Reading Group

The Early Modern Reading Group brings together graduate students and faculty for lively, enriching conversations about texts with cross-disciplinary value.  Participants benefit from encountering field-specific approaches and methodologies different from those they know, and from having to articulate their own field’s methodologies to others.  In addition to discussing the content and arguments of each given monograph, we attempt to break down how individual texts are constructed so as to keep a running dialogue about conceptualizing, composing, and eventually publishing relevant and persuasive research in the field.


Each year, we use a portion of funds provided by the UConn Humanities Institute to purchase copies of assigned books for all participants.  We generally tackle one monograph per semester, meeting about every other week to discuss a few chapters at a time. Graduate students are given a strong voice when it comes to selecting books so that the readings and discussions can contribute to the particular interests of the active membership for any given year.  Recent Reading Group selections include James Shapiro's, Shakespeare in a Divided America, Stephen Greenblatt’s Tyrant; Malcolm Smuts’s Court Culture and the Origins of a Royalist Tradition in Early Stuart England; James Rice’s Tales from a Revolution: Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of Early America; and Matthew Dimmock’s Mythologies of the Prophet Muhammad in Early Modern English Culture