Philology: 300 years of Robert Lowth

Vakbeschrijving Philology: 300 years of Robert Lowth
Collegejaar: 2010-2011
Studiegidsnummer: 5624KFI21Y
  • Prof. dr. I.M. Tieken-Boon van Ostade
Voertaal: Engels
Blackboard: Onbekend
EC: 10
Niveau: 600
Periode: Semester 1, Blok I, II
  • Wel Keuzevak
  • Wel Contractonderwijs
  • Geen Exchange
  • Geen Study Abroad
  • Geen Avondonderwijs
  • Geen A-la-Carte en Aanschuifonderwijs
  • Geen Honours Class

Admission Requirements

Interest in language and sociolinguistics and in doing research; basic linguistic skills.


The year 2010 may rightly be called the Robert Lowth Year: on 27 November, it is three hundred years ago since Lowth, Bishop of London and author of the most authoritative grammar of the English language (1762), was born. Various events are planned this year to commemorate this, and this MA course is one of them (see In this course you will learn to work with the kind of tools needed to study the life and language of important eighteenth-century men – and women – of letters like Robert Lowth. To this end, we will study private documents, such as letters and wills, and also the publication history of works like Lowth’s Short Introduction to English Grammar. Important tools we will use are ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online), the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and bibliographies such as R.C. Alston’s Bibliography of the English language. Following the course there will be a two-day symposium on Lowth, in which you will be expected to participate. Among the things you will be doing for the course is to interview one of the speakers and report on their paper in the light of the symposium as such as well as their general expertise in the field.

Course Objectives

This course aims to introduce students to methodologies and tools needed to do philological and historiographical research on eighteenth-century English (or other languages) and its speakers. Building on insights gained during BA programmes in (English) language and literature studies, particularly in relation to developments in the history of the language, a critical and objective approach will be adopted that will enable students to study topical questions in the history of linguistics. By actively attending a scholarly symposium, students will be introduced to scholars and scholarship in the field. After completion of the course, students will be well equipped to write a master’s thesis in a topic of central interest to the general topic of the course.


The timetable will be available from July 1 onwards on the Department website.

Mode of Instruction

Two-hour seminar per week.


  • Presentation and active course participation (25%)
  • Interview (25%)
  • Final essay (50%)


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

Background reading will be supplied.


Students can register through uSis.

Register for Contractonderwijs

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail: