Medieval and Early Modern Literary Studies

The Medieval and Renaissance Area is flourishing within the Department of English, with four medieval and three Early Modern specialists: Dorsey Armstrong, Angelica Duran, Shaun Hughes, Michael Johnston, Robyn Malo, Charles Ross, and Paul White. Their strengths are complemented by faculty members in related areas within English (historical linguistics, early modern drama and romance, and nineteenth-century medievalism) as well as by faculty members in other departments within the University. Purdue English is also home to the journal Arthuriana, the quarterly journal for the International Arthurian Society.

In addition to Old and Middle English studies, courses in Middle Welsh, Old Irish, Old Norse, Old Saxon, Medieval Latin, and Old French have been offered recently on campus, many of these courses taught by faculty members in English. There is also an ongoing Latin reading group.

Ph.D. students in the Medieval Area are encouraged to take appropriate Medieval Studies classes in other departments as well as English, such as History, Philosophy, and Languages & Cultures. Latin and German are recommended for Old English students, while Latin and French are recommended for Middle English students. Students are given guidance about the selection of a secondary area of study within English. Renaissance literature and Historical Linguistics are highly recommended secondary areas.

Ph.D. students in the Renaissance or Early Modern area are encouraged to take appropriate classes in other departments, such as History, Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and Languages & Cultures. Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian are recommended for students, and students are given guidance about the selection of a secondary area of study within English. Medieval literature and Eighteenth-Century literature are highly recommended secondary areas.

The affiliated interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) program hosts visiting speakers for its annual Symposium and on other occasions as well. Faculty and students participate in the “MARS Mondays” brownbag lunch series (six meetings per year). Comitatus, a student reading group, also works actively with MARS.

Students have at their disposal databases such as Gale Literary Sources, Archive Finder, the Dictionary of Old English / Corpus, Drama Online, EEBO (Early English Books Online), the Shakespeare in Performance database, the materials belonging to the Bodleian Slide Collection, as well as large video and tape collections. In addition to a substantial critical and database collection, the Purdue library also has the complete STC collection on microfilm and online, as well as many other historical materials. Purdue is a member of the Newberry Library Consortium. Students therefore have easy access to the holdings of the Newberry Library and can participate in its seminars, meetings, and activities. Annual nearby conferences include the CAES Conference, the IMA Conference, the MAM conference, and the International Medieval Congress.

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