Enhance your understanding of the thought, literature, and history of the pre-industrial (pre-1800) world. The study of historical culture in world civilizations from antiquity through early modernity will allow you to better understand the origins and development of culture informing modern global society.
An option is a “mini-minor” – a set of courses in one discipline that can be completed in conjunction with any undergraduate degree program, allowing you to focus on an additional subject of interest.
What is the ‘Pre-modern’ period?
The Pre-modern period is taken loosely to comprise all the centuries pre-1800 in all parts of the globe. This is as much a matter of convenience as of fact. It is very difficult to place specific dates on broad historical categories like “pre-modern,” “medieval,” “renaissance,” and “ancient,” because they deal more with characteristics than with times. One can find elements that could be considered “modern” in ancient times and “ancient” characteristics are visible in the present. Because the English and History departments group their courses into the temporal category of “pre-1800,” this somewhat arbitrary 1800 boundary became the criteria to designate a course as part of the emphasis. At Trent this includes courses about the Ancient World, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome; Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Europe; and Ancient Asia. Students who qualify for this emphasis benefit from the broad perspective that this longue durée vantage point offers.
Value of an Emphasis in Pre-modern Studies
Students thinking of pursuing graduate or professional degrees in areas like History, English, Classics, Philosophy, Anthropology, Political Studies, French, Cultural Studies, or Law will benefit from the emphasis because it provides an interdisciplinary and historical foundation for all future work in these areas. All historians, for example, should know about ancient Rome, and all philosophers are expected to know their Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes.
But even students who do not plan to go on to graduate school will benefit from the perspective that the emphasis provides on how we got where we are today, and knowing how individuals and nations dealt with problems in the past can often open doors to solving problems of the future.
Please see the Academic Calendar for up-to-date information on the eligible courses. For a list of faculty affiliated with the program and their related research interests, refer to list below.
Questions about the Program?
Contact the program co-ordinator:
B.A. (Western), M.A. (Queen's), Ph.D. (York)
Wallis Hall, Traill College 108
(705)748-1011 x 6270
Faculty and Research Group
Rita Bode, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto) - English Literature
Research Interests: 19th- and early 20th century British and American literature; the novel; drama; teaching Shakespeare
Martin Boyne, B.A. (Trent), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Lancaster) - Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Research Interests: stylistics of twentieth-century experimental fiction, with teaching interests in the history of English, historical linguistics, and Latin.
Lorraine Clark, B.A. (Toronto), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Virginia) - English Literature
Research Interests: Eighteenth-Century philosophy and literature, especially the Quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns in Shaftesbury, Pope, Swift, Fielding, Jane Austen, and Rousseau; Milton; English Romanticism in European contexts (Rousseau; German idealism)
Michael Eamon, B.A. (Hon.)(Ottawa), M.A. (Queen's), M. Phil (Cambridge), Ph.D. (Queen's) - History
Research Interests: 18th- and 19th-Century British North America, Print Culture, Publics and Sociability
Ivana Elbl, B.A. (Charles), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto) - History
Research Interests: History of Early Modern Europe; Portuguese history, especially the age of imperial expansion; Leo Africanus' Description of Africa
Hugh Elton, B.A. (Sheffield), D.Phil. (Oxford) - Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Research Interests: Roman Political and Military History, especially of late antique Anatolia. Using digital technology to model aspects of the past including climate, agriculture, and warfare
Joanne Findon, B.A. (UBC), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto) - English Literature
Research Interests:Middle English literature; Middle Irish and Middle Welsh literature and history; women in medieval literature; myth and folklore; children's literature; creative writing.
Rodney Fitzsimons, B.A., M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Cincinnati) - Anthropology
Research Interests: Greek archaeology, with a focus on the Bronze Age (Minoan, Mycenaean) and Early Iron Age; monumental architecture, landscape archaeology, and urbanism; state formation; acculturation and identity; mortuary practices
Michael W. Hickson, B.A. (UWO), M.A. (CUA), Ph.D. (UWO) - Philosophy
Research Interests: Early Modern European Philosophy, with special focus on the philosophers Montaigne, Descartes, and Bayle, and on the histories of skepticism, toleration, and philosophical reflection on evil.
Jennine Hurl-Eamon, B.A. (UWO), M.A. (Queen's), Ph.D. (York) - History
Research Interests: 17th and 18th Century London; violence; gender, marriage and sexuality; Early Modern crime and criminal justice; soldier's and sailor's wives
Gyles Iannone, B.A. (Simon Fraser), M.A. (Trent), Ph.D. (University College London)
Research Interests: Archaeology, Historical Political Ecology, Resilience Theory, Early Tropical States, Central America and Asia.
Katrina HB Keefer, B.A. (Trent), M.A. (Trent), Ph.D. (York) - History
Research Interests: Cultural history, identity and biography, West Africa, 19th century upper Guinea coast, history of slavery, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, cults and initiation societies, scarification.
Sarah Keefer, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto) - English Literature
Research Interests: Old and Middle English language and literature; pre-Conquest liturgical history and influence; editing Old English verse within its manuscript context; computing in medieval disciplines
George Kovacs, B.A. (Trent), M.A. (Memorial), Ph.D. (Toronto) - Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Research Interests: Ancient Greek and Roman literature (epic, tragedy, comedy); ancient performance and stagecraft Email: email@example.com
David R. Lawrence, B.A. (Wake Forest), M.A.(UNC-Greensboro), M.A. (King's College, London), Ph.D. (Toronto) - History
Research Interests: Early Modern Britain with an emphasis on military culture; war and society in early modern and modern Europe; gender and organized violence; book history
Van Nguyen-Marshall, B.Sc. (Dalhousie), B.A. (hon., Dalhousie), M.A. (British Columbia), Ph.D. (British Columbia) - History
Research Interests: Colonial and postcolonial Vietnam with a particular focus on associational life, philanthropy, and the middle class.
Jennifer P. Moore, B.A. (Laurier), M.A., Ph.D. (McMaster) - Anthropology
Research Interests: Roman archaeology, ancient North Africa, ancient religion (votive and funerary), Roman wine production and trade, Roman pottery
Elizabeth Popham, B.A., M.A. (Manitoba), Ph.D. (Queen's) - English Literature
Research Interests: the English Literary Renaissance, with a focus on pastoral, epic and Elizabethan political pageantry; Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare; Canadian literature, especially A.M. Klein and E.J. Pratt; editing for print and electronic media
E -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Siena, B.A. (SUNY), M.A. (Rochester), Ph.D. (Toronto) - History
Research Interests: Early modern medicine with an emphasis on sex and disease; poverty, charity and social welfare; hospital history; early modern London
Fiona Harris-Stoertz, B.A. (Calgary), M.A., Ph.D. (California) - History
Research Interests: History of England and France 1050-1300; medieval rites of passage; medieval childhood and adolescence, medieval women's history medieval childbirth, knights, monks, university students, and apprentices.
Ian C. Storey, B.A. (Univ. Trin. Coll.), M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto), MPhil (Oxford) - Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Research Interests: Ancient Greek Drama (especially comedy and Euripides), Anglican Church History, the fiction of C.S. Lewis
Byron Stoyles, B.A. (Huron University College), M.A., Ph.D.(Western Ontario) - Philosophy
Research Interests: Ancient Philosophy, especially Aristotle's Natural Philosophy and Ethics; History of Philosophy, broadly construed; Ethical Theory, especially Virtue Theory; and Death.
Frances Timbers, B.A. (Trent), M.A. (U of T), Ph.D. (U of T) - History
Research Interests: 16th & 17th century England; magic, witchcraft, gender, sexuality; early modern gypsies