, Jaclyn Rasjic); epistolarity, early newspapers, news networks, the circulation of books and manuscripts (Ruth Ahnert, Joad Raymond, Warren Boutcher); and women’s writing (Andrea Brady).
You choose two modules from a list of options that changes from year to year (one can be from the range of modules offered across the MA English Studies curriculum). In 2017-2018 we hope to offer the following. If members of our specialist research staff win research funding it will mean that their module won’t run, so for that reason this list is indicative only.
You may also opt to take a cognate elective module offered by the Schools in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by other Colleges of the University of London.
The prose, poetry and drama of the later medieval period (roughly 1350-1550) in England and Scotland offer a remarkably rich subject for advanced literary study.
This programme allows you to pursue individual projects in Scottish and/or English literature within a wider interdisciplinary understanding of the period as a whole. Whether your interests lie in major figures such as Chaucer, Langland, The Gawain Poet, Malory, Skelton, Henryson, Dunbar, Douglas or Lyndsay, in less well-known or anonymous writers, the romance tradition, lyric poetry or drama, or in the relationships between literature, society and politics, you will have the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of supervised independent research, supported by a flexible choice of taught options in related areas.
We are the oldest department of English Literature in the world, and at the last Research Assessment Exercise were awarded the highest research rating possible, of 5*A. We have one of the largest graduate programmes in this area in the country and a rich research culture covering all aspects of literatures in English.
We offer supervision in all areas of medieval literature, and have particular strengths in verse and prose romance, religious and secular drama, and lyric poetry.
The research of staff has made valuable contributions to the areas of literature and philosophy, modernism/postmodernism, medieval and early modern literature, history of the book, romanticism, transatlantic studies and performance studies.
English Literature houses the Centre for the History of the Book and is one of the UK's leading forces in this area. It works closely with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and with the National Library of Scotland. The latter's recently acquired Murray Archive is crucial for studies in Romanticism, Book History, Bibliography and Archive Studies.
The course includes a 15,000-word dissertation, completed under the supervision of one or more of the course tutors. Students will undertake a seminar based programme of research methods training in core research skills and subject specific methodologies. They will also take two option courses covering areas of medieval literature and culture related to their chosen fields, each consisting of a weekly two-hour seminar, and will write two extended essays in relation to these courses.
The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, many of them prize winners and leading scholars in their fields. As well as benefiting from their expert supervision, you will undertake a seminar-based programme of training in core research skills and subject-specific methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop other transferable skills through the University’s Institute for Academic Development
We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a vibrant programme of Work-in-Progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.
Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings, and provides an opportunity for editorial experience.
On hand are all the amenities you would expect, such as computing facilities, study areas and a common room and kitchen. Our location gives you easy access to the University’s general facilities, such as the Main Library and our collections, as well as to the National Museum, National Library and National Galleries of Scotland at the heart of the city.
In addition to the impressive range of resources available at the University’s Main Library (more than two million printed volumes and generous online resources) and the nearby National Library of Scotland, we host a number of collections of rare and valuable archival materials, all of which will be readily available to you as a postgraduate student.
Among the literary treasures are the libraries of William Drummond, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Hugh MacDiarmid, Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart and Norman MacCaig, plus the WH Auden collection, the Corson Collection of works by and about Sir Walter Scott and the Ramage collection of poetry pamphlets.
Our cultural collections are highly regarded and include a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays, and world-class manuscript and archival collections.
Literature is a dynamic force for change. Hull English postgraduates gain insight into society, culture and politics by developing an understanding of the power of language. And both the MA and the MRes programmes provide students with a thorough grounding in research methods and practices.
We offer dedicated routes for study and supervision in both Literary Studies and Creative Writing. There are also designated pathways allowing students to focus their studies on Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, and Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture. Creative Writing modules allow students to focus their interests on both fiction and non-fiction prose forms, and / or poetry. Students can opt to take a combination of Literary Studies and Creative Writing modules if suitably qualified.
Staff are internationally renowned and working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, both literary and creative.
Students will be taught and supervised by experts specialising in wide-ranging chronological pathways from Chaucer to the 21st century. We make full use of tutor research interests in areas such as Shakespeare, Victorian visual culture, contemporary fiction, gender and popular culture, children’s literature, the Gothic, and creative writing.
All MA and MRes students undertake a core training module on Research, Creativity and Engagement in the first semester. This culminates in a one-day postgraduate conference, a process through which students will be guided and supported by the module tutors and convenor. Students will also take three optional modules in their chosen subjects, which will all include elements of research / creative training.
For MA students, there is a final dissertation / creative portfolio worth 60 credits, and taught modules are worth 120 credits in total (30 credits each module). For MRes students, the final dissertation / portfolio is worth 120 credits, and the taught modules are worth 60 credits (2 x 30-credit modules).
Teaching methods will include three-hour seminars, creative writing workshops, student presentations and small group exercises.
* All modules are subject to availability.
You will leave Hull with enhanced communication and research skills.
Career options include writing and editing jobs, in fields such as journalism, marketing or promotions. Many students opt to pursue further research or a career in academia or teaching.
Rutgers University offers a 30-credit general Master’s Degree in English on the Newark campus, an urban yet intimate and leafy environment near downtown easily accessible by public transportation. Our students take six electives in addition to four required courses: Introduction to Graduate Literary Study, two in pre-1800 literatures, and one in American literature. Those choosing to concentrate in Women’s and Gender Studies take two interdisciplinary core courses in feminist theory and methods (see separate description) and two W&GS-designated literature courses in the English Program (such as Women in Medieval Literature, Jane Austen, Autobiography and Gender, or Race, Gender, and the Holocaust, three recent offerings by our strong women’s studies faculty in the English Department). All must pass an examination on a common reading list, offered in March, and a one-hour translation test, rendering a passage of literary biography or history written in a foreign language into idiomatic English. These tests are scheduled throughout the year during Department office hours at the individual’s convenience.
We mount 14-16 courses a year in the literatures and cultures of the Americas, Britain, and the English-speaking world as well as literature in translation. Besides more traditional courses (Chaucer) and innovative versions of traditional subjects, like Race and Gender in the Renaissance, or Global Romanticism, we offer considerable topical variety: for example, Transnational Muslim Fiction; The Vietnam War and American Culture, 1945-2009; African Diaspora Literature; The Gilded Age; Harlem Renaissance; Empire and the Spy Novel; War Stories; various film offerings; and courses on postcolonial, feminist, marxist, narrative, or other critical theories. Courses in Rhetoric and the Teaching of Writing, in Advanced Research and Archives, and in Editing and Publishing offer professional development. We also have occasional graduate Summer Session courses.
Degree students may arrange with a professor for Independent Study or a course of Advanced Readings tailored to their interests; some choose the two-semester Master’s Thesis,although this is not required for the degree. (Tailored studies must be arranged with the professor a semester in advance.) Seminarsare small (8-15), allowing for personal attention from professors and lively exchange with peers. Three classes constitute full-time status; given their busy lives, most students are part-time, registering for one or two courses per term. Each class is held once a week, 5:30 to 8:10, Monday through Thursday, allowing people to attend school after work. Occasionally we schedule a Saturday class. Degree students who need to take time out from their studies register for Matriculation Continued, which holds their place in the Program.
Even though most students are part-time and commute, we form a surprisingly close-knit community of 21 graduate English faculty and more than 40 students, diverse in age, interests, ethnicities, and nationalities. Some students live on campus. Our faculty are serious research scholars and writers who publish regularly, participate actively in professional organizations, receive national and international recognition for their work, and love to teach. Two of our Full Professors hold University Chairs; other colleagues both teach and provide administrative direction for other campus units, such as the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, Women’s and Gender Studies, and African American Studies.
Film and other courses are sometimes taught by experts from the Metropolitan area. A distinct advantage of studying here is the prospect of being helped along with recommendation letters, introductions, and publication advice from well-connected professionals.
Our students’ statistical profile: In case you’re wondering, in a typical semester our degree students are 65% female; about evenly divided between the age groups of 21-34 and 35-44, with a handful of older students. In 2004, 50 identified themselves on their applications as Caucasian, 10 as Black, 3 as “Other Hispanic,” 4 as Asian, the rest unidentified. 90% or more of our degree students live in New Jersey, with some having moved here to establish NJ residency. We are also pleased to welcome international students–recently, from Japan, Turkey, France, South Africa, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Overall R-N is the most diverse university campus in the nation.
Students’ vocational plans and interests: The fact that our students arrive with a variety of agendas makes for an interesting mix in the classroom, and for reasons we can’t claim to understand completely, diversity really ‘works’ in our Program.
Those planning on doctoral study choose courses that ground them in literary theory and find Rutgers–Newark a superior place for conducting serious research, given the resources of the University’s many libraries, including the Dana and Rutgers Law Libraries on our campus, networked with hundreds of others nationwide. Graduates also choose to study library science or earn education Ph.D’s in Rutgers-New Brunswick’s highly-regarded graduate schools in these field.
Graduates often find college teaching work without the Ph.D.; a few find it even before they receive the M.A. A strong presence among us are seasoned, beginning, or aspiring high school teachers, who come to deepen literary learning, enhance their options in their institution, and enjoy intellectual exchange among peers. We also attract students who are pivoting for career changes, working journalists and professionals in other media fields who are hungry for literary study, people who seek intensive study of literature to feed their own creative writing, late bloomers, and the recently unemployed who’ve decided to return to school.
We do admit applicants who weren’t college English majors or are working in various business fields, computer science, public relations, or law but have been reading literature extensively on their own. Introduction to Graduate Literary Study helps all students make the transition with instruction and practice in the latest scholarly research methods and literary theories.