Romance Languages Concentration


PhD in French

Romance Languages and Literatures Concentration

Candidates for this concentration will typically already hold an MA in one of the Romance languages and literatures, or the equivalent and will, upon entering the program, choose two major linguistic areas, and one minor linguistic area from among the four language areas (French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish). Portuguese may not be used as one of the major areas, and one of the major areas must be French.

Candidates for this concentration are expected to have a strong preparation in French upon entering the program.

The student will also choose a major and a minor period from among the following four periods:

  • Middle Ages
  • Renaissance and Baroque
  • Enlightenment, Romanticism and Realism (18th and 19th centuries to 1848)
  • Modern/Post Modern

If Spanish is one of the major linguistic areas, the student will also choose, as appropriate, between the peninsular and Latin American areas.

The candidate will then take at least three 2000-level courses in each of the two major linguistic areas, and at least two 1000-level courses in the third area. At least one of these courses will be a 2000-level course in linguistics in one of the major fields (a course in the History of the Language or in Comparative Romance Linguistics is recommended). At least three of these courses should involve the writing of a long (or seminar-type) paper of 20-30 pages, and one of these papers must be written in English.

Initially, the candidate will be advised by the Director of Graduate Studies in French. After a preliminary examination, taken sometime in the first year, the student will choose an advisor working in the major period in one of the two major areas. That adviser will guide the candidate in choosing courses and elaborating reading lists for the comprehensive examinations, and will oversee the preparation and grading of those examinations. This advisor is likely to be the intended dissertation director, but that is not necessary.

The dissertation committee should include one faculty member with expertise in each of the three major period/areas. In all cases, the choice of linguistic areas and periods will be limited by the availability of faculty and course offerings in the various departments.
It is expected that every candidate will teach at least one language course in each of his or her major linguistic areas before completing the degree.