A Folger Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas (seminar)

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Denise Albanese Spring Semester Seminar This seminar will illustrate and exemplify graduate-level work in the humanities, surveying 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 various forms of historiography (e.g., theatrical, cultural, social, scientific, and political), the book as a material object, the visual analysis of images, manuscript studies, and editorial practice. 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 outline potential research projects; identify and discuss 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: Denise Albanese is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at George Mason University, where she teaches courses in Shakespeare, Milton, and other early modern writing; critical and literary theory; and the cultural study of science and technology. Author of New Science, New World (1996) and Extramural Shakespeare (2010), she is currently completing a study on division and the natural world in seventeenth-century England.