The English Department at UB has a long tradition of producing innovative work in medieval and early-modern studies. We aim to train students in the historical and textual fundamentals of the period while also encouraging them to take advantage of both the interdisciplinary and cutting-edge theoretical study for which Buffalo is renowned. Our current faculty offers expertise in a range of areas that demonstrates our continuing commitment to original and ground-breaking work in early modernity.
The Graduate Program in English at UB grants graduate students an unprecedented degree of freedom in their studies and so students with an interest in early-modernity find themselves within an extremely open and dynamic atmosphere that is limited only by their intellectual curiosity. As a result, our program has regularly produced students with original voices and unique ways of conceptualising the field. This has been validated by our excellent record of placing early-modern graduates in tenure-track jobs.
A key aspect of UB's early modern studies is the Early Modern Research Workshop, an interdisciplinary research group comprised of faculty and students from the departments of English, History, Romance Languages, Comparative Literature, Classics, and Art History. The EMRW is the largest interdisciplinary research group at UB, of which graduate students represent a strong and active part. The EMRW meets throughout the year to share ideas and works-in-progress and invites distinguished scholars to campus each year.
The 2012-2013 workshop, directed by Carla Mazzio and Ruth Mack, included a book history symposium featuring Peter Stallybrass (U. Pennsylvania) and Randall McLeod (U. Toronto); numerous talks by visiting scholars including Jane O. Newman (UC Irvine) and Kathleen Biddick (Temple); and a faculty works-in-progress series featuring James Bono, Liana Vardi, and others.
Our 2010-2012 program featured a major conference "Knowledge in the Making 1400-1700: Art, Science, Epistemology" and a series of speakers including Mary Baines Campbell (Brandeis), Tom Conley (Harvard), Lorraine Daston (Chicago), Pamela O. Long (Washington, D.C.), Gerard Passanante (U. Maryland), Christopher Pye (Amherst College), Pamela H. Smith (Columbia), Elizabeth Spiller (Florida State),and Valerie Traub (Michigan). Other recent speakers have included Crystal Bartolovich (Syracuse), David Bell (Johns Hopkins), Heather Dubrow (UW-Madison), David Hawkes (Lehigh), Richard Kagan (Johns Hopkins), Christopher Kendrick (Loyola), Karen Kupperman (NYU), Richard Rambuss (Emory), Marcus Rediker (Pittsburgh), Barbara Stafford (Chicago), and Jessica Wolfe (UNC Chapel Hill).
The Medieval Early Modern Student Association fosters interdisciplinary discussion and research for those students and faculty who work on various aspects of medieval and Early Modern literature, including history, art, philosophy, politics, and postcolonial Britain, among others. In 2010, MEMSA hosted Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, who gave a talk on "The Sex Life of Stone."
Early Modern research at UB is supported by our long-standing membership of the Folger Consortium. The Consortium, which includes over thirty universities, allows our graduate students and faculty to extend their knowledge and scholarly networks amid the incomparable resources of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC. With over a quarter of a million volumes of British and European literary, cultural, political, religious, and social history from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, the Library also includes the finest collection of Shakespeareana – editions, theatrical materials, visual and musical supplements – in the world. Consortium members are eligible for Folger grants-in-aid, financial stipends that enable students to take Folger Institute seminars and research in its collections. Every year, UB students take advantage of this excellent opportunity.