Mary Morrissey Teaching and Convening

I convene:

EN2OEL: Introduction to Old English Literature

This module explores English Literature from before the Norman Conquest, at a time when England was culturally linked to Northern Europe and Scandinavia. We study the texts in translation, including Seamus Heaney's now-famous translation of Beowulf, and consider the impact of Old English Literature on modern authors, like J.R.R. Tolkien.

EN2RTC: Renaissance Texts and Cultures

In this module, we examine Renaissance literature against the background of the cultural, social and religious upheavals of Tudor and early Stuart England. We consider the challenge to assumptions about gender that Queen Elizabeth's long reign created, and how poets and writers responded to it. We look at Renaissance writers engagement with the Classical and Christian past, and their exploration of the 'new world'.

EN3JD: John Donne and his Contemporaries

This module gives students (and teachers!) the chance to puzzle their way through some of the most intricate and intriguing poems produced during the English Renaissance, by John Donne, Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell and John Milton. We think about the social usefulness of poetry in the early modern period, and the role of literature in representing and facilitating the changes wrought by the Civil War.

EN3JM: John Milton

This module does what it says on the tin: we look at Milton's works, beginning with his shorter poems, moving on to his prose writings (and particularly his political tracts) written during the Civil War. We spend some time on Paradise Lost (of course) and then finish with a consideration of Samson Agonistes. We consider the literary and political influences on Milton, and the literary and political influence of Milton. And we take time to enjoy the grace and grandeur of Milton's verse.

I also teach on:

EN2LV: Lyric Voices, 1340-1650.


I have supervised PhD thesis on early modern women's writing and on Catholic Recusant literature. I welcome postgraduates interested in undertaking research on John Donne, on the impact of the Reformation on English Literature, or on London civic culture in the early modern period.

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