Research profile

Hans Holbein the Younger, The Ambassadors (1533)

TEEME is interdisciplinary (even transdisciplinary) in ambition, moving beyond established forms of historical critique and literary study by pursuing innovative and unorthodox modes of intellectual inquiry and advanced methods of textual, cultural and historical analysis (eg textual genetics, theories of discourse and performativity, systems theories). By relating a broad understanding of ‘text’ – in its original meaning of tissue, web or texture – to underlying ‘events’ – the raw data of the past shaped into story by ‘weaving’ or writing – all projects will combine a textual-literary with a cultural-historical strand.

To be admitted to the programme, candidates must present convincing outlines for research projects that are comparative and interdisciplinary in conception, that bear a clear relation to present needs and debates, and that span at least two different linguistic, religious and/or ethnic cultures within Europe, or that relate one European with one non-European culture, in the period 1400 to 1700, or in later political or cultural uses and representations of early modern literature and history. A project on Shakespeare, for instance, would be expected to look beyond formal or philological questions focused on individual plays and consider instead wider cultural issues, such as the relations between the plays and specific historical, social or intellectual dynamics in Europe and beyond, or perhaps Shakespeare’s impact on European, American, African or Asian cultures.

Thedodor de Bry, A weroan or great Lorde of Virginia (1590), after a watercolour by John White

Throughout the three years of the degree, the curriculum balances research, course­work and critically-creative practice, offering qualifications at a level that fully meet the requirements of the Dublin descriptors. The programme’s originality consists in its innovative approach to the study of the past through present concerns, and in the focus on the early modern period as a crucial time for the formation of European integrative tendencies. It thus represents a corrective to traditional views of European identity which draw only on Judeo-Christian or Classical traditions and will lead to a deeper and more comprehensive contextual understanding of present-day phenomena such as globalization or nationalism, as well as postcolonialism or postmodernism.

The consortium is united in its educational and scholarly outlook, favouring broad interdisciplinary approaches over narrow specializations. It sets high standards in research supervision. Staff at all four degree-awarding institutions prioritize independent and original thinking, the capacity for critical analysis, a broad knowledge of the field including its most recent methodologies, and the ability to situate research in wider contexts and make connections with the work of others. Students are taught to manage their research through the setting of realistic goals and achievable intermediate milestones, through appropriate forms of data acquisition, and through the effective use of modern technologies.

At all four sites academic staff at collaborate in interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research centres:

These centres offer flourishing research environments and regular research seminar series with an early modern focus (Kent, FU Berlin), significant early modern contents (Porto), or theoretical interdisciplinary studies (CU Prague).

The shared commitment to culturally relevant, historically informed and theoretically focused research is underwritten by four different academic profiles which students will be able to combine in intellectually productive ways. For this purpose, the list of special skills courses and elective modules offered by each site has been compiled to ensure maximum complementarity of the curricular elements of the programme. The skills strand has a different emphasis at each site: manuscript work and textual study at Kent, philology and cultural theory at Berlin, interculturality and intertextuality in Porto, literary theory and translation studies at Prague. Students choose the strand best suited to meet their research needs in semesters 2 and 3, and will be able to complement their training with a second strand in semesters 5 and 6.

Research profile Kent
Research profile Berlin
Research profile Porto
Research profile Prague