Folger Institute


Programs, 2010-2011

Mastering Research Methods at the Folger

Robert Matz
Spring Semester Seminar for Master’s-level Students

This seminar will illustrate and exemplify graduate-level work in the humanities, introducing first-year graduate students to the tools of research in early modern studies through a semester-long immersion in one of the world’s major Renaissance collections. Representative fields and approaches addressed will include the history of the book, the visual analysis of images, manuscript studies, editorial practice, and various forms of historiography (theatrical, cultural, social, and political). Participants will develop their research skills through a series of exercises linked to the strengths and ranges of the collection and current trends and debates in scholarship. They will develop potential research projects; identify and sharpen theses and hypotheses; and engage with the varieties of expertise found in the scholarly community at the Folger Shakespeare Library, including those of fellows and professional staff. Each student will assemble a portfolio of exercises throughout the term, with copies of all to be shared so that students are prepared for further graduate work with a broad-based sourcebook for early modern studies.

Director: Robert Matz is Associate Professor and Chair of English at George Mason University. He is the author of The World of Shakespeare’s Sonnets: An Introduction (2008) and Defending Literature in Early Modern England: Renaissance Literary Theory in Social Context (2000). He is currently preparing an edition of two early modern marriage manuals.

Schedule: Fridays, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 4 February through 22 April 2011, excluding 4 March and 8 April.

Apply: 3 December 2010 for admission and grants-in-aid. Applicants should briefly describe their ambitions for graduate study and indicate their understanding of the role of research in those studies. Examples may be drawn from their undergraduate courses as well as from their first-semester graduate courses.

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