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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Doctoral Portfolio Program in Interdisciplinary European Studies

The size and diversity of the departments in the humanities, arts, and social sciences and in the professional schools at the University of Texas at Austin, in contrast, open an option to define interdisciplinary studies on the Ph.D. level while allowing students great flexibility in defining their professional goals, both within and outside of the academy. Given UT's broad graduate offerings in such cutting-edge research and teaching, the "Doctoral Portfolio Program in Interdisciplinary European Studies" enables students to establish strong interdisciplinary profiles based on focused cross-disciplinary coursework and research planning for studies of Europe (defined as current and future likely member states of the European Union). In defining interdisciplinary connections for the PhD programs in which they will enroll, students are able to develop research, teaching, and professional profiles beyond those offered in the context of extant PhDs; these profiles can also qualify them for a larger range of post-PhD careers that require the expertises of disciplinary PhDs plus ancillary skills not offered in more conventional PhD programs.

Download an application for the IES Portfolio Program (PDF, 44K)

The Doctoral Portfolio Program in Interdisciplinary European Studies will:

  • foster dialogue and communication throughout The University among the faculty and graduate students who are engaged in research and teaching on Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • offer a venue for exchange and integration of perspectives drawn from various disciplines
  • promote dialogue to raise consciousness for research and writing standards in interdisciplinary research, supplementing extant interdisciplinary lecture series on the campus (e.g. Germanic Studies lectures, Modernism Discussion Group, British Studies Seminar)
  • facilitate students' definition of appropriate interdisciplinary perspectives and courses of study for their future professional careers (in research, teaching, or otherwise)
  • create a formal advising structure on interdisciplinary work and career opportunities to supplement that available in extant degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools.
  • provide prospective employers with indications of a student's area and disciplinary competencies outside normal degree sequences. The establishment of the IES Portfolio would promote interdisciplinary contact among the many faculty and graduate students currently engaged in research and scholarship that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The "Doctoral Portfolio Program in Interdisciplinary European Studies" is open to all Ph.D. students on the UT-Austin campus. The Portfolio Program could be profitably combined with programs such as social sciences, arts, communications, business and language studies. It enables students to establish strong interdisciplinary profiles based on focused cross-disciplinary coursework and research planning for studies of Europe (defined as current and future likely member states of the European Union).

The Doctoral Portfolio Program in Interdisciplinary European Studies offers a venue for exchange and integration of perspectives drawn from various disciplines. The Program facilitates students' definition of appropriate interdisciplinary perspectives and courses of study for their future professional careers (in research, teaching, or otherwise). It promotes dialogue to raise consciousness for research and writing standards in interdisciplinary research, supplementing extant interdisciplinary lecture series on the campus. Students enrolled in the Portfolio Program will be able to engage in dialogue with the faculty doing research and teaching on Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective. They will be eligible for a formal advising structure on interdisciplinary work and career opportunities to supplement the ones that are available in extant degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools. The Program will provide prospective employers with indications of a student's area and disciplinary competencies outside normal degree sequences.

Admissions Procedure and Program Advising
Students can enter the Portfolio Program at any point in their doctoral work, but it is recommended that they complete the portfolio courses and language requirements before being admitted to candidacy.

Students interested in developing a Portfolio must complete and submit an application form to the director (.pdf version available on the Portfolio website); this form will be reviewed by the IES Admissions and Certification Committee. The application must include the signatures of the student’s Graduate Adviser and Dissertation Supervisor(s). The application must be accompanied by the submission of a 1-2 pp. essay describing the importance of a particular interdisciplinary specialization or area study in European Studies to the student’s doctoral program and career goals. Students who are accepted for the portfolio will work with the Director as the Portfolio Adviser in developing the final set of courses for their proposed specialization area.

Course Requirements:
For the Portfolio Certification, students will be required to complete a contract of 12 hours of graduate-level courses.

  • 12 credit hours of graduate-level courses (four courses), chosen from extant graduate coursework, with an overall GPA of 3.5 or better in these courses. These four courses must be chosen outside the offerings of the student's official degree program, in one of two recommended distributions, as specified on the Application Form.
  • proof of the student's ability to function in English and in at least one European language at a level appropriate to professional research and other activities.

Within two recommended options, students are encouraged to develop a specialization that is unique to their own program of work, but which also accommodates their future career goals, as well as the specific approaches in both disciplines: are they going to import the results of other disciplines into their own work (as in OPTION A), or are they going to try to teach research in two different disciplines (as in OPTION B)?

*Note that, in both cases, the student must reach outside disciplines ordinarily represented in their home departments: students of German literature, for example, may not certify in German linguistics, but they may certify in the linguistics of other European nations under OPTION A, or in problems within a discipline not addressed within national or field-specific frameworks, under OPTION B.

OPTION A: Area Studies Concentration

This option requires four courses in area studies that supplement the student's historical-cultural view of Europe.

EXAMPLE 1: PhD Program: German History, 19th and 20th Centuries
Portfolio Concentration Title: German Culture

Courses:

  • ARH 384: Topics in Renaissance Art (German)
  • GER 386.4: Survey of German Literature, Naturalism -Present
  • GER 382M: Seminar in German Cultural History
  • PHL 384L: The Continental Tradition

EXAMPLE 2: PhD Program: Linguistics (concentration in sociolinguistics)
Portfolio Concentration: Cultural Contact Borders in the 20th Century (Alsatian Dialect Studies)

Courses:

  • HIS 380L: Topics in European Imperialism>
  • HIS 381: Topics in World History (Weimar to the Nazi Era)
  • GER 381.11: History of the German Language
  • SOC 389K.9: Seminar in Demography: Immigration and Immigration Policy
  • FR 382L: Studies in the Civilization of the French-Speaking World

EXAMPLE 3: PhD Program: RTF
Portfolio Concentration: Media and Culture in the Caribbean (French and Spanish)

Courses:

  • FR 390N: Studies in Francophone Literature
  • FR 390M: Studies in French Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • HIS 381: Topics in World History (French History)
  • SOC 389K.9: Seminar in Demography: Immigration and Immigration Policy

OPTION B: Concentration in Interdisciplinary Methodology

This concentration allows the student to prove competence in the methodology and praxis of a second discipline while learning how that discipline deals with European themes. Thus the four courses are broken down into two groups of requirements:

  • (1) two courses in a disciplinary methodology applicable to the problematics that are the focus of the student¹s Ph.D. Program, but not ordinarily part of that Ph.D. curriculum
  • (2) two courses in that chosen second discipline (or in another closely related department) whose content include the European nation(s) of the student's focus

EXAMPLE 1: PhD Program: German Literature
Portfolio Concentration: German Society and Politics

(1) Disciplinary Methodology

  • ANT 391.2: Social Anthropological Theory
  • SOC 388L: Historical and Comparative Methods

(2) Area Courses

  • HIS 383: Seminar in Modern European History (topic: German workers)
  • ANT 391: German-Turkish Migration

EXAMPLE 2: PhD Program: Continental Philosophy
Portfolio Concentration: Literary and Cultural Studies

(1) Disciplinary Methodology

  • GER 389K.1: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • CL 390: Contemporary Literary Theory

(2) Area Courses

  • GER 386.3: German Literature Enlightenment through Realism
  • CL 381: German and European Romanticism

EXAMPLE 3: PhD Program: Government
Portfolio Concentration: Central European Culture (Italy and Austro-Hungary)

(1) Disciplinary Methodology

  • Internship in Italy (e.g. museum studies)
  • Internship in Austria (e.g. with ORF, Austrian Radio)

(2) Area Courses

  • ITL 381: Readings in Italian Literature
  • HIS 383: Seminar in Modern European History (19th-C. Austro-Hungary)
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