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Research/Graduate Study


The UMBC Minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies views the period stretching from the fall of Rome to the dawn of the Enlightenment as crucial to an understanding of the world we know today. With a primary focus on European civilization, where the core of our modern heritage emerged and first flourished, the MEMS program also explores the intimate connections of western cultural centers with the rest of the Mediterranean, particularly the world of Islam, and with Asia via the Silk Road.


Students in the MEMS minor benefit from the expertise of faculty from four departments: History; English; Foreign Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication; and Music. MEMS faculty carry on research in areas as diverse as Chaucer, Dante, Joan of Arc, Milton, the staging of Shakespeare, Byzantine history, medieval and early modern women, Venetian society in the early Renaissance, early colonial history in North America, social relations in medieval southern France, early music, the Old Occitan language, as well as Tang China and the age of the Shoguns.


MEMS at UMBC has the exceptional advantage of long-term relationships with two of the best institutions in the country devoted to these periods, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. In addition to being able to attend public seminars and performances, and to visit the collections, our students have the rare opportunity to apply for research internships at both institutions and to work in collaboration with expert staff.


MEMS faculty members are eager to meet students interested in the medieval and early modern periods. We invite you to speak to us about the program or email the Director, Professor Kathryn McKinley at

Graduate Study

Recent UMBC graduates have gone on to pursue graduate study in MEMS subjects at such institutions as Cornell University, York University (England), University of Connecticut, Johns Hopkins University, University of Toronto, and Catholic University.   MEMS Minors can do graduate work at a range of universities with established Medieval and Early Modern Studies centers.  To see a list of such universities in the United States, Canada, and abroad, go to

MEMS Minors can also undertake advanced study through graduate programs in UMBC’s Departments of English; History; Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication (MLLI); and Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC).