Explore English Programs at Dalhousie
- The Department of English offers a full slate of undergraduate programs for students interested in studying the history of literature in English, developing their critical and communicative skills, and enhancing their understanding of the many forms of cultural expression.
- Many of the Department's undergraduate courses are open for students to take as electives or as part of interdisciplinary minor programs in American Studies, Film Studies, Popular Culture, and Medieval Studies.
- The Department's graduate programs offer prospective Master's and Doctoral students the opportunity for advanced seminar instruction and independent research in all areas of literary study in English.
- Students interested in creative writing can take ENGL 2010 The Personal Essay, ENGL 3098 Poetry I, or ENGL 3099 Fiction I as electives in our program, or they can complete a Double Major or Combined Honours degree in English and Creative Writing.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Explore more opportunities as an undergraduate research assistant!
The positions listed below are now filled, but we hope to have more in the future.
Tom Ue, Winter 2019
The Undergraduate Research Assistant will help with transcription, proof-reading, and other editorial tasks in the preparation of a new and authoritative edition of George Gissing’s The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903). The student will study the theory and practice of scholarly editing, and gain invaluable insight into the nineteenth-century publishing world. He or she will be fully integrated in this edition’s production process, and his or her contributions will be acknowledged. The main tasks are to prepare accurate texts; to use a variety of online resources to analyze them; and to annotate texts by providing full details of biographical, historical, and literary references mentioned.
Marjorie Stone, Winter 2019
The Undergraduate Research Assistant will work on scholarly projects associated with the internationally influential nineteenth-century English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (EBB). The nature of the work will vary. One immediate focus will be researching and drafting annotations for a collaborative digital edition of EBB’s most famous social protest poem, “The Cry of the Children” (concerning the exploitation of child laborers in factories and mines). This digital edition will be published in the digital studio COVE (Central Online Victorian Educator). The COVE edition will be collaborative and will involve working with scholars and students at other universities. Other RA tasks may involve researching cultural contexts influencing EBB’s creative process, as well as Victorian accounts of “wedding trips” or honeymoon journeys. In addition, the RA may be asked to work with digitized copies of EBB’s draft manuscripts to assist with checking and verifying transcriptions. These manuscripts offer fascinating glimpses into her creative process, but can also pose intriguing deciphering puzzles.
Lyn Bennett, Winter 2019
The Undergraduate Research Assistant will work on the Early Modern Maritime Recipes (EMMR) database, an open-access repository of recently discovered recipes and remedies from what is now defined as Maritime Canada. Inputting data while learning to read eighteenth-century handwriting and print, the RA will review and edit posted entries, transcribe and post new entries, write entry descriptions, and add relevant annotations. The position may also afford opportunities to edit short contextualizing essays and conduct original and archival research. Knowledge of French, German, or Latin and a general interest in food, medicine, agriculture and Maritime history would be advantageous. Proficiency in written communication and willingness to pay attention to detail is essential. Other necessary skills will be taught.
Len Diepeveen, Winter 2018
Production aspects of book publication. The RA will assisted in securing permissions from multiple authors and estates (based on a clear understanding of and research into copyright and fair use law), copy editing, proof reading, and indexing.
Christina Luckyj, Winter 2018
Transcribing and Editing Anna Walker’s Sweete Savor for Woman (1605): Discovering an Early Modern Woman’s Manuscript
In the manuscript reading room of the British Library, a beautifully bound and illustrated volume testifies to the extraordinary literary ambitions and religious convictions of a woman living in England around the same time as William Shakespeare. Dedicated to Queen Anna by her “humble handmaid” Anna Walker, A sweete savor for woman (c. 1606) is a religious miscellany of 80 Folio pages that includes a lengthy sermon, doggerel verse, hand-tinted drawings, and autobiographical material. Adorned with the running title “from woman to woman,” the manuscript invokes not only the gender the author shares with her dedicatee, but also their shared first name and Danish cultural origins. Working to establish her elevated social class even as she actively sues for the Queen’s patronage, Walker puts her education everywhere on display in this elegantly produced manuscript, which not only demonstrates her understanding of contemporary sermon rhetoric but features no less than three different scripts (secretary, italic and Gothic) as well as rhyming trimester and tetrameter verse. Though the manuscript was first discovered and described by Suzanne Trill in 2000, it remains virtually unknown in the burgeoning field of early modern women’s writing because no transcription or edition of the manuscript exists.
The undergraduate research assistant was required to study paleography in online tutorials to develop skill in recognizing and transcribing the three hands used in the manuscript (secretary, italic and gothic). While the main task was to complete a full transcription of the manuscript, the student also used a variety of online resources to annotate it, providing full details of eminent figures and biblical references mentioned, and carrying out research into its drawings by searching art databases.