The Making of Europe, 400 to 1750

The autumn semester Research Course occupies the first five weeks of the program. This will allow you to research a topic of your choice from any area of European history or culture in the period up to c.1750. You will identify a text or image, object or building you wish to explore (or a small group: for instance a selection of poems by a given author). You will formulate a question and write a 6,000 word essay. Some classes and field trips will help to get you thinking. Once you have identified the area you wish to work on, you will have weekly one-to-one meetings with an individual supervisor, who will also read and comment on your final draft. This project will help you with your tutorial writing later in our programme. It will also help you develop the research and writing skills needed for senior theses, graduate work, and similar challenges ahead.

There is no obligatory preparatory reading for this course. Anything written in Europe before c.1750 that captures your imagination would be worth looking at. Working with texts in translation is expected: many students work with translations from Latin and other languages. If you do wish to work in a language other than English that is welcome, to, but this will not automatically receive a higher grade. There is no textbook for this course, and you will not be under any obligation to purchase any volumes (although you may wish to do so). The resources of the Bodleian Library, Keble College Library, and the Feneley Library will almost always suffice.