The meeting went nicely. The student seems to have learned lots in the past year, and is ready to get into some interesting questions, I think. I suggested some contextual and theoretical stuff to read, and we'll see how he does with that.
One thing I worry about with a student here who wants to do an MA on earlier lit is that we have few grad classes in a given semester, usually one or two, and in the interests of "fairness" they rotate amongst everyone. So even though we have an MA in English lit, the creative writers and so on teach them. On one level this is fine, but it means that our MA in lit is weaker than it would be if there were more lit offerings. That's the long way of saying that this student is unlikely to be able to take a grad class in early modern lit, so if he wants to write on earlier stuff, he'll be doing a lot of independent reading.
Students doing late 20th century lit have a big advantage in knowing the culture and history at least somewhat already, and our course offerings are weighted more heavily towards their interests.