PhD in East Asian Languages and Cultures
Joint PhD in East Asian and Comparative Literatures
The East Asian Languages and Cultures doctoral program combines the study of Chinese, Japanese or Korean literature and cultural history as its major component with courses in two minor fields: in literary theory and critical methodology, in studies in one or more other disciplines, or in a second East Asian literature and/or culture. All students will have a range of teaching experiences as part of their professional training, with extensive hands-on instruction in pedagogical methodologies. Some students may have the opportunity to teach in related programs outside the Department as well. Program length is six years.
- Course requirements. All PhD candidates must complete a minimum of 12 graduate-level courses, selected to yield a broad and deep familiarity with literary and cultural history of the country of specialization and a secondary area or secondary areas of concentration.
For the EALC degree, the 12 courses must include:
- At least 2 courses in literary and cultural theory, methodology, and pedagogy to be determined in consultation with advisor.
- 2 courses in the literary and cultural traditions of a second East Asian culture.
- For students focused on modern literature and culture, 2 courses focused on premodern East Asia, among which at least one must be in the major country. Students focused on premodern literature and culture must take at least 2 courses focused on modern East Asia.
- 2 East Asia-focused courses offered through other departments and programs. Students may either concentrate on one discipline for their secondary area or take courses from several in order to broaden their expertise.
For the joint degree with Comparative Literature:
- 4 courses in one East Asian literature including two seminars at the 500 level
- 4 courses in a second literature or other field to be determined in consultation with advisor.
- 4 courses comprising the Comparative Literature core requirement, including Comp. Lit. 402 (Introduction to Comparative Literature) and three additional courses distributed among designated categories. For a full description of this core, see here.
Students in either degree program may take up to three additional classes to fulfill requirements for a certificate, or to supplement training. Language courses will not count toward the 12 courses.
- Language requirements. All PhD students must demonstrate native or near-native competence in both the language of specialization (Chinese, Japanese or Korean) and English. Coursework in premodern forms of the language of specialization may also be required. In addition:
For EALC PhD: if needed for research in the chosen area of specialization, achieve proficiency in one or more languages in addition to the language of specialization and English (normally French or German among the European languages, or a second East Asian language).
For Joint PhD with Comparative Literature: reading knowledge on at least the research level of a third language is required. Students should select these languages in consultation with their advisory committee.
Competency in the third language must be demonstrated before students defend their dissertation prospectus by 1. earning at least a B in a 400- or 500-level course that requires use of the language in which they wish to develop competence (in the case of a 400-level EALC course taught in English, the student's written work must incorporate research in and/or analysis of material in the original language in which the student seeks to demonstrate competency), or 2. in the case of an East Asian language, placing out of at least the 3rd level of the language in the department's standard placement exam.
- Qualifying Evaluation: The Graduate Committee will conduct a screening of Ph.D. students no later than the end of their second year. By November 15 of their third semester, students will submit a research statement (500-800 words) and a writing sample (complete seminar paper). During reading week, they will be expected to give a10-minute formal presentation to the department faculty. By the end of the fall semester, primary faculty advisors will submit an evaluative report of progress for each of their advisees. The Graduate Committee will then assess the students’ academic performance and either recommend or not recommend advancement. Regardless of the outcome of this assessment, all students meeting the requirements will be recommended for conferral of the MA degree. The second element of this qualifying evaluation assesses the student's progress in their primary language of specialization (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean). This will be waived in the case of native speakers.
- Comprehensive Examinations: The PhD comprehensive examinations are intended to test a student’s general knowledge as well as mastery of their area or areas of specialization. Near the end of formal courses, students begin preparing to complete three examinations, to include:
- Major field, generally defined as modern or premodern literature/culture of China, Japan or Korea.
- Two minor fields, defined in consultation with and approved by the student’s advisory committee. One minor field may be directly related to the student’s dissertation research, but the second must demonstrate greater breadth in terms of period, discipline, or cultural-linguistic area. One of the minor fields may be comparative or theoretical.
- Students who have completed a certificate in FMS, WGSS, DASH, Early Modern Studies or Translation may, with advisory committee permission, waive one of the minor exams.
In consultation with relevant faculty, students will prepare a comprehensive bibliography prior to each exam.
Students should expect to begin the exams before the start of the sixth semester, and to have completed all three no later than the end of the eighth semester.
- Dissertation Prospectus. Following successful completion of the three examinations, and prior to starting their fifth year in the program, students will present their dissertation prospectus in a public forum before a panel of relevant faculty.
The Title, Scope and Procedure from must also be submitted before the start of the fifth year.
- Mentored Experiences: Students will complete eight mentored teaching experiences during their six years in the program. A mentored professional experience may be substituted for one of the eight. Another of the eight may be waived for students conducting research abroad during the academic year.
- Dissertation. Students will complete a doctoral dissertation based on extensive research on a literary or cultural topic that produces new knowledge of publishable quality in the field of East Asian Studies. Normally dissertation research and writing is completed in the last two years of graduate study.
For joint degree, the dissertation must be of a comparative nature and committee must include at least two Comparative Literature faculty or affiliated faculty.
Selection of Candidates and Admissions Criteria
Applicants for this program are screened on the basis of: their competence in the East Asian language of specialization and in English; their demonstrated ability to write analytically and to think critically; their commitment to the study of East Asian literature and culture; their interests in areas of research strength among our faculty (early modern, modern, and contemporary China, Korea and Japan).