MA English Literary Studies : Renaissance Studies

Programme overview 

The Renaissance Studies Pathway is comprised of two core modules, but also enables students to take further period-specific options if they want an even more specialized programme. The two core options aim to situate the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within a context of unprecedented social, political and cultural upheaval. The modules maintain a chronological narrative, but differ in terms of their particular thematic concerns, as detailed below. Across the year, students will examine texts produced by writers such as Shakespeare, Jonson, Milton and their contemporaries, and will explore issues including: early constructions of nationhood, the foundations of subjectivity, structures of sexuality and gender difference, changes in social and economic relations, and the era's pivotal political upheavals. Both modules include an integrated programme of training in research methods, and encourage students to work with non-canonical material by exploiting the resources of Early English Books Online.

Other optional modules that you can choose from offer more thematically-oriented approaches to the period. Students may also consider taking a related module from another department within the University thereby drawing on the institution's distinct strengths in the early modern period. Beyond the degree programme itself, students will benefit from the activities of the interdisciplinary Centre for Early Modern Studies, which hosts research seminars and an informal Renaissance reading group.