Our MA in English Studies invites you to choose from a number of distinctive pathways through the programme.
The Early Modern Studies pathway gives you the opportunity to explore the vibrant culture that existed in Europe between 1300 and 1700. A unique feature of this pathway is that it provides the chance for you to explore the Medieval and Early Modern periods, thanks to our unparalleled research expertise in both fields. Our approach to this material is genuinely interrogative, asking what we mean when we talk of the ‘Medieval’ or the ‘Early Modern’. Our approach is also interdisciplinary: you will examine the history, religion, literature, and visual culture of the period, and be taught by experts working in the Departments of English, History, and Modern Languages.
The specially designed modules enable you to study some of the most influential writers working in the period 1300-1700, including Chaucer, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Donne and Milton, and to address the central issues informing current discussions about what constitutes the Medieval and Early Modern periods.
Central to the pathway is our distinctive approach to the period that focuses on editing, news networks and maps. Our teaching staff are widely regarded as international experts in the editing of authors such as Donne and Milton; we are at the cutting edge of research into networks of literary creativity and patronage in subjects as various as prison writing, psalms and the circulation of news pamphlets; we have cross-disciplinary strengths in the history of mapping from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries; and we are acknowledged as leading the field in exploring the boundaries between Medieval and Early Modern drama and the concept of authorship.
One of the other distinctive features of this pathway is the focus on archival training and study, as we concentrate on the impact of developments in manuscript culture and the new technologies in printing and publishing. In all cases, our aim is to generate a historical understanding of the key movements, debates, and ideas which shaped the period 1300-1700.