650 - 1550
Faculty members whose interests lie in this period include: Laura Ashe, Helen Barr, Charlotte Brewer, Kantik Ghosh, Vincent Gillespie (Professor of Medieval English Literature), Sian Gronlie, Simon Horobin, Carolyne Larrington, Sally Mapstone, Helen Moore, Nicholas Perkins, Annie Sutherland, Marion Turner and Daniel Wakelin (Professor of Medieval Palaeography). The Faculty is also able to draw on the expertise of a range of medievalists in History and Medieval Languages.
A. Literature, Contexts and Approaches (Core Course).
The A course covers the main types of texts composed between 650 and 1550, and highlights cultural issues such as authorship and audience; language use; religion and devotion; personal and governmental politics; entertainment; and the sense of the past.
Taught as a weekly seminar over 8 weeks in Michaelmas Term, it is designed to provide a solid foundation for advanced literary study.
B. Bibliography, Theories of Text, History of the Book, Manuscript Studies.
This is a range of seminars in each of the first two terms designed to train students for research in English. There are sessions on medieval manuscripts, covering both description and transcription, and including some language work, and on theories of text , approaches to editing, and textual criticism.
C. Special Options.
Special Option courses are one-term courses on specialist themes usually relating to the current research interests of the teacher(s).
C options for this strand include opportunities to acquire a grounding in Old English and Old Norse, and will cover particular authors and topics such as the Middle English mystical tradition, literature and politics in the Middle Ages, Piers Plowman , Sir Thomas Malory, Older Scots literature, Old Norse saga-writing and Old English heroic poetry.
Students normally take one Special Option in each of the first two terms, but may take up to four if they decide to opt out of the B course.
The special option courses present an excellent opportunity for you to develop your research interests. You are not constrained to follow option courses within your designated period, and indeed, option courses often traverse the boundaries of the broad periods.
A compulsory 10,000 word dissertation on a subject of the candidate’s choice, but often closely related to the work done earlier in the course. You will be assigned to a member of Faculty who will act as your supervisor.
In addition to the dissertation, you will submit three essays of 5-7,000 words – one at the end of the first term, and two at the end of the second term – relating to the B and C courses that you have taken.
Students normally take all four components to fulfil the requirements of the degree. All course work will be completed by the end of the second term (Hilary Term), leaving the summer term (Trinity Term) for the writing of the dissertation, which is submitted in early June.
Vercelli Research Seminar
Please see here for information about a research seminar in Vercelli that some of our current MSt 650-1550 students attended in April.