Concentration & Courses

Undergraduate Concentration

Concentrators are required to take a minimum of eight courses:

  1. Three courses on early modern topics in one field in which the student has primary interest or training, e.g. literature, history of art and architecture, history.
  2. Three courses related to the early modern period chosen from two other fields.
  3. A senior project of which possible examples might be: 1) a senior thesis (roughly equivalent to a senior seminar paper); 2) the staging of an early modern play; 3) the performance of early modern music; 4) an exhibition. The final project will be developed in consultation with two faculty advisors who work closely with the student. Credit will be granted through registration for Independent Study in the department for which the topic of research lies.
  4. Other relevant courses of the student's choosing.

In addition, the student must be able to demonstrate a reading knowledge of a relevant modern or ancient language other than English. This language requirement does not count as one of the eight courses.

Honors Program

Interested and eligible students petition to write a thesis, and the faculty chooses the Honors group for that year from the applications, making every effort to accommodate all eligible proposals. Selection is based upon the quality of the application, the preparedness of the student to undertake the project, and the availability of appropriate advisors for the subject.

Students accepted in the Honors program sign up for REMS 1980 in the Fall and again in the Spring, with the section number of their advisor (REMS 1980 will become EMOW 1980 as of Fall 2019). Students must meet regularly with their advisors and second readers throughout the year according to a schedule determined by each student and advisor. Finished drafts of the thesis (which will be about 35 pages in length, not counting bibliography and visual or other supporting materials) will be due to the advisor and second reader on April 1 of the Spring semester. Comments will be returned to the students for final polishing and corrections at that point. Students will receive Honors when both their primary advisor and their second reader have provided written statements in support of the finished project. The finished paper, which should be a polished and revised, edited, professional work of original research, will be made available to the entire Early Modern World faculty for comments. There will be a public presentation of the Honors work at the end of the Spring semester.

Students planning a December graduation will not be eligible for the Honors Thesis program, but they are welcome to work out other ways to pursue projects of independent interest in consultation with an academic advisor.

Students wishing to write an honors thesis must have an A average in the concentration, which means that they will not have received more than one “B” or “S” in any course used for the concentration. Classes taken S/NC may be considered as qualifying the student for Honors if they are marked “S with distinction,” meaning that had the student taken the course for a grade, the grade would have been an “A.” It is advisable to have taken at least one class with the person who will advise the thesis and to have already written a research paper before choosing to undertake this year-long writing project. Honors students are strongly encouraged not to take more than four classes either semester of their senior year — the Honors class being considered one of the four classes.

Application Process

Applications are due to the Director of the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World in mid-April of the student’s junior year. Each application for the Honors Program shall consist of:

  1. A very brief (one or two paragraph) cover letter identifying the most appropriate advisor and second readers, and stating also the student’s preparation is for the project. Second readers may be professors who work in areas related to the topic, or in some very special cases (and with advisor’s approval) may be practitioners with whom the student already worked closely, for example.
  2. A two-page double-spaced abstract stating and explaining the topic (subject and argument) of the research to be undertaken, written as clearly as possible.
  3. A one-page working bibliography of the most relevant books and major articles to be consulted for the project.
  4. A current resumé.
  5. A printout of the most recent transcript.