A PhD in Japanese and Comparative Literature is offered jointly with the Program in Comparative Literature. The focus of this program is comparison of the contents, theoretical bases, and methodologies of Japanese literature and a second literature (Western or non-Western), within the context of a familiarity of the cultural context and historical background of the literatures, and the critical and historical methodology of modern literary study.
Which program is for me?
Students who are primarily interested in literature as a general field of study, which includes the study of critical theory and methodology and at least one literature in addition to Japanese, should choose our highly successful PhD Program in Japanese and Comparative Literature. In addition, the department now offers the option of deep training in Japanese literature with a second field in another East Asian literature or in Japanese studies in another discipline: history, anthropology, art history, or film and media studies. Students whose interests are less comparative and more focused on Japan should choose this PhD Program in Japanese Language and Literature.
Students in both doctoral programs will have a variety of teaching experiences, including language teaching at several levels, grading essays in English, leading discussion sections, and giving lectures. When available, students will also have the opportunity to teach or to team-teach a course under the supervision of a faculty member.
Preference will be given to applicants who have the MA degree in a relevant discipline and area and have native or advanced competence in the language of their major literature and reading competence in at least one other research language. However, students who have unusually rich undergraduate backgrounds may apply for these programs after completing the BA in Japanese or in a related field.
Application process for joint program with Comparative Literature
Prospective students interested in pursuing a joint program with Comparative Literature should apply through the pertinent home department. On your application you will be able to find a degree program for all of the joint degrees, with the home department listed first and Comparative Literature listed second. When you go to "Select A Program," you will first choose "Office of Graduate Studies in Arts and Sciences" as the Academic Division from the top drop-down menu, then under the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures you will see options for Chinese or Japanese. You should send your application materials to East Asian Languages and Cultures. It will, however, be vetted by both the home department and Comparative Literature.