Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Comparative Literature Ph.D.

Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, 235 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN (612-624-8099; fax: 612-625-4170).
Email: cscl@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 66
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Comparative literature is the oldest field of literary criticism, dating back to the seventeenth century. Among the wide range of studies currently conducted in comparative literature nationally and internationally, this program focuses on theories of literary criticism and its explanatory bases; indeed the program is seen as one of the principal initiators of such fields of study. This program is likewise engaged in pushing the bounds of critical inquiry in related domains of literary studies, directing much of its energies toward the intersection of literature with other media (in various constellations of word, sound, and image) and literatures of the global North with those of the global South, engaging problems ranging from narrative to postcolonial studies. The curriculum emphasizes seminars and directed research.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
A BS and/or MA degree in a humanities or a social science discipline, or other relevant field.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
30 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Proficiency in two languages (other than English)
A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Coursework should include at least 12 8xxx-level course credits, excluding CSCL 8001 and CSCL 8002. Application of 4xxx-level courses toward degree requirements requires approval of the advisor and director of graduate studies.
Required Courses (9 credits)
Take the following courses:
CSCL 8001 - Basic Research Seminar in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature I (3.0 cr)
CSCL 8002 - Basic Research Seminar in Comparative Literature II (3.0 cr)
CSCL 8901 - Intro to the Profession: Critical Methods of Research, Pedagogy, and Creative Work in the Humanities (3.0 cr)
Major Electives (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor. Other courses may be applied to this requirement with advisor and director of graduate studies approval.
CSCL 5281 - European Intellectual History: The Early Modern Period, Antiquity to 1750 (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5282 - European Intellectual History: The Modern Period, 1750-Present (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5302 - Aesthetics and the Valuation of Art (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5305 - Vision and Visuality: An Intellectual History (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5331 - Discourse of the Novel (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5401 - Origins of Cultural Studies (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5411 - Avant-Garde Cinema (4.0 cr)
CSCL 5555 - Introduction to Semiotics (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5666 - Film Music: Theory, History, Practice (4.0 cr)
CSCL 5833 - Marx, Freud, Nietzsche: Intellectual Foundations (3.0 cr)
CSCL 5910 - Topics in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature (3.0 cr)
CSCL 8910 - Advanced Topics in Comparative Literature (3.0 cr)
CSCL 8992 - Directed Reading in Comparative Literature (1.0-4.0 cr)
CSCL 8993 - Directed Study (1.0-4.0 cr)
CSCL 8994 - Directed Research (1.0-4.0 cr)
Related Courses (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from the following in consultation with the advisor. Other courses, including courses from the Major Electives list not applied to that requirement, can be used with advisor and director of graduate studies approval.
CSCL 5xxx
CSCL 8xxx
SCMC 5001 - Critical Debates in the Study of Cinema and Media Culture (4.0 cr)
SCMC 5002 - Advanced Film Analysis (4.0 cr)
Outside Coursework (12 credits)
Select 12 credits outside the major in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. Other courses can be applied to this requirement with advisor and director of graduate studies approval.
MIMS 5910 - Topics in Moving Image Studies (2.0-4.0 cr)
MIMS 8001 - Theories of the Moving Image (3.0 cr)
MIMS 8003 - Historiography of the Moving Image (3.0 cr)
Thesis Credits
Take 24 doctoral thesis credits.
CSCL 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
 
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CSCL 8001 - Basic Research Seminar in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01224
Typically offered: Every Fall
Key texts, positions, problematics in field of comparative critical theory. Historical precursors, influential contemporary debates, disciplinary genealogies.
CSCL 8002 - Basic Research Seminar in Comparative Literature II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02064
Typically offered: Every Spring
Key texts, positions, problematics in field of comparative critical theory. Special attention to historical precursors, influential contemporary debates, disciplinary genealogies.
CSCL 8901 - Intro to the Profession: Critical Methods of Research, Pedagogy, and Creative Work in the Humanities
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02335
Typically offered: Every Spring
Prepares graduate majors for teaching. Issues of pedagogy. Preparing syllabi for specific courses that graduate instructors teach. Required for students planning to teach in Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Prereq: Grad comp lit major
CSCL 5281 - European Intellectual History: The Early Modern Period, Antiquity to 1750
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02231 - CSCL 3281/CSCL 528/1Hist 3281/
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
First of a two-semester course. European thought in its historical/cultural context. Emphasizes development of philosophical/scientific thought, its relation to thinking about the individual and the community. Readings from original sources.
CSCL 5282 - European Intellectual History: The Modern Period, 1750-Present
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02232 - CSCL 3282/CSCL 5282/Hist 3282/
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Second of a two-semester course. European thought in its historical/cultural context. Emphasizes development of philosophical/scientific thought, its relation to thinking about the individual and the community. Readings are from original sources.
CSCL 5302 - Aesthetics and the Valuation of Art
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00609
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Society, ideology, and aesthetic value considered in light of recent critical theories of visual art, music, and literature. Meditations of place, social class, gender and ideology on aesthetic judgment in post-Renaissance Western culture.
CSCL 5305 - Vision and Visuality: An Intellectual History
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02553
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Central role of vision/visuality in modernity. Modern age as scopic regime. Ways that ideas/ideologies of perception have shaped aesthetic experience within social existence.
CSCL 5331 - Discourse of the Novel
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01029 - CLit 5331/CSCL 5331
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Comparative study of the novel, 18th century to present. Its relations to ordinary language practices, emergent reading publics, technologies of cultural dissemination, problems of subjectivity, and its role in articulating international cultural relations.
CSCL 5401 - Origins of Cultural Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02380
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Intellectual map of the creation of cultural studies as a unique approach to studying social meanings. Key figures and concepts, including nineteenth- and early twentieth century precursors.
CSCL 5411 - Avant-Garde Cinema
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
In 1939, the art critic Clement Greenberg defined avant-garde art in opposition to the ?kitsch? of mass-produced culture. To what extent does this conception of the avant-garde apply to the cinema?an institution and art form that supposedly requires machines and industrial modes of production? This course introduces students to key works of avant-garde and experimental film made by artists working on the margins of commercial film and mainstream art institutions. From the first half of the twentieth century, we will consider influential films made under the banners of Futurism, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Dada, and discuss their complex relation to Hollywood commodities. In the postwar period, we will explore a range of increasingly global experimental film practices, from the queer underground cinema in Latin America to the use of film projection in avant-garde performance. We will examine these practices in light of larger debates about medium specificity as well as the aesthetics and politics of the personal vs. the structural. In the final unit, we will reflect on the way contemporary artists, scholars, and curators have assembled a tradition of avant-garde cinema in the age of new media, and contemplate new directions we want it to take.
CSCL 5555 - Introduction to Semiotics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01045
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Problems of the nature of the sign; sign function; sign production; signifying systems as articulated in philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and art theory. Application of semiotics to various signifying practices (literature, cinema, daily life).
CSCL 5666 - Film Music: Theory, History, Practice
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Role of music in American/European film from early 20th century silent cinema to near present. Narrative features, shorts, documentary, horror, thriller, science fiction, comedy, cartoon. Film music as social/cultural practice and as part of political economy within culture industry.
CSCL 5833 - Marx, Freud, Nietzsche: Intellectual Foundations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Three thinkers who defined modernity: Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. Central tenets of their thought/terms associated with their theories. Their careers portrayed against the background of their times; their place in intellectual history.
CSCL 5910 - Topics in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 24.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topics specified in Class Schedule.
CSCL 8910 - Advanced Topics in Comparative Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 24.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02748
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Practical applications of specific methodologies and theories to a determined area. Topics vary by instructor and semester.
CSCL 8992 - Directed Reading in Comparative Literature
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Prereq: instructor consent
CSCL 8993 - Directed Study
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 48.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02792
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Catalog Description: Directed Study in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature prereq: instr consent
CSCL 8994 - Directed Research
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02825
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
irected Research in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society prereq: instr consent
SCMC 5001 - Critical Debates in the Study of Cinema and Media Culture
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course serves as a capstone within the Studies in Cinema and Media Culture program as well as an advanced seminar in cinema and media theory. It covers such topics as contemporary cinema, transnational television, video games, digital networks, and surveillance technologies. It builds on the knowledge of cinema and media studies that students have developed over their undergraduate education. Students are given the resources and encouragement to construct larger reading and viewing lists that will further develop their knowledge of media and cinema. The final grade is based on participation, critical essays, weekly viewing assignments, and an individualized project that can include creative and professional interests.
SCMC 5002 - Advanced Film Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Application of textual analysis to the reading of a film. Students work collaboratively to discern and interpret all component aural/visual elements of what the film says and how it says it.
MIMS 5910 - Topics in Moving Image Studies
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Special topics in moving image studies.
MIMS 8001 - Theories of the Moving Image
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of the moving image as the intersection between critical media studies and film studies. Not a historical overview, but rather current discussions in these areas contextualized with relevant readings in classical film and media theory.
MIMS 8003 - Historiography of the Moving Image
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Genealogies of the moving image. "Crisis" of film in debates about "old" and "new" media; Hollywood's role in defining commercial and oppositional forms of moving images; approaches to the writing of history in relation to media historiography.
CSCL 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02788
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required