Medieval and Early Modern Concentration

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration to be earned in conjunction with the individual Ph.D. requirements for the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures (Romance Studies, Spanish and French). Graduate students will continue to be housed in any one of the three departments and must fulfill the requirements of their discipline.

To qualify for the Concentration, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in one or both of the other two departments, substituting for courses within their department; and a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and early modern studies within their department.

Medieval and Early Modern Faculty in English

The Department of English enjoys considerable strength in the study of literature and culture of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Our scholars who teach and write about this period of English literary history are engaged in exciting and innovative work, particularly in the following areas:

  • Women’s Writing, Gender Studies, and Sexuality

  • Race, Religion, Ethnicity, and the Transnational

  • Popular Culture and Cultural Studies

  • Genre Studie

The English Department’s strengths in Transatlantic, Post-Colonial, and Caribbean studies further complement the courses and research by faculty in the medieval and early modern period, fostering a rich climate for the study of medieval and early modern European literature and culture in a truly transnational context.

  • Anthony Barthelemy (PhD, Yale University) works on race and sexuality. His current research is on Shakespeare’s Italy and the intersection of politics and form in Shakespeare’s plays.

  • Tassie Gwilliam (PhD, Cornell University) is examining the use and appropriation of “low” and popular forms in Restoration and eighteenth-century writers.

  • Pamela Hammons (PhD, Cornell University) is currently working on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and property in early modern poetry.

  • Frank Palmeri (PhD, Columbia University) is addressing the relationship between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophy, historiography, and narrative forms.

  • Jessica Rosenberg (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) specializes in early modern literature and culture, with a particular focus on the history of science and the history of the book.

  • Mihoko Suzuki (PhD, Yale University) is at work extending her interest in gender and politics in the Seventeenth Century to a comparative study of England and France.

In addition to faculty within the English department, study of the early modern period is supported at both the undergraduate and graduate level by faculty in the departments of Art History (Perri Lee Roberts), History (Karl Gunther, Mary Lindemann, Martin Nesvig, Guido Ruggiero), and Modern Languages and Literatures (Viviana Diaz-Balsera, Anne Cruz, Laura Giannetti, Ralph Heyndels, Maria Galli Stampino) who offer courses in the field and serve on dissertation committees across departmental boundaries.

Medieval and Early Modern Library Resources

The Special Collections at the University of Miami’s Richter Library boasts particular strengths in seventeenth-century British political and constitutional history and in eighteenth-century Caribbean cultural and political history.

Access to important electronic resources is available through the University of Miami Library website.  Resources include Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), the Brown Women Writers Project, Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700, Iter:  Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts, the Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation, Early American Imprints (Series I, Evans), and the Chadwyck-Healey Individual Literature Collections.

The University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum is in possession of a permanent collection with impressive strengths in Renaissance and Baroque paintings, housed in its Kress Gallery, by artists including Lippo Vanni, Guidoccio Cozzarelli, Bernardino Fungai, Battista Dossi, Sofonisba Anguissola, Jacob Jordaens, Nicolaes van Galen, Jusepe de Ribera, Thomas Gainsborough, Leonardo Carlo Coccorante, and numerous others.

The Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Kirsch Rare Book Room at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Campus preserves 3,000 books dating from 1496 to 1900, including the first German textbook on ophthalmology written in 1583, a rare second edition published 100 years later, and a 1613 book on depth perception with drawings by Peter Paul Rubens, as well as books on optics by Johann Kepler (1611), René Descartes (1664), and Sir Isaac Newton (1704).

Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Courses

Graduate work in medieval and early modern studies is supported by a diverse array of course offerings.  Some recent courses include:

  • The Eighteenth-Century British Novel and Its Popular Contexts (Gwilliam)

  • Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (Suzuki)

  • Fiction, Historiography, and the Origin of the Disciplines, 1750-1890 (Palmeri)

  • Gender, Court Culture, and Literary Production in Sixteenth-Century England (Hammons)

  • His and Hers:  Gender, Sexuality, and Property in Early Modern England (Hammons)

  • Literature and Popular Culture in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Britain (Gwilliam)

  • Political Shakespeare (Barthelemy)

  • Queering Early English Literary History (Hammons)

  • Queer Shakespeare (Barthelemy)

  • The Two Seventeenth-Century Revolutions and the Public Sphere (Suzuki)

  • Verbal and Visual Satire in England, 1740-1850 (Palmeri)

  • Writing and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (Suzuki)

In keeping with the department’s commitment to interdisciplinary research, English graduate students are also encouraged to take courses offered in other departments at the University of Miami.  Recent course offerings in related departments include:

  • History:

    • The New Social and Cultural History in the Early Modern World (Ruggiero)

    • Gender and Sexuality in Historical Perspective (Ruggiero)

    • History and Literature in Renaissance Italy (Ruggiero)

    • The Monarchy and Royal Court in Britain, 1500-1800 (Gunther)

  • Modern Languages and Literatures:

    • Don Quixote and the Theory of the Novel (Cruz)

    • Homotextes du Classicisme au crépuscule des Lumières (Heyndels)

    • La novella picaresca y su punto de vista (Cruz)

    • Women Writers in Early Modern Europe (Stampino)

Recently completed and in-progress dissertations in the medieval and early modern period by graduate students in the University of Miami’s Department of English include:

  • “Virtue’s Friends: The Politics of Friendship in Early Modern English Women’s Writing,” Allison Johnson (Winner of the inaugural David John Ruggiero Award for best dissertation in the humanities).

  • “The Cartography of Interiority: Magic, Mapmaking, and the Search for Eden in the Seventeenth Century,” Thomas Lolis (Winner of the 2007 Bernard Benstock Dissertation Prize).

  • “Elizabethan Formal Verse Satire and the Ideology of Dramatic Form, 1599-1608,” Steven Sowell (Honorable Mention, 2005 Bernard Benstock Dissertation Prize).

  • “Lyric Warriors, Lyric Women: Gendering Petrarchism in Early Modern England,” Melanie Pitts.

  • “A Mirror for the World: Gender, Geography, and Identity in Early Modern English Drama,” Katherine Pilhuj.

  • “Opportunity Found in Contingency: The Innovations of Joseph Addison's Literary Journalism, 1709-1716,” Gail Shivel.

For further information regarding graduate study in medieval and early modern literature at the University of Miami, please feel free to contact Director of Graduate Studies.

Medieval and Early Modern Local Events and Speakers

The University of Miami is host to the international, interdisciplinary Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque (MRB)symposium, under the primary auspices of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Active speakers programs in the Department of English, as well as in related departments and interdisciplinary programs, bring a continual stream of scholars engaged in cutting edge research in the medieval and early modern period to Miami.  Recent and upcoming speakers include Rolena Adorno, Frederick de Armas, David Armitage, Alia Baccar, Nieves Baranda, Pamela Allen Brown, Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, Anthony J. Cascardi, Raquel Chang-Rodriguez, Virginia Cox, Natalie Zemon Davis, Margaret Ezell, Jonathan Hess, Ronnie Hsia, Ann Rosalind Jones, Richard Kagan, Karen Kupperman, Peter Lake, Jonathan Lamb, Carole Levin, Lauro Martines, Nabil Matar, Geoffrey Parker, Marcus Rediker, Matthew Restall, David Ruderman, Londa Schiebinger, Benjamin Schmidt, Laurie Shannon, Jyotsna Singh, Peter Stallybrass, Valerie Traub, Elvira Vilches, Barbara Weissberger, and Susanne Woods.

Miami has served as the host city for numerous academic conferences in the field of medieval and early modern studies, including meetings of the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, the Shakespeare Association of America, and the Renaissance Society of America.

The Miami Bach Society performs music of the great Baroque masters as well as works of other seventeenth- and eighteenth- century composers, utilizing the talent of artists from the faculty of the University of Miami, the New World Symphony, and other local musicians.  In its season concerts, the Bach Society also presents great musicians with national and international reputations.  Since 1995, it has hosted the annual International Tropical Baroque Music Festival.