Early Modern Studies

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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 course doublets:

  • EMSP 2001.03 & EMSP 2002.03 (or EMSP 2000.06)
  • EMSP 3001.03 & EMSP 3002.03 (or EMSP 3000.06)
  • EMSP 4001.03 & EMSP 4002.03 (or EMSP 4000.06)

plus at least six credit hours 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 (EMSP 4501.03 & EMSP 4502.03) fulfils the requirement of the honours qualifying examination; alternatively, with the approval of the director, an honours thesis (in conjunction with EMSP 4551.03 & EMSP 4552.03) 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 course load.

Explore courses
Core Courses
Electives

Structures of the Modern Self I

EMSP2001.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

Structures of the Modern Self II

EMSP2002.03
Winter
Scotiabank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

Themes in Early Modern Science, Metaphysics and Epistemology

EMSP2240.03
Winter
Seminar Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead

EMSP2313.03 / CTMP2313.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
M 1735-2025

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2320.03 / GWST2420.03 / RELS2320.03
Winter
Alumni Hall
M 1735-2025

Asia and the West: Centuries of Dialogue

EMSP2390.03 / CTMP2102.03 / HSTC2811.03 / CHIN2082.03
Fall
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
Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

The Pirate and Piracy

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

Humanity, Nature, and Environment in the Early Modern Period I: Renaissance to the Age of Reason

EMSP3001.03
Fall
Archibald Room
M 1235-1425
W 1235-1325

Humanity, Nature, and Environment in the Early Modern Period II: Enlightenment to Romanticism

EMSP3002.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1235-1425
W 1235-1325

Critiques of Modernity

CTMP3103.03 / EMSP3203.03
Winter
Seminar 7
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Opera and the Idea of the Enlightenment

EMSP3240.03
Winter
Archibald Room
W 1735-2025

Love, Lust and Desire in Italian Renaissance Art

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

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

HSTC3121.03 / EMSP3321.03 / HIST3990.03 / RELS3121.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1435-1725
W 1435-1725

Theories of Punishment: Retribution and Social Control in Early Modern Thought

EMSP3430.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
M 1735-2025

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

EMSP4001.03
Fall
Seminar Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125

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

EMSP4002.03
Winter
Seminar Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125
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 course doublets:
    • EMSP 2001.03 & EMSP 2002.03 (or EMSP 2000.06)
      *Both EMSP 2001.03 & EMSP 2002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
    • EMSP 3001.03 & EMSP 3002.03 (or EMSP 3000.06)
      *Both EMSP 3001.03 & EMSP 3002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
    • EMSP 4001.03 & EMSP 4002.03 (or EMSP 4000.06)
      *Both EMSP 4001.03 & EMSP 4002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
  • 6 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level.  EMSP 3001.03 & EMSP 3002.03 (or EMSP 3000.06) OR EMSP 4001.03 & EMSP 4002.03 (or EMSP 4000.06) will also fulfill this requirement).
  • 6 credit hours at any level.
Explore courses
Core Courses
6 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level
6 credit hours at any level

Structures of the Modern Self I

EMSP2001.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

Structures of the Modern Self II

EMSP2002.03
Winter
Scotiabank Room
T 1435-1555
R 1435-1555

Themes in Early Modern Science, Metaphysics and Epistemology

EMSP2240.03
Winter
Seminar Room
T 1005-1125
R 1005-1125

The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead

EMSP2313.03 / CTMP2313.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
M 1735-2025

Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

EMSP2320.03 / GWST2420.03 / RELS2320.03
Winter
Alumni Hall
M 1735-2025

Asia and the West: Centuries of Dialogue

EMSP2390.03 / CTMP2102.03 / HSTC2811.03 / CHIN2082.03
Fall
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
Archibald Room
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

The Pirate and Piracy

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

Humanity, Nature, and Environment in the Early Modern Period I: Renaissance to the Age of Reason

EMSP3001.03
Fall
Archibald Room
M 1235-1425
W 1235-1325

Humanity, Nature, and Environment in the Early Modern Period II: Enlightenment to Romanticism

EMSP3002.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1235-1425
W 1235-1325

Critiques of Modernity

CTMP3103.03 / EMSP3203.03
Winter
Seminar 7
M 1435-1555
W 1435-1555

Opera and the Idea of the Enlightenment

EMSP3240.03
Winter
Archibald Room
W 1735-2025

Love, Lust and Desire in Italian Renaissance Art

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

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

HSTC3121.03 / EMSP3321.03 / HIST3990.03 / RELS3121.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1435-1725
W 1435-1725

Theories of Punishment: Retribution and Social Control in Early Modern Thought

EMSP3430.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
M 1735-2025

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

EMSP4001.03
Fall
Seminar Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125

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

EMSP4002.03
Winter
Seminar Room
W 1005-1125
F 1005-1125

"I would love to be able to inspire people, in ways I have been inspired myself."

Ian Kenny
Ian Kenny

Research Master's in Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, 2014


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