The MA in English and American Studies prepares students for undertaking further research in the discipline, but it is also aimed at those who wish to broaden and deepen their critical engagement with English and American literature and culture. The division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester
provides a thriving environment, with its vibrant research culture, its close links to the Centre of New Writing, its involvement in the Manchester Literature Festival and its access to the world-class John Rylands research library.
While this MA offers you a range of exciting modules that are chronologically or geographically specific, all modules are informed by recent theoretical and historical developments that allow you to think about categories like `literature', `culture' and `history' in nuanced and fresh ways. The structure of the MA is flexible, which means that you can choose to combine your interests in English and American culture, or you can choose to focus more exclusively on one or the other.
In your first semester, you will choose 2 of 3 core modules (30 credits each), which will lay the groundwork for your coursework as well as preparing you to think about your dissertation. The core modules address questions that are at the heart of literary and cultural studies, and will give you conceptual tools relevant to all of the modules offered in the second semester. The core modules are entitled: (1) The Times of Literature; (2) Space, Place and Text; and (3) American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice.
In the second semester, you will choose 4 out of 6 modules, each of which is weighted at 15 credits, allowing you the choice of a greater number of courses. You diversify your engagement with the field with these courses, each of which tackles a range of periods and literary/cultural productions. Some of the courses offer you the chance to engage with the holdings of the John Rylands Library. Each focuses on a body of work, or on a topic or critical question, situated in a particular context. The courses are: (1) `Translating the Past: Medieval and Modern'; (2) `Shakespeare: Theory and Archive'; (3) `Before Sexuality: Bodies, Desires and Discourses, 1660-1900'; (4) `Revolutionary Poetics: 1789-1840'; (5) `Radical Subcultures'; (6) `Doing History in Public: Struggling over the American Past'.
English and American Studies students take 6 modules, including 2 of the 3 possible core courses: (1) The Times of Literature ; (2) Space, Place and Text; and (3) American Studies: Theories, Methods, Practice .
Finally, students will write a 15,000-word dissertation, worth 60 credits, supervised by an academic member of staff.
Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent, normally in a relevant subject.