Early Modern Studies

University of King's College

Understand how we got here

Many of the fundamental ideas about our world today were shaped centuries ago. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, during the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Romantic periods, writers, thinkers and artists built the foundations of the modern world. The renowned Early Modern Studies Program allows you to:

  • explore the impact of European culture
  • encounter ground-breaking art and artists like Shakespeare, Mozart and Michelangelo
  • think critically about colonialism, and the impact of interactions between Europe and the “new world”
  • learn about a time when shifting ideas about religion and science changed the way we understand our place in the universe.

Find out what’s new in the program on EMSP+.

Study abroad in Florence

An optional month-long, Early Modern studies course taught in Florence, Italy, lets you consider the art, literature, philosophical and politics of Early Modern Italy (1280-1580) through daily visits to the city’s churches, places and museums.

Find out more

Combined Honours

An EMSP student is required to take the program’s three core courses:

  • EMSP2000.06
  • EMSP3000.06
  • EMSP4000.06

plus at least two half-credit EMSP electives.

The requirements for the second honours subject are dependent on that department, and vary from program to program. Early Modern Studies Program students may fulfil the honours requirement in either of the two honours subjects. Usually this subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. In the Early Modern Studies Program, completion of the Honours Seminar fulfils the requirement of the honours qualifying examination; alternatively, with the approval of the director, an honours thesis may also fulfil the requirement of the honours qualifying examination. Both the Honours Thesis and Honours Seminar are full-year classes. They are normally taken as part of a regular (five-credit) course load. The Honours Seminar will not be offered in the 2019/20 academic year.

Explore courses
Core Courses

Structures of the Modern Self

EMSP2000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

The Study of Nature in Early Modern Europe

EMSP3000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1235-1355
W 1235-1355

Conceptions of State, Society, and Revolution in the Early Modern Period

EMSP4000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Frazee Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125
Electives

Violence and Wonder: Baroque Art

EMSP2215.03
Winter
Arts & Administration - Haliburton Room
M 1005-1125
W 1005-1125

Picture and Poetry in Early Modern Culture

EMSP2230.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
M 1005-1125
W 1005-1125

The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead

EMSP2313.03 / CTMP2313.03
Fall
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1835-2125

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2320.03 / GWST2420.03 / RELS2320.03
Winter
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
M 1835-2125

The Body in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2350.03 / HSTC2350.03
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1305-1425
R 1305-1425

Asia and the West: Centuries of Dialogue

EMSP2390.03 / CTMP2102.03 / HSTC2811.03 / CHIN2082.03
Fall
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

The Pirate and Piracy

EMSP2480.03 / HIST2750.03
Winter
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

Magic, Science and the Occult: from Antiquity to Postmodernity

HSTC2120.03 / EMSP2360.03 / HIST2990.03 / RELS2120.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Spinozisms:  From Early Modernity to the Contemporary World

EMSP3216.03 / CTMP3316.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Leonardo Da Vinci: Between Art and Science

EMSP3270.03 / HSTC3270.03
Winter
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

Love, Lust and Desire in Italian Renaissance Art

EMSP3280.03 / GWST3280.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

The Renaissance Print and Cross-Cultural Exchange

EMSP3290.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Seminar Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

In Search of the Philosopher's Stone: The History of European Alchemy

HSTC3121.03 / EMSP3321.03 / HIST3990.03 / RELS3121.03
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Science and Religion: Historical Perspectives

HSTC3200.03 / EMSP3330.03 / RELS3200.03 / HIST3075.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1605-1725
R 1605-1725
Honours Thesis & Colloquium

Early Modern Studies Honours Thesis

EMSP4550X/Y
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotiabank Room

Minor

You can take a minor in EMSP to complement your degree. Engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the birth of the modern world.

Complete a minimum of 18 credit hours to a maximum of 27 credit hours including:

  • One of the “core” courses:
    • EMSP2000.06
    • EMSP3000.06
    • EMSP4000.06
  • One full credit (or two half credits) at the 3000 or 4000 level (EMSP 3000.06 or EMSP 4000.06. can satisfy this requirement).
  • At least one additional full credit (or two half credits) at the 2000 level or above.
Explore courses
Core Courses

Structures of the Modern Self

EMSP2000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

The Study of Nature in Early Modern Europe

EMSP3000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1235-1355
W 1235-1355

Conceptions of State, Society, and Revolution in the Early Modern Period

EMSP4000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Frazee Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125
One full credit (or two half credits) at the 3000 or 4000 level

The Study of Nature in Early Modern Europe

EMSP3000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1235-1355
W 1235-1355

Spinozisms:  From Early Modernity to the Contemporary World

EMSP3216.03 / CTMP3316.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Leonardo Da Vinci: Between Art and Science

EMSP3270.03 / HSTC3270.03
Winter
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

Love, Lust and Desire in Italian Renaissance Art

EMSP3280.03 / GWST3280.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

The Renaissance Print and Cross-Cultural Exchange

EMSP3290.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Seminar Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

In Search of the Philosopher's Stone: The History of European Alchemy

HSTC3121.03 / EMSP3321.03 / HIST3990.03 / RELS3121.03
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Science and Religion: Historical Perspectives

HSTC3200.03 / EMSP3330.03 / RELS3200.03 / HIST3075.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1605-1725
R 1605-1725

Conceptions of State, Society, and Revolution in the Early Modern Period

EMSP4000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Frazee Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125
At least one additional full credit (or two half credits) at the 2000 level or above.

Structures of the Modern Self

EMSP2000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

Violence and Wonder: Baroque Art

EMSP2215.03
Winter
Arts & Administration - Haliburton Room
M 1005-1125
W 1005-1125

Picture and Poetry in Early Modern Culture

EMSP2230.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
M 1005-1125
W 1005-1125

The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead

EMSP2313.03 / CTMP2313.03
Fall
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1835-2125

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2320.03 / GWST2420.03 / RELS2320.03
Winter
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
M 1835-2125

The Body in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2350.03 / HSTC2350.03
Winter
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1305-1425
R 1305-1425

Asia and the West: Centuries of Dialogue

EMSP2390.03 / CTMP2102.03 / HSTC2811.03 / CHIN2082.03
Fall
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

The Pirate and Piracy

EMSP2480.03 / HIST2750.03
Winter
New Academic Building - KTS Lecture Hall
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

Magic, Science and the Occult: from Antiquity to Postmodernity

HSTC2120.03 / EMSP2360.03 / HIST2990.03 / RELS2120.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

The Study of Nature in Early Modern Europe

EMSP3000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1235-1355
W 1235-1355

Spinozisms:  From Early Modernity to the Contemporary World

EMSP3216.03 / CTMP3316.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Leonardo Da Vinci: Between Art and Science

EMSP3270.03 / HSTC3270.03
Winter
Arts & Administration Building - Haliburton Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

Love, Lust and Desire in Italian Renaissance Art

EMSP3280.03 / GWST3280.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1605-1725
W 1605-1725

The Renaissance Print and Cross-Cultural Exchange

EMSP3290.03
Fall
Arts & Administration Building - Seminar Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

In Search of the Philosopher's Stone: The History of European Alchemy

HSTC3121.03 / EMSP3321.03 / HIST3990.03 / RELS3121.03
Winter
New Academic Building - Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Science and Religion: Historical Perspectives

HSTC3200.03 / EMSP3330.03 / RELS3200.03 / HIST3075.03
Fall
New Academic Building - Scotia Bank Room
T 1605-1725
R 1605-1725

Conceptions of State, Society, and Revolution in the Early Modern Period

EMSP4000.06
Fall
Winter
New Academic Building - Frazee Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125

The thing I really loved most [about my thesis] was doing the research and being able to delve specifically into a topic…it’s all the one thing, but it’s so focused, it comes to a point almost. And the point in the end will be to write a 50-70 page thesis on [Emmanuel] Kant and forgiveness.

Graham O'Brien
Graham O'Brien

Current Student,


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