Thesis and Dissertation Proposals

Applications for MA and PhD degrees must be accompanied by a proposal for a thesis or dissertation. Graduates at the Institute generally prepare an edition for their thesis or dissertation, though we will also consider proposals that have a marked editorial dimension without actually comprising an edition (a study of Shakespearean textual problems, for example, would fall into this category).

The proposal should include: a provisional title; issues and questions to be investigated; the approach or approaches to be taken; and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Applications for the PhD program should indicate the importance of the research in relation to existing work. When preparing their proposal, applicants are welcome to seek advice from members of the Editorial Institute.

Previous and current research by the Institute’s students

For the one-year MA:
An edition, with commentary and textual notes, of Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love; a study of Alastair Fowler’s reconstruction of C. S. Lewis’s lectures from Lewis’s notes; an investigation of the early illustrated editions of The Wind in the Willows (incorporated into the editor’s forthcoming W.W. Norton Annotated The Wind in the Willows); a Reader’s Companion to The Dead Father by Donald Barthelme; an examination of the editions of the Geneva Bible, with attention to their annotations and to responses generated by the notes; annotated editions of John Walker’s The Melody of Speaking and of David Gascoyne’s Poems 1937-1942; an edition of letters, poems, and reviews related to the friendship between Robert Frost and Edward Thomas (published by Handsel Books as Elected Friends: Robert Frost and Edward Thomas to One Another, 2004); an exploration of editorial issues in anthologies of modern Japanese literature in English translation; an edition ofThe Collected Poems of John Crowe Ransom (forthcoming from Handsel Books); selected and annotated travel letters of W. Somerset Maugham; a life and selected works of civil-rights pioneer Julian Denegall Steele; an edition of the letters of Charles Bukowski to Douglas Blazek, 1964-1965; a discography of the Harvard Vocarium (published in the Harvard Library Bulletin, Fall-Winter 2004); a textual edition of the poems of Amy Levy; selected and annotated correspondence between the poet Donald Justice and the novelist Richard Stern; an edition of the uncollected literary criticism of William Stanley Braithwaite; and a critical edition of Mark Twain’s How to Tell a Story and Other Essays.

For the PhD (normally completed in two years):
The poems of Basil Bunting; Irish dramas of the early twentieth century; two translations of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (forthcoming in Pickering and Chatto’s five-volume Collected Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning); selected letters of Violet Paget (Vernon Lee); a critical edition of poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay; the collected poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman; a genetic analysis of stories by Mary Lavin; an annotated edition of the letters and travel journals of James A. Bayard; the public lectures of Robert Frost at Dartmouth; a critical edition with variant readings of Wyndham Lewis’s first novel,Tarr; an annotated journal by Gaetano Salvemini; and the complete poems of Samuel Beckett.