Looking for a traditional canon-focused English MA-- does it exist?
January 21, 2011 7:57 PM Subscribe
What is the best English MA grad school that focuses on literary forms and content, and literary canon? Secondarily, a PhD program that has a 'hidden' MA possible in this area?
posted by reenka to education (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The majority of the answers I've seen online (generally) are all about how I shouldn't bother getting an English MA (let alone trying to get an MA and then be certified to be a HS English teacher-- two total doozies). My plan is what it is, currently. To wit, I want to get a really solid grounding in 'traditional' English studies, which I haven't done all through HS and college, believe it or not. I'm a voracious reader and quite well self-educated (and I read some classics as a child), but mostly I'm a genre reader. I went to an 'alternative' HS and college where there were no real 'standards'. I realize that you don't need in-depth knowledge to teach HS English; I want it anyway. I want to teach HS English my way. If I have to, I'll start my own school to do it. So that's the plan.
Unfortunately, Ivy League English programs (which I may get into-- maybe-- as I'm doing extremely well in my funny little alt school so far) all seem to offer PhD programs only. I heard it's possible to get an MA as a hidden 'drop out' option if you sign up for a PhD. Is this true? Regardless, an actual PhD is out of the question, as I'm already 32. A 2-year program is ok, but ideally it'd be 1 year, and then 1 year for a Masters in Teaching.
In any program, it'd be a huge plus if they offer a healthy aid package with TA positions offered.
Primarily, however, I'd just like to get some suggestions of actual MA programs that offer a rigorous, 'traditional' curriculum while offering a possibility of interdisciplinary study & with interdepartmental ties of some sort. The former aspect is more important than the latter, but I'm not some fuddy-duddy-- I don't want to just do a Renaissance lit thesis or something. I just want the best of both worlds. Ideally minus the cult lit theory inundating everything, though I know that's asking too much. Anyway, some rock solid year's-worth of courses in foundational English-language literary tradition is a minimum.
If know this exists-- U of Oregon's program comes pretty close (it seems). I'm also considering just getting an MAT with a larger-than-usual concentration in English study, and the best so far seems to be Brown's MAT. However, that program only has 3 courses for the MAT.
My research interests are folklore, visual/narrative semiotics, the graphic novel, traditional and fantastic narratives (and narrative theory), children's lit, the Romantics, Celtic, Native American & Norse mythology and culture. I also like interdisciplinary research with connections to ethnography, anthropology, philosophy or psychology.
I've considered non-English MAs in Folklore like Berkeley's program, as its interdisciplinary nature is very appealing, but it has no English content. I'm currently thinking of U of Oregon's English with a Folklore emphasis and U of Florida's English & comics MA program (but that has little to no canon grounding). I'd take an English & semiotics focus in a second, but there's no such thing. It'd be great if I could self-construct a focus such as that in traditional narratives/folklore.