The Department of Comparative Literature
|The Department of Comparative Literature
is organized to facilitate the study of literature unrestricted by national
boundaries and the conventional demarcations of subject matter. The department
makes every effort to arrange a course of studies fitted to the individual
students background and interest. Students may choose from courses
offered by the department, as well as those offered by relevant departments
in the Division of the Humanities and in some cases those offered by other
divisions. Students are expected to read relevant texts in the original
languages. The masters program may be used to explore areas of interest
by the student, as well as to strengthen areas of established interest and
competence. Students who proceed to the Ph.D. program will choose one of
two tracks in their learning and training: (1) national literatures, (2)
literature and other disciplines. Track 1 is a program of studies of one
national literature (the major) in its historical entirety and of a second
national literature (the minor) in a specified area. Track 2 will consist
of the study of a literature or some part of that literature and its relationship
to another discipline such as sociology, psychoanalysis, philosophy, or
religion. It is assumed that whichever option the student chooses, an international
perspective on the relevant problem will be sought and maintained. Students
will be provided with individual counseling to help them formulate programs
of study that will answer to their needs and interests. There are no formal
boundaries to the extent and nature of these interests, although the department
will require that programs be coherently conceived and responsibly carried
The department requires a writing sample of no more than 25 pages, usually a critical essay written during the students college years.
The Degree of Master of Arts
The formal requirements for the A.M. degree are the following: a program of nine graduate level courses (one full academic year) all of which must be taken for a letter grade; the required two-quarter sequence Seminar: Introduction to Comparative Literature 30100 and 30200; and demonstrated competence (high proficiency in a graduate literature course or high pass in a University examination) in two foreign languages, one of which must be either French or German. The remaining seven quarter courses are normally divided among two literatures, although a student may, with department permission, place greater emphasis on one literature or on some special interest. Admission to the Ph.D. program will be based on a students grade record and performance in the required two-quarter sequence.
The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Programs leading to the doctors degree in the department will be
organized for students possessing the A.M. who have shown unusual competence
and who wish to prepare themselves for teaching and scholarly investigation
in comparative literature. Students are required to take six graduate
level courses in their second year of Ph.D. study and two in their third
year. Students are also required to write a minimum of two substantial
papers the second year, and one the third year. Copies of these papers
must be submitted to the graduate chair.
In the two years of post-MA courses, students may take no more than one
of the required courses per year for a Pass/Fail grade (i.e., one of the
six required graduate level courses for the first year of post-MA doctoral-level
study, and one of the two required graduate level courses in the second
year of doctoral-level study).
Track I requires The National Literature Oral. This is an
examination based on no fewer than 60 titles in the major literature and
no fewer than 30 titles in the minor literature. The list for the major
literature will cover all periods and genres. The list for minor literature
will cover the major texts of the approved period or genre.
Track II requires The Field Oral. This is an oral examination
on a representative list of approximately 7090 titles in a given
comparative field, such as literature and anthropology, literature and
art, literature and film, literature and history, literature and linguistics,
literature and music, literature and psychology, literature and sociology,
literature and religion, literature and science. Texts chosen for this
exam are to be distributed evenly between the two disciplines.
For admission to candidacy the same language requirements hold for BOTH
tracks. These are as follows: either high proficiency in one language
(=normally one graduate literature course) + two University reading exams
in two additional languages (with a high pass on both) OR two high proficiency
(graduate literature courses) in two languages. In both tracks one of
those languages must be either French or German. All graduate students
who wish to fulfill the language requirement through graduate course work
must pick up a form in the departmental office to be filled out by the
instructor after the course work has been completed. No student will get
credit for the language requirement by course work without the instructors
completion of such a form. The form will rate your general knowledge of
the language with almost exclusive emphasis on reading.
Before entering candidacy students will be asked to present and discuss their dissertation proposals at a proposal hearing attended by their dissertation committee and other interested faculty. After entering candidacy students will participate in a colloquium, normally in the fifth quarter after their admission to candidacy in which they will discuss with their dissertation committee the current state of the dissertation and outline their plans and schedule for further progress. Students are strongly urged to join appropriate workshops and present dissertation chapters on a regular basis to such workshops. After satisfying the above requirements, the candidate is expected to pursue independent research under the direction of a member of the faculty culminating in the writing of a doctoral dissertation. The candidate must conclude his or her studies by defending successfully this dissertation in an oral final examination.
This text was last revised on 9/03/2003.