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A List Of Good Dissertation Topics In English Literature

English literature is a wide and varied subject, spanning over a thousand years of rich literary history written in various historical incarnations of the English language. Beginning with the early medieval epic Beowulf, written in Old English and mutually unintelligible with our modern language, and extending to contemporary works from authors like Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy, English literature provides a wealth of topics for creating a good dissertation. If you’re pursuing a PhD., and in some cases a Master’s degree, in English Literature, you’ll be required to do a doctoral dissertation. You’ll research and write an extended paper containing original analysis, ideas, and research, making a unique contribution to the field. You’ll then present your dissertation to a committee of experts, who will ask questions and evaluate your work to determine whether you’ve successfully earned your degree.

The process of choosing a topic for your dissertation should start as soon as possible. You’ll want to find a subject that is neither too broad or too narrow, and to which you can bring original insights and analyses that contribute to the field of study as a whole.

  • Milton’s use of biblical imagery and allegories.
  • The impact of the Genesis mythos of the Bible on seventeenth century literature as a whole.
  • The influence of the Age of Exploration on the English literary imagination in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
  • A comparison of themes, motifs, and aesthetics in the work of William Wordsworth versus that of his close friend and contemporary, Samuel Coleridge.
  • The impact of new religious movements and ideologies on nineteenth century English literature.
  • The influence on literature of Victorian attitudes toward and preoccupation with sexuality, morality, and propriety.
  • The impact of industrial-age English literature on contemporary social policies, such as concerning the work of Upton Sinclair.
  • Postwar disillusionment and its influence on the Modern poetry of the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Aldous Huxley’s search for the metaphysical “other”
  • The influence of African American culture on twentieth century American literature.
  • The impact of modern psychology on the evolution of the nineteenth and twentieth century novel.
  • The growth of science fiction and other speculative fantasy during the twentieth century.
  • The impact of science on the nineteenth century novel, such as in the works of Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.
  • The growth of psychological realism in English literature across the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
  • The advent and evolution of the novel as a literary medium.
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