Program Overview | College of Arts

Program Overview

English MA Areas of Research / Graduate Courses

The English MA Program is recognized in the scholarly community for its particular research concentration and teaching strengths in Colonial, Postcolonial, and Diasporic Studies; Canadian Literature; Early Modern Studies; Media, Technology and Literacy in the Humanities; Studies in Performance and Politics; Sexuality and Gender Studies; Transnational Nineteenth-Century Studies; Critical Studies in Improvisation. In all of these categories our faculty have been especially sensitive to questions of nationalism, and imperialism, and this strand of analysis is pervasive in the program. The program’s understanding of postcolonial and cultural studies, and of the construction of specific national literatures, requires that our students fully historicize these topics, therefore our offerings in pre-1900 British literature and American literature tend to be designed to address these issues. Our commitment to Early Modern Studies is extensive, and our outstanding collection of Scottish-Canadian archival materials, as well as our nineteenth-century travel literature collection, strongly support the wider study of British imperialism in early Canada in the twentieth century. The program’s course offerings are not only varied, but also allow for a high degree of flexibility in their execution. All courses involve significant quantities of both oral and written work and tend to involve a combination of individual and group learning. In addition, every student has the opportunity for specialized research supervised by faculty mentor(s) through the thesis option or through the research project.  Please note, that you must choose the thesis stream (MA.ENGL) or coursework stream (MA.ENGL:L) upon applying to the program

Some recent course offerings include:

  • *Race, Historical Memory, and the Archive
  • *Popular Print Culture: Theories and Case Studies
  • *Land and Gender in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe
  • *Pedagogy, Human Rights, Critical Activism: Educating for Social Change
  • *Reading Towards the Future: The Politics & Ethics of Asian Canadian Literature
  • *Victorian Women, Writing & Empire
  • *Diaspora and Globalization: Intersections, Conjunctures, Disjunctures
  • *Outside of History – contemporary African American Fiction
  • *Romantic Masculinity and the Incorporation of Race
  • *Between Literature and Anthropology
  • *Chaucer and the Question of Englishness
  • *The Life of the Body & the Body Politic: Studies in Canadian Literature & Culture
  • *CanLit on Screen
  • *Intercultural Adaptations of Shakespeare
  • *Theory and Practice of Digital Textuality
  • *Redefining “the popular”: voices from 19th-Century America

Semester System

Guelph’s academic year is divided into three 12-week semesters. The Fall Semester begins in September and ends in mid-December; the Winter semester begins in January and ends in mid-April; the Summer Semester begins in May and ends in mid-August. Students are expected to register in each consecutive semester until degree requirements are completed. Students who wish not to register for a particular semester are required to apply for a leave of absence.

Length of Program

The English MA Program is designed to allow for completion in one academic year (three consecutive semesters), however, some students require four or five semesters in order to complete all degree requirements.

Pathways Through the Program: Thesis or Coursework/Major Research Paper (MRP)

Students may choose between two options for completion of remaining degree requirements:

  1. Course-Work and Major Research Paper: Six courses (0.5 credits x 6) plus a Major Research Project (7,500-8,500 words/25-30 pages)
    Fall Semester: three Fall courses
    Winter Semester: three Winter courses
    Summer Semester: ENGL*6803 Major Research Paper

  2. Thesis: Four courses plus a thesis (20,000-25,000 words/80-100 pages)
    Fall Semester: two Fall courses
    Winter Semester: two Winter course plus thesis research
    Summer Semester: Thesis

For graduate inquiries, please contact our interim Graduate Program Coodinator for English and Theatre Studies: Dr. Paul Barrett.