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The MA in English Literature: Early Modern Studies, 1300-1700 pathway offers you the opportunity to explore the culture of the English Middle Ages and Renaissance within its European framework.

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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).

 

Compulsory modules

  • Writing in the Pre-Modern World
  • The Material Text, 1300-1700
  • Dissertation

Option modules:

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.


Visit the MA English Literature: Early Modern Studies, 1300-1700 page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!

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