Luis Fernando Restrepo
425 Kimpel Hall
M.A., Ph.D. (CLCS)
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary program, dedicated to the study of literature and culture from a global perspective and across languages, genres, disciplines, nations, and cultures. The program offers advanced academic training in foreign languages, literary translation, comparative literature, and cultural studies.
The program is supported primarily by the Departments of Communication, English, and Foreign Languages. The program also has affiliated faculty members in several programs and departments in the humanities and social sciences, including Anthropology, Area Studies (European, Latin American, Middle East), Art, Classics, Drama, Gender Studies, Geography, History, Music, Philosophy, and Sociology.
Areas of Study: Master of Arts – Arabic, classics, cultural studies, English, French, German, and Spanish. Doctor of Philosophy – Comparative literature, interdisciplinary Hispanic studies, modern language, cultural studies, literary translation.
Prerequisites to Degree Program:The normal preparation for graduate study in comparative literature and cultural studies is an undergraduate or masters degree in English or foreign languages and literatures. Applicants should have advanced proficiency in at least one foreign language. The program may also accept students with undergraduate or master’s degree in the humanities, the social sciences, and other relevant fields under the condition that any deficiencies in literature or foreign languages be completed in addition to the requirements for the degree.
The following materials must be submitted to the Director of the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies program:
- Application for Admission to Graduate Study in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies. The form is available from the Program Director and the program’s Web page.
- Admission to the University of Arkansas Graduate School.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing).
- International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams, meeting the minimum score required by the Graduate School.
- Complete official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
- Three letters of recommendation from former teachers, employers, or supervisors.
- An examination paper from a literature course, including essay answers, or a term paper or other evidence of writing ability.
- Statement of purpose describing academic interests and professional goals. Doctoral applicants must specify which track they wish to pursue: comparative literature, modern languages, cultural studies or translation.
Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree:In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Each master’s candidate must complete 36 hours of course work or 30 hours of course work and six hours of thesis. Master’s candidates intending to enter the Ph.D. program are recommended to choose the thesis option. All courses selected must be approved by the adviser, who will consult with the other members of the Master’s Program Advisory Committee.
- Master’s candidates in the thesis option must take 12 hours of graduate course work in a first field and six hours of graduate course work in a second field (Arabic, Classics, English, French, German, Spanish, and courses in other disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences).
- Master’s candidates in the non-thesis option must take 12 hours of graduate course work in each of two specialty fields (Arabic, Classics, English, French, German, Spanish, and courses in other disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences).
- All master’s candidates must take a minimum of six hours in world literature and cultures.
- WLIT 5193 Introduction to Comparative Literature and COMM 5503 Communication and Cultural Studies are required of all candidates in the master’s program.
- Master’s candidates who choose cultural studies as one of their fields must demonstrate reading proficiency in a language other than English. The language requirement may be fulfilled either by taking 12 hours in the target language or by taking the reading exam administered by the Department of Foreign Languages.
- Each master’s degree candidate is required to take and pass a comprehensive examination.
- Master’s candidates in the thesis option must present a thesis proposal early in their second year of study and must turn in the thesis during the last semester of course work, following Graduate School guidelines for thesis submission.
Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.
Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree:The doctoral program in comparative literature and cultural studies is designed so that it may be based upon a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Communication, Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish or other languages or upon the Master of Fine Arts in Translation. Applicants with masters’ degrees in the humanities and the social sciences may also be accepted into the program, but will be required to fulfill any deficiencies that the adviser and the Ph.D. Program Advisory Committee identifies. In addition to meeting hour and distribution requirements in one of the concentrations listed below, during the first year of study, the student must declare which doctoral track they will pursue (comparative literature, interdisciplinary Hispanic studies, modern languages, cultural studies or translation), and select a field, period, or genre specialization to support the dissertation (e.g., the epic tradition, postmodern cinema, Renaissance poetry, theoretical issues in translation). The program of study for each student, including administration of candidacy examinations and the satisfaction of all requirements of the Graduate School, will be designed, approved, and supervised by the Program Advisory Committee, which will consist of the Program Director, who will serve as the primary adviser, and at least two other faculty members drawn from the student’s areas of specialization.
The following specific requirements must be met by all Ph.D. degree candidates in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies:
- Candidates must take a minimum of 66 hours of graduate course work (including credit taken for the M.A. or M.F.A) and must attain a 3.00 grade-point average in each of their fields. Part or all of the graduate course work completed at other U.S. institutions or abroad with a grade of “B” or higher may count towards the 66 hours requirement with the approval of the Program Advisory Committee. However, it should be noted that this course work will not be reflected on the student’s transcript.
- All candidates are required to take a minimum of 18 dissertation hours.
- WLIT 5193 Introduction to Comparative Literature is required of all candidates.
- A literary or cultural theory seminar is required of all candidates.
- All foreign language requirements must be met before being admitted into candidacy
- Each Ph.D. degree candidate is required to pass the following candidacy examination:
- A written examination on specific topics within the student’s fields, approved jointly by the student and the Advisory Committee.
- An oral examination to discuss strengths, weaknesses, or omissions in the written exam. Students may retake only once any examination they fail.
- Upon successfully completing the candidacy examination, each student must submit a dissertation proposal to be discussed and approved in a formal meeting with the student’s dissertation committee.
- Within the time limits specified by the Graduate School, each student must submit a dissertation acceptable to the student’s dissertation committee.
- Each student must pass a dissertation defense administered by the student’s dissertation committee.
Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to doctoral degrees.
Comparative Literature Concentration:A candidate will prepare three literary fields, one of which will be world literature; the others will be drawn from Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, Classics or other languages. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in one field, a minimum of 18 in the second, and a minimum of 15 in the third. Courses may be substituted from related fields with program approval. The M.A. will typically be in comparative literature. Each student must demonstrate fluency in at least one language other than English and a reading knowledge of a second foreign language.
Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies Concentration:This concentration is designed for candidates with an M.A. in Spanish whose scholarly and teaching interests are primarily in Hispanic studies and in interdisciplinary and transnational approaches to the literatures and cultures of Spain, Latin America and Hispanic U.S. In addition to the general CLCS doctoral requirements, candidates in this concentration will be required to complete 51 hours of graduate course work in Spanish or Hispanic related classes and nine hours of graduate course work in one other field, discipline, or language (i.e. Cultural Studies, Anthropology, History, English, French, Arabic, etc.). Candidates must be fluent in Spanish and English, and demonstrate reading knowledge of another language.
Modern Language Concentration: A candidate will prepare two fields, one of which will be English, French, German, or Spanish. The second field may be English (if not selected as the first field) or a second foreign language (Arabic, French, German, or Spanish). The candidate’s Master of Arts will typically be in English, French, German, or Spanish. Students with a Master of Arts in these and other languages from other U.S. universities or from programs abroad may also be admitted into the Modern Language Concentration. In such cases, the program committee will evaluate the candidate’s academic record, accept part or all of the course work completed elsewhere, and assign any deficiencies that the committee identifies. However, it should be noted that course work taken elsewhere will not be listed on the students University of Arkansas transcript. A minimum of 36 hours must be taken in the first field, a minimum of 24 in the second. Up to 12 hours of relevant world literature or related courses may be applied to either or both fields with program approval. Each student must demonstrate fluency in two languages other than English.
Cultural Studies Concentration:A student will prepare two fields. The first field will be in language and literary studies in a particular tradition (Arabic, Classics, English, French, German, Spanish, or other languages and literatures). The second field of concentration will be developed according to the candidate’s interest and disciplinary background, with the approval of the adviser and the doctoral advisory committee. The second field of concentration may be a pre-approved particular cultural studies subject (i.e. gender studies, popular and mass culture, ethnic studies, international film or visual cultures); a geographical region (i.e. Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Europe); a historical or cultural period (i.e. Medieval, Renaissance, 20th century); or a particular discipline (i.e. Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Musicology). As core courses of the second field, COMM 5503 “Communication and Cultural Studies” and the seminar COMM 5993 “Readings in Cultural Studies” are required. Applicants should have a Master’s of Arts in Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, English, Foreign Languages or a field in the Humanities or the Social Sciences. A minimum of 30 hours must be taken in each of the two fields. Each student must demonstrate fluency in at least one language other than English.
Literary Translation Concentration:A student will prepare three fields. A minimum of 36 hours will be taken in Arabic, French, German, Spanish or other languages for the first field; a minimum of 9 hours will be taken in translation workshops (ENGL 5043) for the second field; and a minimum of 12 hours drawn from courses on the form and theory of translation, poetry, and fiction (ENGL 5223, ENGL 5263, ENGL 5273, ENGL 5283, ENGL 5293) for the third. Courses may be substituted from related fields with program approval. The dissertation project may be a study of some translation issue or a book-length translation of a literary work with a critical introduction and annotated text. The M.A. will typically be in Arabic, French, German, Spanish, or other languages and literatures. Each student must demonstrate fluency in at least one language other than English and a reading knowledge of a second foreign language.
WLIT 4123. Survey of Russian Literature from Its Beginning to the 1917 Revolution (Irregular). 3 Hours.
The instructor will discuss the historical and cultural backgrounds while focusing on major writers and will deal with literature as an outlet for social criticism. There will be textual analysis. It will be taught in English.
This course is cross-listed with RUSS 4123.
WLIT 4133. Survey of Russian Literature Since the 1917 Revolution (Irregular). 3 Hours.
The instructor will discuss the historical and cultural backgrounds while focusing on major writers and will deal with literature as an outlet for social criticism. There will be textual analysis. It will be taught in English with readings in English.
This course is cross-listed with RUSS 4133.
WLIT 4993. African Literature (Irregular). 3 Hours.
A study of modern African fiction, drama, poetry, and film from various parts of Africa in their cultural context. Works are in English or English translation.
WLIT 5193. Introduction to Comparative Literature (Irregular). 3 Hours.
Literary theory, genres, movements, and influences. Prerequisite: WLIT 1113.
WLIT 5523. The Quran as Literature (Irregular). 3 Hours.
The Quran as literary text: its style and form, historical context, translation, issues, communities of interpretation, and comparative perspectives. Course's integrated approach includes translations of literature originally in Arabic. All readings in English; students with reading abilities in Arabic encouraged to read original text.
WLIT 5623. The Bible as Literature (Irregular). 3 Hours.
The several translations of the Bible; its qualities as great literature; its influence upon literature in English; types of literary forms.
This course is cross-listed with ENGL 5623.
WLIT 575V. Special Investigations on World Literatures and Cultures (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.
Independent study of a special topic in world literatures and cultures. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.
WLIT 600V. Master's Thesis (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-6 Hour.
WLIT 603V. Special Studies in Comparative Literature (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.
May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.
WLIT 6703. Psychoanalysis and Culture (Irregular). 3 Hours.
Readings of key tests in Psychoanalytic thought and cultural criticism including Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, Certeau, Zizek, and others. Selections of Psychoanalytic approaches to literature, film and gender and trauma studies.
WLIT 6713. Literature of Spain, 711-1615 C.E. (Irregular). 3 Hours.
Examines the multiple cultural traditions of Spain between 711-1615 C.E. and train to produce scholarship pertinent to the field. Integrated approach includes English translations of literature originally in Arabic (50%+ of content), Hebrew, Spanish, French. Students with reading abilities in original languages encouraged to read original text.
WLIT 6803. Postcolonial Theory and Subaltern Studies (Irregular). 3 Hours.
Seminar examining the geopolitical (imperial, colonial and national) implications of knowledge and culture. Selected readings of early postcolonial texts by Cesaire, Fanon, and Fernandez Retamar, as well as more recent texts by Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Mignolo, Beverly and Chakrabarty among others. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.
WLIT 690V. Seminar (Irregular). 1-6 Hour.
May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.
WLIT 700V. Doctoral Dissertation (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-18 Hour.