Early Modern Studies

Humanities Quadrangle, Rooms 431 & 436, 203.432.0672
http://earlymodern.yale.edu
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Chair and Director of Graduate Studies
Ayesha Ramachandran

Executive Committee Marisa Bass, Paola Bertucci, Christina Kraus, Alan Mikhail, Feisal Mohammed, Ayesha Ramachandran, Christophe Schuwey, Jane Tylus

Faculty associated with the program Marisa Bass, Paola Bertucci, Dominique Brancher, Paul Bushkovitch, Rudiger Campe, Carlos Eire, Paul Freedman, Cecile Fromont, Bruce Gordon, Samuel Hodgkin, K. David Jackson, Nicholas Jones, Christina Kraus, Noel Lenski, Volker Leppin, Tina Lu, Alan Mikhail, Feisal Mohammed, Isaac Nakhimovsky, Morgan Ng, Catherine Nicholson, Jessica Peritz, David Quint, Ayesha Ramachandran, Kishwar Rizvi, Pierre Saint-Amand, Christophe Schuwey, Nicola Suthor, Shawkat Toorawa, Katie Trumpener, Jane Tylus, Erika Valdivieso, Jesús Velasco

Fields of Study

Early Modern Studies offers a combined Ph.D. degree that integrates concentration in a partner department with interdisciplinary study of the historical period between 1350 and 1800, a temporal range that recognizes "early modernity" as manifested differently and at different times across the world. The program’s scope is global, transnational, transcultural, and committed to a vision of an interlinked world with many, varied, locally-inflected transitions to modernity. Inclusive in scholarship and teaching, the combined degree encourages students to forge connections to diverse disciplinary frameworks, geographic conjunctures, and institutional structures. Current partner departments are: Classics, Comparative Literature, English, French, History, History of Science and Medicine, History of Art, History of Music, Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Admissions This is a combined degree program: students must first apply to the doctoral program of one of the partner departments; if accepted, they can then apply to the Program in Early Modern Studies during their second term of graduate study at Yale. Admission to the combined degree in Early Modern Studies thus occurs after the student has already matriculated in the Graduate School. Upon acceptance to the combined degree, students will normally be enrolled as such from their second year of graduate study. 

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Students are subject to the combined Ph.D. supervision of the Early Modern Studies program and the relevant partner department. The student’s course of study will be decided in consultation with an adviser, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in Early Modern Studies, and the DGS in the partner department. 

As detailed below, requirements for the combined degree vary slightly to accommodate the requirements of the individual partner departments, but all candidates for the combined degree are expected to meet the following requirements:

Timing & Completion of Courses The total number of courses for the combined degree in Early Modern Studies will remain the same as that of the partner department’s Ph.D. program. Students in the combined degree will have the option of taking some of their coursework in their third year in the program. Within that scope, students must incorporate the courses listed below:

  1. EMST 700, Workshop in Early Modern Studies: This year-long seminar to be taken as two half-credit courses, offers a historiographic, theoretical, and methodological introduction to key questions in the field through a dynamic engagement with a series of research presentations by scholars within and beyond Yale.
  2. EMST 800, Early Modern Colloquium: This year-long colloquium, taken as two half-credit courses, must be taken concurrently with EMST 700. Students will attend regular research presentations by scholars within and beyond Yale, which will complement EMST 700. This course will not typically count towards the total number of courses required for the Ph.D. by the .  
  3. Three elective courses in early modern studies of which at least one course must be taken outside the student’s primary department. One of the courses may be an interdisciplinary course (i.e. a relevant course in the sciences, social sciences, or other relevant topic outside the traditional humanities)
  4. EMST 900, Prospectus Workshop for Early Modern Studies: This course will typically be taken in the student’s third year of graduate study as a year-long, half-credit course designed to support the development of a dissertation project. In some cases, with the approval of both relevant DGSs, this course may replace (or be replaced by) the prospectus seminar in the student’s home department.

In general, it is expected that courses in early modern studies constitute about one-third of the student’s doctoral coursework. We expect that most students in the combined degree will take more courses in the field as relevant to their specific area of research specialization. 

Language Requirement The language requirement will follow the student’s primary department requirements. However, students in the combined degree will have flexibility with regard to the completion of language requirements: At least one language may be completed by the time of the submission of the dissertation.

Qualifying Exams Qualifying exams will follow the student’s primary department; however, a significant portion of the student’s exam lists must be on early modern topics. See guidelines for individual partner departments below.

Prospectus & Admission to Candidacy Procedures for the submission and approval of prospectuses will follow the student’s primary department; at least one faculty member affiliated with the Program in Early Modern Studies must be on the committee. However, students must take EMST 900, Prospectus Workshop for Early Modern Studies, as described above. Upon completion of all predissertation requirements, including the prospectus, students are admitted to candidacy for the combined Ph.D. degree. Admission to candidacy must be completed by the beginning of the fourth year.

Dissertation The parameters for the dissertation will follow the student’s primary department. At least one faculty member affiliated with the Program in Early Modern Studies must be on the committee. Students in the joint degree are also generally encouraged to have at least one faculty adviser outside their home department. 

Teaching Student’s teaching assignments will primarily be determined by the home department. However, all students in the combined degree will be permitted additional flexibility in the completion of teaching requirements: students may complete their required four terms of teaching in years two, three, or four of their graduate program. In addition, students will typically assist in the teaching of at least one course in early modern studies. A Graduate Professional Development Opportunity in a relevant area (museums, libraries, collections, etc.) may be substituted for this requirement.

Specific Requirements by Partner Department

Students currently pursuing doctoral degrees in History, History of Art, History of Science and Medicine, Italian Studies, Music, and Spanish and Portuguese who seek admission to the combined degree program with EMST for the fall of 2022 should consult with the DGS of EMST to formalize their affiliation and course of study. Details for the combined degrees in Classics, Comparative Literature, English, and French are listed below. 

Classics

Students are admitted to the Classics department first, and then apply during the second term of graduate study to participate in the Combined Program in Classics and Early Modern Studies.

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Classics and Early Modern Studies:

  1. Practice translation tests in Greek and Latin on texts assigned from the Classical Philology reading lists; these are taken before the beginning of the first and third terms and are meant to help students prepare for the qualifying translation exams to be taken before the beginning of the fifth term in the program.
  2. A proseminar offering an introduction to the discipline of Classics and its various subdisciplines, to be taken in the first year in residence.
  3. Departmental reading examinations in French (or Italian) and German. The first (in either language) is to be passed by the end of the first year; the other may be passed at any time before submission of the dissertation; students are, however, encouraged to complete this requirement as early in the program as possible.
  4. A minimum of twelve term courses, with the following stipulations: (a) two yearlong survey courses in the history of Greek and Latin literature (four courses in total); (b) four courses prescribed by Early Modern Studies, including EMST 700, which counts for a single course; (c) four other graduate courses in CLSS. In addition, EMST 800 (Early Modern Colloquium) must be taken concurrently with EMST 700; and EMST 900 (the prospectus workshop) is taken in the third year. Neither of these two courses (EMST 800 and EMST 900) count towards the minimum course requirement.  
  5. Greek and Latin composition. (This requirement may, but need not, be satisfied by courses taken under [4] above.)
  6. Oral examinations in Greek and Latin literature, based on the syllabus covered by the survey courses, drawn from the Classical Philology Ph.D. reading list. These are to be taken closely following the surveys in the respective literatures, as follows: the first, at the end of the second term (May of the first year), the second at the end of the fourth term (May of the second year).
  7. Translation examinations in Greek and Latin, based on the Classical Philology Ph.D. reading list, by the beginning of the fifth term in residence.
  8. Four special field exams to be taken in the fall of the third year (fifth term in residence); two of these must be at least partly in a classical field and two must be at least partly in an early modern field. 
  9. A dissertation prospectus by the end of the sixth term in residence. The procedures for approval of the prospectus are as for the Philology program, but at least one member of the EMST faculty, as approved by the DGS in Early Modern Studies, must be on the prospectus approval committee (which is a committee of the whole in Classics); the prospective thesis committee, the DGS and the EMST faculty member must approve of the prospectus.
  10. A dissertation. Once dissertation writing has begun, students will present work in progress from the dissertation at least once per academic year. Research presentations will normally take the form of pre-circulation of a selection of work from the dissertation and a discussion of it with interested faculty, or some other research presentation experience approved by the DGS. This is a requirement for remaining in good standing; exemptions from it require the support of the dissertation adviser and the approval of the graduate committee.

Comparative Literature

Course work Students are required to complete fourteen term courses, at least seven of these (including the Comparative Literature proseminar, CPLT 515) in the Department of Comparative Literature. Students must take at least four courses in Early Modern Studies (offered in several departments), including the core seminar (EMST 700); at least one of these courses must be taken outside Comparative Literature. At least three of a student’s overall list of courses must be in literary theory, criticism, or methodology; at least one course each in poetry, narrative fiction, and drama; and at least one course each in ancient or medieval literature and Enlightenment or modern literature. These requirements can overlap with the requirements of the Early Modern Studies program. At least two courses must be completed with the grade of Honors. In general, students should take a wide range of courses with a focus on one or two national or language-based literatures.

Languages Students must demonstrate proficiency in three languages apart from English, one of which must fulfil the philological requirement in Comparative Literature. The languages chosen should be relevance to the student’s chosen area of research and should be determined in consultation with the DGSs in Comparative Literature and Early Modern Studies. 

Orals Qualifying exams follow the format in Comparative Literature; however, a significant portion of the student’s exam lists must be on early modern topics. The exact number will be determined in consultation with the DGSs in Comparative Literature and Early Modern Studies. 

Prospectus and dissertation The prospectus should be completed in September of the fourth year. Procedures regarding the dissertation will follow departmental practice, however at least one member of the dissertation committee must be an affiliate of the Program in Early Modern Studies.

English

Doctoral students in English Language and Literature may apply in the second term of graduate study to the Program in Early Modern Studies, to pursue a combined PhD degree in English and Early Modern Studies. All requirements for the PhD in English apply, with the following adjustments.

Course work In years one and two, a student in the combined program will complete ten seminars in English, including ENGL 990, The Teaching of English, two courses on early modern texts and/or topics, one course in each of two out of three additional historical periods (medieval, eighteenth- and/or nineteenth- century, twentieth- and/or twenty-first century), and two seminars in Early Modern Studies, including the EMST 700, Workshop in Early Modern Studies, and one seminar outside of English. Students will also participate in EMST 800, the Early Modern Studies Colloquium.

Qualifying examination Students will follow the usual procedures for oral qualifying exams in English, with the additional requirement that at least two of their four lists must concentrate on early modern texts and topics. 

Prospectus In addition to enrolling in ENGL 993, the English Department Prospectus Workshop, in fall, third-year students in the combined program will enroll in EMST 900, the year-long Early Modern Studies Prospectus Workshop.

Dissertation Committee At least one faculty member affiliated with the Program in Early Modern Studies must be on the committee. The chair of the committee will be from the English Department, but students in the combined program are encouraged to include at least one faculty member from outside of English on their committees. 

French

Students are admitted to the French Department first and then apply during the second term of the first year to participate in the combined program.

Course work Sixteen courses at the graduate level are required. These correspond to the requirements of the Department of French and those of the Early Modern Studies Program.  Of the courses taken in French, one must be FREN 610, Introduction to Old French. Three others (elective) must fall within early modern periods (1350 to 1800) including one course outside of the department (History, History of Art, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, etc.). There are three required Early Modern Studies courses: EMST 700, Workshop in Early Modern Studies; EMST 800, Early Modern Colloquium; and EMST 900, a prospectus workshop to be taken in the third year. 

Languages  Two languages appropriate to the field are required and can be satisfied in the variety of ways presented in the French Department Rules and Regulations and following the timeline outlined in the document.

Qualifying Examination An oral qualifying examination must take place as early as possible in the third year of study, before spring recess at the latest. The examination will consist of five topics; at least three must be in the early modern field.

Dissertation A formal prospectus is to be presented by the end of the sixth term (third year) of study. The prospectus committee will consist of three faculty members, including the dissertation director(s) and at least one member in the field outside of French. Once approved by the committee, the prospectus will be submitted to the graduate faculty of the Department of French for a vote on final approval and advancement to candidacy. More than one dissertation adviser is permitted and indeed encouraged, but the principal adviser will normally be in the Department of French. The official readers of the finished dissertation need not be members of the original prospectus committee but will include at least one member of the Department of French and one member of EMST.

Master’s Degrees

M.Phil. The combined M.Phil. degree may be requested after all requirements but the dissertation are met.

M.A. (en route to the Ph.D.) The M.A. degree is awarded upon completion of eight term courses, at least two of which must be in early modern studies, and with at least three grades of Honors.

Program materials are available upon request to the Chair, Early Modern Studies Program, Yale University, PO Box 208298, New Haven CT 06520-8298.