The Early Modern Studies concentration undertakes interdisciplinary examination of history, literature, religion, and philosophy within the transitional period that stretched between medieval and modern societies, marked especially by the advent of print, Christian confessional war, and the rise of the modern state.

The Early Modern Studies concentration focuses on the study of what is variously called Early Modern, Renaissance, Reformation, and/or Tudor-Stuart Britain (and, in some studies, especially theology, Europe as well). This concentration is open to students in all programs in english, history, religion, and cultural studies at Claremont Graduate University’s School of Arts & Humanities.

For master’s students, this discrete course of study complements coursework in archival and museum studies and/or prepares students for application to doctoral programs in early modern-, Renaissance-, or Reformation-era studies in the Humanities as well as for careers in archives, collections, and museums. For doctoral students, the concentration primarily prepares students for research and teaching at the college or university level but, given their archival experience and multidisciplinary focus, our graduates also work as rare books and manuscripts curators and Center for Writing & Rhetoric specialists.

Students work closely with a departmental faculty advisor to pursue an intellectually unified course of study that will include seminars cross-listed with participating CGU humanities departments and The Claremont Colleges.

Program Highlights
  • Students in the Early Modern Studies program have access to a variety of specialized resources, including free paleography and research workshops and library databases.
  • CGU is a consortium member of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, which sponsors and underwrites graduate students in member institutions for travel to collections, conferences, and seminars.
  • Doctoral students in the Early Modern Studies program are eligible to apply for research privileges at Southern California’s renowned Huntington Library, Getty Institute, and William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
School at a Glance

The School of Arts & Humanities lets you tailor your program to target your specific interests. You’ll conduct research across disciplines to approach problems in new ways in an intimate, collegial learning environment where faculty-mentors offer you personal attention, and opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship abound.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

This interdisciplinary concentration is available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

Featured Courses

ENG 316
The Shakespeare Seminar

Examines a mix of plays from one of the world’s greatest writers, each representing Shakespeare’s history, comedy, tragedy, romance, and the so-called “problem” drama.

ENG 476
Twelve Poems & Their Contexts

Explores the remarkable world of English poetry in the early modern era, when print and manuscript cultures collided and the rise of the vernacular prompted an outpouring of defenses of literature and poetry in particular.

ENG 366
The Milton Seminar

Considers the writings of John Milton, concentrating especially on his retrospective masterpiece, Paradise Lost, and locating this epic poem in the political, religious, and literary contexts of Britain’s turbulent 17th century.

EMS 322a
Huntington Library Seminar in Early Modern British History

Offers three distinguished guest lectures on Early Modern British History and Literature.

HIST 326
Early Modern Text Tutorial

Acquaints students with a broad range of texts—religious, political, and literary—contextualized within the historiography of Early Modern Britain (with some European texts in translation).

HIST 327
Print History, Oral Traditions & Writing Technologies in Early Modern England

Focuses on the extraordinary output of scholarly research and analysis on the communicative worlds of Early Modern Britons.

Program Requirements

Coursework requirements complement and do not replace departmental requirements:

Faculty & Research

  • Lori Anne Ferrell profile image

    Lori Anne Ferrell

    Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
    John D. and Lillian Maguire Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
    Director, Early Modern Studies Program
    Director, Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards

    Research Interests

    English Renaissance and Reformation Literature; Early Modern British and European History; Reformation Studies

  • David Cressy profile image

    David Cressy

    Research Professor of History

    Research Interests

    Early modern European history; Power, culture, and the state; Race, ethnicity, and nation

  • Patricia Easton profile image

    Patricia Easton

    Executive Vice President and Provost

    Research Interests

    Philosophy, History of modern philosophy, Philosophy of mind, History of science

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

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David Altman

Associate Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-1706 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)
E: david.altman@cgu.edu