Comparative Literature

http://complit.uoregon.edu

Kenneth S. Calhoon, Department Head
541-346-0934
541-346-3240 fax
313 Villard Hall
5242 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5242
complit@uoregon.edu

The University of Oregon offers major programs in comparative literature leading to the bachelor of arts (BA), master of arts (MA), and doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees. In addition, a minor program has been recently established.

Inherently interdisciplinary, comparative literature begins with the insistence that any artifact of culture—be it a canvas, a poem, a film, or a novel—requires active attention and engagement. At the same time, where the national literatures designate their subjects by language or nation, comparative literature allows a pluralistic approach that bridges linguistic and cultural boundaries. Closely allied with literary and critical theory as well as with contemporary trends in globalization studies and cultural studies, comparative literature nonetheless can be defined neither in terms of a specific methodology nor a specific canon of texts. What defines comparative literature is its open-ended spirit of inquiry. Students of comparative literature create their subject matter by determining the meaning and method of their comparative approach.

Oregon’s graduate program, established in 1962, has an international reputation. It is the home of the principal journal in the field, Comparative Literature, and is closely involved with the leading national organization, the American Comparative Literature Association.

The department maintains an active schedule of lecture series, seminars, and workshops. Recent visitors include Ken Aptekar, Nancy Armstrong, Charles Bernstein, Christopher Braider, Judith Butler, Eduardo Cadava, Beatrice Hanssen, David Harvey, Michael Henry Heim, Heather James, Mary Layoun, Karma Lochrie, Scott McCloud, Franco Moretti, Andrew Parker, Thomas Pfau, Mary Louise Pratt, Andrew Ross, Henry Sayre, Ella Shohat, Art Spiegelman, Peter Stallybrass, John Whittier Treat, Haiping Yan, Gang Yue, and Zhang Xudong.

Library holdings, which are strong in all areas of research in literature, include an outstanding collection of journals, many of which come to the library in exchange for Comparative Literature.

 

Faculty

Michael Allan, associate professor (Arabic and Francophone literature, postcolonial studies, cinema). BA, 2000, Brown; PhD, 2008, California, Berkeley. (2008)

Steven T. Brown, professor (Japanese film, comparative film, popular culture). BA, 1987, Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; MA, 1988, PhD, 1993, Stanford. (1993)

Katherine "Katy" Brundan, senior instructor (18th- and 19th-century English and European literature, novel, media and popular culture). BA 1992, MA, 1996, Cambridge; PhD, 2006, Oregon (2013)

Kenneth S. Calhoon, professor (18th- and 19th-century German and European literature and thought, psychoanalysis, cinema). BA, 1979, Louisville; MA, 1981, PhD, 1984, California, Irvine. (1987)

Lisa Freinkel, associate professor. See English.

Warren Ginsberg, professor. See English.

Sangita Gopal, associate professor. See English.

Katya E. Hokanson, associate professor (Russian literature, travel literature, cultural studies). BA, 1984, Williams; MA, 1988, PhD, 1994, Stanford. (1995)

Dawn Marlan, lecturer (history of the novel, gender studies, cinema). BA, 1989, Bennington; MA, 1992, PhD, 2000, Chicago. (2004)

Leah Middlebrook, associate professor (16th-century Spanish and French lyric, court culture, theories of the subject). BA, 1989, Columbia; MA, 1991, PhD, 1998, California, Berkeley. (2002)

Jenifer Presto, associate professor (Russian literature, poetry, modernism). AB, 1985, Smith; MA, 1988, Middlebury; MA, 1989, PhD, 1996, Wisconsin, Madison. (2003)

Tze-Yin Teo, assistant professor (comparative, global, and transnational modernism; translation studies; literary theory). BA, 2009, National University of Singapore; PhD, 2015, Emory. (2015) 

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

Participating

Susan C. Anderson, German and Scandinavian

Monique Balbuena, honors college

P. Lowell Bowditch, classics

S. Pearl Brilmyer, English

Cory Browning, Romance languages

Roy Chan, East Asian Languages and literatures

Anita Chari, political science

Joyce Cheng, history of art and architecture

James R. Crosswhite, English

Dianne M. Dugaw, English

Cecilia Enjuto Rangel, Romance languages

Pedro García-Caro, Romance languages

D. Gantt Gurley, German and Scandinavian

Michael Hames-García, ethnic studies

Martin Klebes, German and Scandinavian

Colin Koopman, Philosophy

David Leiwei Li, English

Jeffrey S. Librett, German and Scandinavian

Massimo Lollini, Romance languages

John McCole, history

Karen McPherson, Romance languages

Lanie Millar, Romance languages

Fabienne Moore, Romance languages

Dorothee Ostmeier, German and Scandinavian

Paul W. Peppis, English

Amanda W. Powell, Romance languages

F. Regina Psaki, Romance languages

Forest Pyle, English

Judith Raiskin, women’s and gender studies

Sergio Rigoletto, Romance languages

Daniel Rosenberg, honors college

George Rowe, English

Gordon M. Sayre, English

Steven Shankman, English

Carol Silverman, anthropology

Beata Stawarska, philosophy

Michael Stern, German and Scandinavian

Analisa Taylor, Romance languages

Alejandro Vallega, philosophy

Daniela Vallega-Neu, philosophy

David J. Vazquez, English

Elizabeth A. Wheeler, English

Daniel N. Wojcik, English

Rocio Zambrana, philosophy

Undergraduate Studies

The undergraduate program offers a unique major that cuts across disciplines, teaches critical skills, and provides an intellectually challenging curriculum while preparing students for possible careers in the media, law, government, business, or teaching. Students with a good background in one or more languages other than English find that the program gives them the opportunity to study literature and related cultural productions, including canonical and emerging writings, in a variety of historical and theoretical perspectives.

The program combines maximum flexibility with a rigorous grounding in the basics of literary theory and cultural studies. Based on their interests, majors choose one of two emphases: language and culture or disciplines in dialogue. In the first, students develop proficiency in two national-linguistic traditions. In the second, students explore links between a single national-linguistic tradition and a nonliterary field. Both emphases are ideally suited to students considering either a double-major or a major and a minor: they can combine their multiple interests into a single program of study.

A carefully designed core curriculum takes students through the basics of comparative literature as a discipline. Course work culminates with Capstone Seminar (COLT 415). Many comparative literature students use this seminar to develop a BA honors thesis project (see Honors in Comparative Literature below).

Emphases within the Major

Because there are many different ways of thinking about literature from a comparative perspective, two emphases within the major are offered. One emphasis, language and culture, features comparative study across different national-linguistic traditions. This emphasis is recommended for students who want to study abroad, attend graduate school in comparative literature, or want to gain an in-depth understanding of one or more foreign cultures. A second emphasis, disciplines in dialogue, allows students to combine literary study with work in a nonliterary discipline. This emphasis offers an alternative for students considering a double major in literature and a nonliterary field. It is also well-suited to students who want to combine literary study with creative writing, performance, or the visual arts.

Language and Culture Emphasis

Students in this emphasis designate two national-linguistic traditions (e.g., Spanish and German; English and Japanese; French and Russian). In addition, the language chosen to fulfill the foreign language requirement should coincide with one of these national-linguistic traditions.

Disciplines in Dialogue Emphasis

Students in this emphasis designate one national-linguistic tradition and one other disciplinary focus (e.g., creative writing, philosophy, cinema studies, psychology, art history). Courses taken in this disciplinary focus may be spread out across several subject codes, with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies. Students are strongly advised to complete their foreign language requirement in a language relevant either to their national-linguistic tradition or to their disciplinary focus.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

The comparative study of culture entails the acquisition of reading competence in at least one language other than English. Comparative literature majors must complete at least one year of upper-division training in a language other than English. For students working in French, German, Italian, or Spanish, a third year entails the study of literature. Appropriate courses include, for example, French Survey: Medieval and Renaissance (FR 317), French Survey: Baroque and Enlightenment (FR 318), French Survey: 19th and 20th Centuries (FR 319) or Introduction to German Culture and Society (GER 340), Introduction to German Culture and Society (GER 341) as well as any 400-level literature course taught in the language in question. For students working in Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Japanese, Russian, or Swedish, the third year will typically entail further training in grammar and oral production. Appropriate courses include, for example, Third-Year Chinese (CHN 301), Third-Year Chinese (CHN 302), Third-Year Chinese (CHN 303), the Judaic studies sequence taught in Hebrew, Biblical Narrative (HBRW 311), Biblical Poetry (HBRW 312), Postbiblical Literature (HBRW 313), or Third-Year Russian (RUSS 316), Third-Year Russian (RUSS 317), Third-Year Russian (RUSS 318). With the approval of the director of undergraduate studies, courses taken abroad may be used to fulfill this requirement.

In addition to completing the foreign language requirement, majors must take eight required courses in comparative literature, four upper-division courses in their primary national-linguistic tradition, and three upper-division courses in their secondary focus field (either a second national-linguistic tradition or a nonliterary discipline).

All course work required for the comparative literature major and minor must be passed with grades of mid-C or better.

Foreign Language Requirement 1
Option for French, German, Italian, or Spanish work
Examples of courses: 2
French Survey
Introduction to German Culture and Society
400-level literature courses taught in language of focus
Option for Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Japanese, Russian, or Swedish work
Examples of courses: 3
Third-Year Chinese
Biblical Literature
Third-Year Russian
Core Courses
Two lower-division COLT electives8
300-level COLT elective4
COLT 301Approaches to Comparative Literature4
Select one of the following:4
Theories of Poetry
Theories of the Novel
Theories of Drama
COLT 305Cultural Studies4
400-level COLT elective4
COLT 415Capstone Seminar4
Focus Fields Courses
Four upper-division courses in primary national-linguistic tradition16
Three upper-division courses in a secondary national-linguistic tradition (language and culture) or a nonliterary discipline (disciplines in dialogue)12
Total Credits60
1

With the approval of the director of undergraduate studies, courses taken abroad may be used to fulfill this requirement.

2

The third year entails the study of literature.

3

 The third year will typically entail further training in grammar and oral production.

Honors in Comparative Literature

Comparative literature students may petition to enter the honors track during spring of their junior year. Admission to the honors track is based on the recommendation of a comparative literature faculty member or a participating faculty member. Completion of the honors track requires the successful completion of a bachelor of arts honors thesis and an additional 400-level elective. During the Capstone Seminar (COLT 415), typically taken during fall of senior year, honors students develop and present a thesis prospectus. The thesis must be comparative in nature, and should entail work in both of the student’s focus fields. If the prospectus is approved by both the seminar leader and the student’s thesis advisor, then the student enrolls in Thesis (COLT 403) during winter of senior year. The thesis is completed under the supervision of the thesis advisor, and must be submitted to both the advisor and a second reader by the fifth week of spring term. The thesis must then be approved by the advisor and second faculty member after a formal presentation. Both thesis advisor and second reader should be chosen from the comparative literature faculty or participating faculty.

Minor Requirements

The comparative literature minor offers an opportunity for students to pursue an interest in world literature and film without advanced language study.

COLT 301Approaches to Comparative Literature4
Four COLT courses (at least two upper-division courses)16
Two upper-division literature or film courses in same subject area 1
Total Credits20
1

Courses may be taught within the Department of Comparative Literature or in other departments and may be taken abroad or away from the University of Oregon 

Four-Year Degree Plan

The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature

Degree Map
First Year
FallMilestonesCredits
COLT 101 Introduction to Comparative Literature First Year: one lower-division COLT course4
WR 121 College Composition I 4
First term of first-year second-language sequence 4
General education course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
COLT 102 Introduction to Comparative Literature First Year: one lower division COLT course4
Second term of first-year second-language sequence 4
WR 122
College Composition II
or College Composition III
4
General education course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
COLT 103 Introduction to Comparative Literature First Year: one lower division COLT course4
Third term of first-year second-language sequence 4
General education courses 8
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Second Year
FallMilestonesCredits
Lower-division COLT course Second Year: one lower division COLT course4
First term of second-year second-language sequence Continued work toward third-year foreign language proficiency4
General education courses 8
 Credits 16
Winter
Lower-division COLT course Second Year: one lower division COLT course4
Second term of second-year second-language sequence Continued work toward third-year foreign language proficiency4
General education course 8
 Credits 16
Spring
Lower-division COLT course Second Year: one lower division COLT course4
Third term of second-year second-language sequence Continued work toward third-year foreign language proficiency4
General education courses 8
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Third Year
FallMilestonesCredits
COLT 301 Approaches to Comparative Literature 4
Upper-division language course Continued work toward third-year foreign language proficiency4
Upper-division course in primary focus field 4
Upper-division course in secondary focus field 4
 Credits 16
Winter
COLT 302 or COLT 303 or COLT 304 4
Upper-division language course Continued work toward thir-year foreign language proficiency4
Upper-division course in secondary focus field 4
General education course 4
 Credits 16
Spring
COLT 305 Cultural Studies 4
Upper-division language course Continued work toward third-year foreign language proficiency4
Upper-division course in primary focus field 4
General education course 4
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48
Degree Map
Fourth Year
FallMilestonesCredits
COLT 415 Capstone Seminar 4
Upper-division course in primary focus field 4
Upper-division course in secondary focus field 4
Elective course 4
 Credits 16
Winter
Upper-division COLT course 4
Elective courses 12
 Credits 16
Spring
Upper-division COLT course Second 400-level COLT course required for honors track only4
Upper division course in primary focus field 4
Elective courses 8
 Credits 16
 Total Credits 48

Graduate Studies

The graduate program in comparative literature is founded on the conviction that literary traditions are best understood when contextualized across national and cultural boundaries. To thrive professionally, every scholar in the discipline must be closely trained in a primary national literature, proficient in at least three languages, and attuned to the importance of philology, bibliography, and linguistic training. At the same time, a commitment to comparative study requires a firm grasp of translation among languages and media and the history of reading practices, as well as aesthetic and cultural theory.

Students are admitted to the graduate program with the expectation that they will work toward the PhD degree. At present the Department of Comparative Literature does not offer a terminal master’s degree. Instead, students become eligible for the MA on passing their PhD qualifying exams.

Admission

A complete application for admission includes the application form, a transcript of college- and graduate-level work, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a 10- to 20-page sample in English of critical writing about literature. Graduate Record Examination scores are not required but are highly recommended. The application deadline is January 15 for entrance the following fall term. Application information and forms can be obtained from the department website.

Candidates for admission typically have an undergraduate major in one literature and competence in two of the following languages that are taught at the University of Oregon: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek (classical), Hebrew (biblical), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Under special circumstances, arrangements may be made with the director of graduate studies to study other literatures.

Overview of Requirements

Within their first three years of graduate study, students must complete the language requirement, six foundation courses, at least five courses in the primary field, and at least four courses in the secondary field. In addition, students select at least three elective courses in consultation with their faculty advisors; these courses may be tangential to their main research interests or distributed according to those interests. The foundation courses include Graduate Studies in Translation (COLT 613), Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature (COLT 614), Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature (COLT 615), Transmedial Aesthetics (COLT 616), and at least two other graduate-level COLT courses. Courses applied to the degree must be passed with a grade of B+ or better, and students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.50 in all graduate-level courses in order to remain in good standing in the program.

After completing all course work and language requirements, students are eligible to take their written and oral PhD qualifying examinations. Following successful completion of the exams, students submit a prospectus and meet with their committees for the prospectus conversation. A satisfactory prospectus conversation is required for advancement to candidacy. The approximate time from completion of course work to advancement is one year. Typically, the dissertation is completed within two years of advancing to candidacy.

Foundation Courses

The graduate program provides a solid foundation in theoretical and historical methods integral to comparative literature and relevant to working across national literary traditions, historical periods, theoretical paradigms, and media. Through these courses, students are expected to acquire a comprehensive understanding of scholarly method, encountering not only contemporary texts and theorists but also the history of the field, including the central controversies, crucial debates, and cultural contexts that have shaped its development. The student must complete six graduate-level foundation courses; these courses are Graduate Studies in Translation (COLT 613),Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature (COLT 614), Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature (COLT 615), Transmedial Aesthetics (COLT 616), and two others selected from among the COLT graduate course offerings.

Primary Field

The majority of comparative literature graduates are hired to teach in national literature departments and not in interdisciplinary programs. For this reason it is crucial that students develop a primary research field that is based either in a single national literature (e.g., Japanese literature) or in a single linguistic-cultural tradition that crosses national boundaries (e.g., Latin American literature). Depending on the relative breadth of a student’s prior training, the primary field may be further delimited according to a period (e.g., postwar Japan) or a genre (e.g., German drama) or even an artistic movement (e.g., French postmodernism).

The student must complete five graduate-level courses in the primary field; at least three of the courses should share the same department subject code.

Secondary Field

This field complements the research within the primary field, either by providing counterpoint or a needed context. There are three ways to define one’s secondary field. Most commonly, it represents a second national literature (e.g., Spanish literature) or a linguistic-cultural tradition that crosses national boundaries (e.g., Latin American literature). In addition, where two or more national-linguistic traditions share a common literary history—for example, within a given region or artistic movement—the secondary field may be defined in comparative terms (e.g., the Continental Renaissance, Caribbean literature, or East Asian film). Finally, the secondary field can eschew literary categories altogether in order to represent an alternative disciplinary focus (e.g., religious studies).

At least four graduate-level courses must be taken in the secondary field. Three of them should share the same department subject code. At the discretion of the director of graduate studies, the three courses with shared subject code may be spread out over the secondary, foundation, and elective fields.

Electives

Three of the program’s required 18 graduate-level courses are electives and should be chosen in consultation with an advisor. The electives may cover a wide range of interests or may be carefully distributed among the three research fields to fill gaps or achieve greater depth. Some students may wish to devote their electives to a fourth field of research (e.g., a third national literature). Students hoping to pursue this option are urged to meet with the director of graduate studies as soon as possible.

Language Requirement

Work in at least three languages is expected at all phases of the program, from course work to the dissertation. The language requirement addresses this expectation by ensuring both linguistic proficiency and a minimum level of graduate course work in all three languages. Students are required to complete graduate-level work in their languages. The following guidelines apply: (1) at least two graduate courses must be taken in each language to meet this requirement and should ideally be taught by a specialist in the target language; (2) the seminar paper for each course should demonstrate competency dealing with the target language and should be suitable for publication in the national literature field. The seminar paper for each of the two non-English languages must be submitted to the department at the end of the course for approval. The language requirement must be satisfied by the end of the third year.

Timetable from Entrance to Examinations

Advisors

During their first two terms of study (fall and winter), students are advised by the director of graduate studies. By Monday of week two of the third term, each student formally identifies an interim advisor—a faculty member who agrees to mentor the student through the completion of the first-year conversation and the first two terms of the second year.

By Monday of week two of the spring term of the second year, the student will have chosen his or her advisor of record. This advisor, who will be competent in the student’s primary research interests, will mentor the student through the second-year review and the third year of study.

First Year

First-Year Statement

By Friday of week four of spring term, first-year students, in consultation with their interim advisors, submit a two- to three-page statement of purpose. It should identify and justify the primary and secondary fields the student intends to pursue—the general fields of study that form the backbone of a scholar’s research profile. It should also clarify the relationship between the students’ research languages and research fields, and indicate what linguistic study is necessary to complete the proposed course of study.

First-Year Conversation

In week six or seven of spring term, the first-year student, his or her interim advisor, the director of graduate studies, and one other comparative literature faculty member meet for a conversation about the first-year statement. They evaluate the student’s progress to date, including course work and language examinations, discuss the intended fields, and offer guidance for the remaining two years leading to the qualifying examination. With their approval of the statement and the student’s general plan, as well as successful completion of all first-year course work with a GPA of 3.50, the student may proceed to the second year. A brief memo written by the student that summarizes the conversation is due to the department by Wednesday of week eight.

Second Year

Third-Year Article

During the second year, as part of preparation for publication in the field, students are required to begin expanding a seminar paper into an article for submission to a journal. Workshops are held to prepare students to write an article and select an appropriate publication venue. This process is meant to provide step-by-step guidance in publishing before the student advances to candidacy.

Second-Year Review

By Monday of week two in spring term of the second year, a student will have chosen the advisor of record. In consultation with that advisor, the student must write a careful self-review of his or her progress to date. The review should revisit both the first-year statement and the report of the first-year conversation. In particular, any recommendations made by the first-year conversation committee should be assessed: how were these recommendations pursued and with what result? The designation of the three research fields should also be addressed, along with any shifts in focus that have proved necessary or desirable. The review should explain what course work remains to be completed, and, where appropriate, should outline a plan for the completion of that work. Any problems in performance or concerns about timely progress should also be addressed. The second-year review must be approved by the advisor of record and submitted by Monday of week eight of spring term. The graduate committee reviews these reports, and small revisions and clarifications may be required before they approve the document.  With approval of the review and completion of all second-year course work with a GPA of 3.50, the student may proceed to the third year.

Third Year

Third-Year Article

During the first term of the third year, the student will finalize the third-year article in consultation with an advisor in preparation for submitting it for peer review. By Friday of week ten of fall term of the third year, the student will submit this article to the department along with a cover letter addressed to an appropriate journal.

Completion of Course Work and Language Requirement

The program is designed so that students may complete all course work and language requirements by the end of their third year. By Friday of week nine of spring term of the third year, students submit the course work and language requirement completion form for approval by the director of graduate studies and the graduate committee.

PhD Degree Requirements

Foundation Courses
Six foundation courses: the four listed below and two other graduate COLT courses.
COLT 613Graduate Studies in Translation4-5
COLT 614–615Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature10
COLT 616Transmedial Aesthetics5
Primary Field Courses
At least five graduate courses 1
Secondary Field Courses
At least four graduate courses 2
Electives
At least three graduate courses 3
1

At least three of the courses should share the same departmental subject code.

2

Three courses should share the same departmental subject code.  At the discretion of the director of graduate studies, the three courses with shared subject code may be spread out over the secondary, foundation, and elective fields.

3

Choose electives in consultation with an advisor.

Additional Requirements

  • Successfully passing the PhD qualifying exams
  • Writing dissertation prospectus
  • Dissertation

Examination Committee

By the beginning of spring term of the third year, each student selects an examination committee consisting of the advisor of record and two additional faculty members. Of these three, one represents the student’s primary field of research (commonly the advisor of record), another represents the secondary field, and a third member is designated the committee chair. The third member also serves as chief mentor for the student’s foundation field, advising him or her on the reading list inclusions from that field. All members must sign an agreement form to participate in the exam committee, and all must approve the exam statement and reading list. By Monday of week two in spring term of the third year, students must submit their examination committee membership to the department. Students who have chosen an additional fourth field of research may choose to be tested in that field as well. The logistics of this option should be pursued with the director of graduate studies as early in the process as possible. The examination committee membership must be approved by the director of graduate studies.

Examination Statement and Reading List

In consultation with the exam committee members, each student determines his or her examination fields. These fields correspond to the primary, secondary, and foundation research fields, but are usually narrower and more specialized in scope. Students then devise a reading list covering each field. Each list should include approximately fifteen to twenty primary items (an item is an author and a work or works that represent the author’s perspective as a whole). Each field list should also include a separate sublist of pertinent critical-secondary works. Exam committee members can provide assistance in choosing the works on this list.

Students must also compose a six- to eight-page statement that defines the student’s core interests, defends the examination fields, clarifies the scope of the reading list, and offers some indication of the future dissertation project and career aspirations for which this reading list provides the necessary comprehensive background and preparation. After being approved by all the examiners, the exam statement and reading list are submitted to the department by the end of week nine in spring term of the third year. Prior to final approval, the exam statement and reading list are reviewed by the graduate committee, which may have additional recommendations and queries. Occasionally, these recommendations may be substantive enough to require additions to or deletions from the list and a resubmission process. Changes to the statement and list may be made no later than four weeks prior to the first written exam and must be approved by both the director of graduate studies and the examination committee members.

When the graduate committee and director of graduate studies have approved the Course Work and Language Requirements Completion Form and the exam statement and reading list, the student may proceed with the examination process.

Overview of Fourth Year

The fourth year is dedicated to completing the doctoral examinations and writing the dissertation prospectus. Typically, students prepare for the exams over the summer and early fall, sit for the written and oral exams by the end of fall term, and complete the prospectus by the middle of spring term. The prospectus conversation must be held by the beginning of week 10 of spring term in the fourth year, so that students may advance to candidacy in a timely manner at the end of spring term.

Written Examination

In this phase, students compose three essays over three 24-hour periods spread out over three weeks (weeks five, six, and seven of fall term in the fourth year). The first essay covers the primary field, with questions submitted by the examiner representing that field; the second covers the secondary field in the same manner; the third essay is comparative, addressing texts from both the primary and secondary fields, with questions submitted by all three examiners. For the primary and secondary field exams, students choose between two questions; for the comparative exam, they choose one of three questions. No exam will cover the foundation field. Instead, the examiners will explore the full gamut of the student’s reading list with questions designed to ascertain the student’s mastery of his or her methods as applied to the primary and secondary fields.

The three examiners all grade and comment on the comparative essay and read the field exams. The two field exams are graded separately and commented upon by the responsible examiners, except in the case of a failing grade. In this circumstance, the student’s essay is graded by the other two examiners, as well. If two out of three examiners fail an essay, the student may retake the exam in that area in the following term. The exam may be retaken no more than once. If more than one of the student’s essays fails, or if the student fails a retake exam, he or she does not proceed to candidacy, but may be eligible for a terminal master’s degree. Grades for these exams are high pass, pass, or no pass. Students learn their exam results in week nine of fall term—that is, two weeks after completion of the final essay.

Oral Examination

The oral examination is scheduled during week 10 or 11 of fall term; it is proctored by the exam committee chair and is usually two hours in length. The committee and the student revisit the written examinations, discussing areas of strength and weakness. In addition, the examiners may explore the student’s expertise more deeply by asking questions about reading list materials not covered during the written exams.

While no grade is assigned for performance on the oral exam, the committee may determine recommendations and even requirements for future study, including retaking the oral examination. Recommendations are communicated in person to the student at the conclusion of the exam and in writing to the director of graduate studies as part of the committee chair’s report on the exam. If substantive requirements or concerns have been articulated, the director of graduate studies will determine any official course of action to be taken.

For students who have failed one or more parts of the written exam, no oral examination will be held; instead, the time designated for the oral exam will be dedicated to a meeting with the student, the exam committee, and the director of graduate studies. Participants review the exam performance, discuss a possible retake exam, and/or review the advisability of a terminal master’s degree.

Prospectus and Doctoral Candidacy

By Friday of week five of winter term in the fourth year, the student must designate a dissertation committee, including the dissertation chair and outside reader. The director of graduate studies must approve this committee. For details concerning faculty eligibility, students should refer to the Graduate School’s Dissertation Committee Policy at gradschool.uoregon.edu/committee-policy.

Committee members should be consulted during the process of writing the dissertation prospectus. A first draft of the prospectus should be submitted to the members of the dissertation committee by Friday of week 10 of winter term. A completed draft of the prospectus, approved by all four committee members, must be submitted by Friday of week five of spring term in the fourth year. After final approval from the director of graduate studies, the prospectus conversation is scheduled between weeks seven and nine of spring term.

A prospectus is not a first dissertation chapter; it is a snapshot of the dissertation project as envisioned by the student, prior to the completion of the bulk of his or her research. The prospectus is typically 10 to 15 pages in length. It should include a clear, concise examination of the problem to be studied, along with a compelling sense of the larger issues at stake in the project, both for the immediate topic and for the field at large. In addition, the prospectus should provide a clear vision of the project’s trajectory: a narrative account of the dissertation’s structure, an outline of chapters, and a justification for the particular authors and texts to be examined. A substantial research bibliography should be appended.

Prospectus Conversation

The prospectus conversation is scheduled between weeks seven and nine of spring term in the fourth year. This conversation, which includes the members of the dissertation committee, is facilitated by the committee chair and helps to develop the student’s plans for the dissertation. Areas of strength and weakness in the project are discussed, and specific recommendations about structure, bibliography, and method are presented. After successful completion of this conversation, and with approval of the director of graduate studies and the graduate committee, the student advances to candidacy.

Dissertation

The dissertation, which is defended in a final oral presentation, is typically completed within two years of advancement to candidacy. Dissertations in a discipline such as comparative literature can hardly be said to follow exact specifications, but as a general principle any such project should involve at least two authors, works, and national literatures, and an explicit methodological orientation.

Courses

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COLT 101. Introduction to Comparative Literature. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the comparative study of literature. Emphasis on literary genre, world literature, historical period.

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COLT 102. Introduction to Comparative Literature. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the comparative study of literature. Emphasis on world literature in its social and political contexts.

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COLT 103. Introduction to Comparative Literature. 4 Credits.

Study of visual culture from around the world.

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COLT 198. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-2 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 211. Comparative World Literature. 4 Credits.

Explores literature from a global standpoint. Examines movement of literary forms (e.g., genres, motifs, rhetorical modes) from one culture, region, historical epoch to the next.

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COLT 212. Comparative World Cinema. 4 Credits.

Introduces the principles of comparative analysis, exploring the aesthetic, ideological, and socio-economic exchanges between national cinematic traditions. Themes vary by instructor. Recent themes include Melodrama, Zombies, Queer Cinema.

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COLT 231. Literature and Society. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature in relation to society and politics. Draws on perspectives from political science, law, sociology, and related fields.

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COLT 232. Literature and Film. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and film. Draws on perspectives from cinema studies, media aesthetics, and related fields.

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COLT 301. Approaches to Comparative Literature. 4 Credits.

Introduction to theory and methods in comparative literature, with some attention to the history and problems of the discipline.

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COLT 302. Theories of Poetry. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the study of poetry and poetic form from a world perspective. Offered alternate years.

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COLT 303. Theories of the Novel. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the study of narrative and the novel from a world perspective. Offered alternate years.

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COLT 304. Theories of Drama. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the study of drama and performance from a world perspective. Offered alternate years.

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COLT 305. Cultural Studies. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of cultural discourses and practices.

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COLT 360. Gender and Identity in Literature. 4 Credits.

Introduction to the study of gender in literature, from Asia to Europe to the Americas, and from the classics to the late 20th century.

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COLT 370. Comparative Comics. 4 Credits.

Examines genre of narrative from a comparative and global standpoint, reviewing the impact of comics and other visual media on questions of national, regional, and ethnic identity. Offered alternate years.

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COLT 380. Comparative Media: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Critical analysis of a range of media from a transnational and/or intercultural perspective. Taught as a hybrid course blending face-to-face and online learning. Recent topics include Tokyo Cyberpunk, Asian Horror, Listening to Cinema. Repeatable thrice for a maximum of 16 credits.

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COLT 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 401. Research: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 403. Thesis. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 408. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 415. Capstone Seminar. 4 Credits.

Senior seminar for all comparative literature students includes development and presentation of an original research project.

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COLT 440. Studies in Genre: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Analysis of specific literary genres, modes, or both (e.g., lyric poetry, comedy, allegory). Repeatable when topic changes. Offered every two to three years.

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COLT 450. Comparative Studies in Cinema: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Advanced consideration of the aesthetic (including literary) and cultural contexts of world film. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 12 credits.

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COLT 461. Studies in Contemporary Theory: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Identifies issues in literary or cultural theory for close examination. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 12 credits.

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COLT 462. Cultural Intersections: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Studies designated issues between literatures and societies remote from one another, e.g., "minor" and "major" cultures, Asia and the West. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 15 credits.

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COLT 470. Studies in Identity: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Advanced study of gender, ethnicity, and other identity formations in literature. Repeatable when topic changes. Offered every two to three years.

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COLT 490. Literature and Philosophy: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Establishes a dialogue between philosophy and literature—as disciplines, as historical constructions, as value systems. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 15 credits.

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COLT 503. Thesis. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 507. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 508. Workshop: [Topic]. 1-21 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 540. Studies in Genre: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Analysis of specific literary genres, modes, or both (e.g., lyric poetry, comedy, allegory). Repeatable when topic changes. Offered every two to three years.

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COLT 550. Comparative Studies in Cinema: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Advanced consideration of the aesthetic (including literary) and cultural contexts of world film. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 12 credits.

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COLT 561. Studies in Contemporary Theory: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Identifies issues in literary or cultural theory for close examination. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 15 credits.

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COLT 562. Cultural Intersections: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Studies designated issues between literatures and societies remote from one another, e.g., "minor" and "major" cultures, Asia and the West. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 15 credits.

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COLT 570. Studies in Identity: [Topic]. 4 Credits.

Advanced study of gender, ethnicity, and other identity formations in literature. Repeatable when topic changes. Offered every two to three years.

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COLT 590. Philosophical Problems and Literary Contexts: [Topic]. 4-5 Credits.

Establishes a dialogue between philosophy and literature—as disciplines, as historical constructions, as value systems. Repeatable twice when topic changes for maximum of 15 credits.

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COLT 601. Research: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 603. Dissertation. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 607. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 608. Colloquium: [Topic]. 1-16 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable.

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COLT 613. Graduate Studies in Translation. 4-5 Credits.

Approaches to literary translation in its theoretical, practical and pedagogical dimensions.

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COLT 614. Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature. 5 Credits.

Overview of the state of the discipline. Treats historical and theoretical developments in literary studies including philology and cultural studies; reconsiders the place of comparative literature in a global, pluralistic curriculum.

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COLT 615. Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature. 5 Credits.

Survey of contemporary literary theory.

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COLT 616. Transmedial Aesthetics. 5 Credits.

Approaches to the analysis of film, photography, video, and new media. Emphasis on intersections between comparison and media theory.