Comparative literature draws on strong programs in language and literature offered by the collaborating departments. In addition to the University's general library facilities, special collections in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center offer opportunities for research.
Students seeking the Master of Arts degree are expected to develop a broad knowledge of the theory and practice of comparative literature both through coursework and through the completion of a report or thesis. In addition, they expand their acquaintance with a single national literature by studying it at the graduate level.
Students seeking the doctoral degree are expected to develop extensive knowledge of one national literature and broad knowledge of a second. They are required to complete, in effect, the equivalent of a master's degree in one national literature. The program also prepares students in literary theory and criticism and in the scholarly and critical methods of studying the relationships among various literatures. Students may also study the interrelationships between literature and other disciplines (such as art history, film, folklore, philosophy, and psychology) as part of their programs of work. After fulfilling all requirements in the areas of literature, theory, and language and passing both qualifying and comprehensive examinations, students choose a period, genre, or historical, intellectual, or critical problem on which to write a dissertation.
Work toward the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy is offered in collaboration with the Departments of Asian Studies, Classics, English, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish and Portuguese. Courses in support of the student's area of specialization are offered in various divisions, such as the Departments of Art and Art History, History, Linguistics, and Philosophy and the School of Music; in the areas of film and folklore; and in other departments approved by the graduate adviser in comparative literature.
The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2000-2001.
Master of Arts
To earn the Master of Arts degree with a major in comparative literature, the student must complete either thirty semester hours of coursework, including the six-hour thesis course, or thirty-three hours of coursework, including the three-hour report course. The student must also demonstrate a high degree of competence in one foreign language and sufficient competence in a second language. Additional information about these requirements is available from the graduate adviser.
Doctor of Philosophy
To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must have earned a master's degree in comparative literature, in a single national language and literature, or in a related discipline such as art history, folklore, or philosophy. In addition, he or she must have passed the qualifying examination, which tests the student's knowledge of literary theory and critical methodology and of the first foreign language and literature.
The student is expected to take at least thirty semester hours of coursework beyond the Master of Arts level, including six semester hours for the dissertation. Each student must also pass a comprehensive examination, which is normally taken upon completion of coursework. The student must then write a dissertation, which may involve, for example, the comparison of works, traditions, themes, writers, or periods from two or more different literatures. It may involve the study of literature and some other discipline. It may be a substantial translation, equipped with a general introduction analyzing the work chosen and/or discussing the problems and theory of translation and provided with detailed, explanatory notes. It may be some other project that the student designs under the supervision of the dissertation committee and that satisfies the aims and interests of the program. Each student should develop a thorough command of two foreign languages, and proficiency either in a third foreign language or in another discipline related to the program of work.
Complete information about the foreign language requirement, course requirements, and the qualifying and comprehensive examinations is available from the graduate adviser.
Campus address: Calhoun Hall (CAL) 217, phone (512) 471-1925; campus mail code: B5003
Mailing address: Graduate Program in Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1164
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