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Early Modern English Literature: Text & Transmission MA

Study Early Modern English on a degree which is taught by King's and the British Library and provides a unique opportunity to study early modern literary works, including Shakespeare, Donne, and Jonson, in the light of recent critical approaches and as print and manuscript material artefacts.

The part of the course taught at the British Library is specially designed to teach students how to search collections of early modern manuscripts and rare books held in major research libraries worldwide and how to identify the agents involved in their production, transmission and preservation in libraries and private collections.

The course offers an ideal foundation for careers in the arts, education, curatorship and broadcasting.

Key Benefits

  • A strong tradition of Shakespeare and early modern literary studies at King’s.
  • Unique access to unparalleled collections at the British Library and to the expertise of world-class curators, who will teach a core module and supervise some dissertations.
  • Close links with the London Shakespeare Seminar, the London Renaissance Seminar, the Institute of English Studies, and Lambeth Palace Library.
  • Located in the heart of literary London with access to world-class partners, libraries, museums, theatres and cultural institutions.

Description

Our Early Modern English Literature MA is an innovative and exciting partnership between the Department of English at King’s and the British Library.

The course focuses on the transmission of key early modern literary texts, investigating both the circulation of literary texts in manuscript and print and the way they were received. The specific process through which a literary text reaches its readers or its audience is central to its interpretation.

You will learn to read early modern handwriting, to transcribe neglected literary manuscripts and rare printed texts, and to edit them for the modern reader. In focusing on transmission alongside more traditional literary approaches, the course explores the impact of the materiality of the text and of the material conditions of its (re)production on the way it is interpreted.

The Material Legacy of Early Modern Literary Texts module, which is taught at the British Library, is specifically designed to teach you how to search collections of early modern manuscripts and rare books held in major research libraries worldwide, and how to identify the factors and people involved in their production, transmission and preservation in libraries and private collections.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

If you are a full-time student, we will provide you with four to six hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 26 hours of independent study.

If you are a part-time student, we will provide you with two to four hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars. We will expect you to undertake 13 hours of independent study.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Your performance will be assessed mainly through written coursework or presentations. Forms of written assessment typically include essays and critical commentaries. Coursework contributes approximately 100% and examinations approximately 0% to your final mark.

Location

The course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus and the British Library.

Both institutions are located in the heart of literary London, and you will have easy access to the wealth of cultural offerings – including a range of libraries, archives, and theatres – in one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

This MA allows you to make the most of the extensive literary resources and facilities available at these two world-class organizations.

Regulating body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.

Career prospects

Our graduates use their skills and knowledge to gain jobs in the arts, creative and cultural industries, curatorship and broadcasting amongst others or go on to futher study. 

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Visit the Early Modern English Literature: Text & Transmission MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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