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MA Eighteenth Century: Art, Literature, Identity

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  • Objectives
    This programme develops an interdisciplinary understanding of the literature, art and architecture of the period 1660-1830. Taught by experts in their relevant fields, it will appeal to those with a background or interest in any of these disciplines. The aims of this MA cover both knowledge and skills. In brief these are: -to aid you in your development of a sophisticated knowledge of the literature, art and architecture in the English-speaking world between 1660 and 1820 -to further your appreciation of the multi-faceted concept of identity (national, ethnic, gendered, political or social) for the period from 1660 to 1820. -to work with you on the critical skills you will require for the identification, analysis and evaluation of a range of historical evidence and cultural documents (written, visual and built) necessary to develop your knowledge and understanding of the period at masters level -to encourage the development of the various skills necessary for you to undertake independent research at the forefront of your chosen discipline(s), preparing you, should you wish, for future PhD study or other arts-based careers.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements A good first degree in English, Art or Architectural History, or a related subject (eg History). IELTS score of 7 or equivalent for students for whom English is not a first language. Other qualifications considered after an advisory meeting
  • Academic Title
    MA Eighteenth Century: Art, Literature, Identity
  • Course description
    General programme structure

    The programme opens with a module designed to give you a grounding in the research skills needed in the component disciplines of the programme and to explore the nature of interdisciplinary study. You will also complete three taught modules on different aspects of the period, each with a slightly different disciplinary approach. These are taught by two or more specialists from different disciplines and create a unique learning experience in which subjects enter into dialogue with each other. The modules change on a yearly basis in order to allow for the breadth of expertise at our disposal to contribute to the programme. However the core values, knowledges and skills developed on the programme are the same whatever combination of modules is offered. The programme is completed with a dissertation-based project of 15,000-20,000 words from any disciplinary perspective. All components will make appropriate use of the collections at Saltram House.

    Full-time students will complete the programme in one year, starting in late September and will be required to attend for two sessions a week over two 12-week teaching terms. Sessions will be timetabled in the late afternoon to facilitate those working. Part-time students will complete over two years through a negotiated pattern of contact.

    Detailed programme structure


    -Research skills and debates in 18th-century studies
    -The British Atlantic
    -The Four Nations and the idea of Britain in the 18th Century
    -Tradition and travesty: visual culture and taste in Britain 1700-1800


    -Research skills and debates in 18th-century studies
    -The British Atlantic
    -Politics and religion in late Stuart England, 1660-1714
    -British architecture and Design in the 18th Century

    The programme is taught by a range of staff from numerous disciplines. They include:

    Dr Jennifer Graham. Jenny is a specialist on the rediscovery of the Old Masters, particularly Northern and Italian Renaissance artists, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her book on Van Eyck’s Realism and the British Art World, 1760-1880, is forthcoming and she as a recent contributor to the BBC2 series ‘Private Life of a Masterpiece’.

    Dr Peter Hinds. Peter is a specialist in the literary and political discourse of Late Stuart England and has a particular interest in the history of the book. His book ‘The Horrid Popish Plot’: Roger L’Estrange and the Circulation of Political Discourse in London, 1678-83 is forthcoming with British Academy/Oxford University Press in 2007.

    Dr Dafydd Moore. Dafydd is an 18th-century literature specialist with particular interests in the politics of cultural and national identity, especially Scottish, during the period. Significant publications include Enlightenment and Romance in James Macpherson’s The Poems of Ossian (Ashgate, 2003) and Ossian and Ossianism, 4 volumes, (Routledge, 2004).

    Dr Daniel Maudlin. An architectural historian, Daniel is a specialist in 18th-century domestic architecture and urban design, focusing upon the dissemination and standardisation of architectural style across Britain and the British Atlantic World. He has a book on the British cottage forthcoming.

    Dr Kathryn Napier Gray. Kathryn specialises in early 18th-century American literature. She has been the recipient of the British Society for American Studies Malcolm Bradbury Award and has contributed entries to the Literary Encyclopaedia and the forthcoming Companion to the Literatures of Colonial America (Blackwell).

    Dr Stephanie Pratt. An art historian, Stephanie has amongst her research interests in the visual representation of American Indian in the 18th century. She is author of British Art and the American Indian, 1700-1840 (University of Oklahoma, 2005).

    Professor Sam Smiles. Sam is a specialist on J M W Turner, and on the pictorial representation of the ancient past in the 18th century. Significant publications include: The Turner Book (Tate Gallery Publications, 2005); ‘Albion’s legacy: myth, history and the ‘matter of Britain’ in Cultural Identities and the Aesthetics of Britishness (Manchester University Press, 2004); The Image of Antiquity: Ancient Britain and the Romantic Imagination (Yale, 1994). Currently on Leverhulme research leave, he will teach on the programme from 2008

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