This new MA programme, the first of its kind in the world, tackles the subject of Shakespeare and Authorship in all its diversity. We interrogate the mythologisation of Shakespeare, and examine the effects of collaboration on notions of authorship, value, genius, and authority. The course considers how the desire for a national and global icon produced the Shakespeare industry.Entry RequirementsYou should have a good honours degree in a relevant area such as English Literature. Applicants with relevant practical experience and/or professional qualifications will also be considered. Course AimsThis MA will examine the creation of Shakespeare as a cultural phenomenon. What historical developments contributed to the making of this English – and international – literary icon? Close textual analysis of a number of Shakespeare’s writings will reveal how Shakespeare is not one, but many: how does knowledge of Shakespeare’s collaborations with other playwrights, actors and theatrical companies affect our understanding of his individual genius? Finally, we consider the Shakespeare Authorship Question itself. Rather than promoting an alternative candidate as the author of Shakespeare’s works, we analyse the question as a subject of perennial interest and debate.Course ContentThe programme runs over three terms. One module per term will take place in the evenings, allowing students who wish to carry on working full-time the opportunity to take the MA part-time. The taught part of the programme runs over terms one and two. In term three, which runs from Easter to summer, you embark on your major project which will be a critical essay.
The modules available include: The Making of Shakespeare: This module examines the historical construction of Shakespeare as a cultural icon. It considers the known facts of Shakespeare’s life, the production of the First Folio, the deification process beginning in the eighteenth century, the ‘capturing’ of Shakespeare by/for academia and the centrality of Shakespeare to modern academic practice. Shakespeare the Collaborator: This module considers Shakespeare’s collaborations with his contemporaries through close reading of specific texts such as Henry VIII and Pericles. Students also engage in analysing plays which have not (yet) been deemed collaborative, with a view to producing new and independent views.The Shakespeare Authorship Question: What are the alternatives to Shakespeare as author? Outside speakers put their case to students, who will assess the historical and cultural context of this century-old debate. Research Methodologies: The module will contain an overview of relevant intellectual, aesthetic and cultural issues and provide specific research, bibliographic and writing skills for early-modern research. Final Major Project: A critical essay of 15,000-18,000 words.
Programme Handbook (PDF)http://www.brunel.ac.uk/223/postgrad/shakespearehandbook200809.pdfAssessmentAssessment will be based on the critical essay along with other innovative, task-based projects to promote and assess professional-level research skills. The MA is awarded upon successful completion of all modules and the major project.CareersGraduates of this course will be well placed to find employment in the ever expanding field of publishing, journalism and the arts. In addition, their advanced communication and research skills make them ideal candidates for employment in such areas as the culture industries, teaching and, increasingly, business where such skills are now highly valued.