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New Masters by Research in Classical Reception

Posted on 23/06/2012

RHUL Classics Department

in association with the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome

The Classical World is always with us. The history and culture of Classical Antiquity have passed down to us through generations of thinkers: writers, artists, scholars have worried about the Classical past and the lessons that it can teach us. The Classical legacy has shaped modern thought. Consequently, the Classical has shaped the modern. This Masters by Research leads students to explore that legacy and to develop skills in research and methodology in this fascinating and growing field of intellectual history.

The Masters is structured so as to provide students with a training in research skills. These skills can be applied in further study (for a PhD) or in researching in other fields. The centre-piece of the experience is the writing of a major piece of individual research in Classical Reception. The taught course (Making Classics) is taught in the first term and prepares students for the dissertation by introducing a whole range of methodological and theoretical issues in the study of Classical Reception. These are explored further in term two and three, during which students will be engaged in research work for their dissertation. Students will be guided in their dissertation through a number of seminars and presentations and supported by expert advice from the teaching team and their own designated advisor.

The Royal Holloway team has special expertise in literary-theoretical, philosophical and political receptions of the Classical world. Professor Richard Alston works in political theory and the history of the city. Professor Ahuvia Kahane and Dr Efi Spentzou work on artistic, literary and philosophical receptions, with a particular interest in literary theory.

The course is structured around two elements over 12 months. A core course (Making Classics) in which students are introduced to a range of theoretical approaches to Classical Reception organised in three inter-related themes: The Reception of Myth; Empire and City; Philosophy, Poetics, Form. The exact balance between the themes may vary from year to year. These will lead the students through issues relating to gender, post-colonialism, radical politics, political theory, urban design and theory, aesthetics, critical theory, and time. We will use a range of material from fine art, cinema, poetry, philosophical tracts, and political writings. The course will give a thorough introduction to the theories underpin research in Classical reception studies. The course will be assessed by three research reports (one on each strand) and an essay.

The second element and major element is the research dissertation. Students will be guided in selecting a topic in the first term and that topic will be refined during that term. From term two onwards, the teaching focus will be on the dissertation, with individual sessions with supervisors, detailed planning and feedback, and presentations to tutors and others in the group. The support is designed to allow student to make the transition from under-graduates to mature, self-directed researches, capable of producing an extended piece of research.

The Master by Research builds on recognised expertise at Royal Holloway in the Classics and Theory and the Classics and Comparative literature and is associated with a thriving research centre (The Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome).  



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