German Specialization

MA / PhD in Comparative Literature with a German Literary Studies Specialization (CLG)

The Comparative Literature Program offers an MA/ PhD in Comparative Literature with a specialization in German Literary Studies (CLG). Designed to recognize the importance of comparative and interdisciplinary training for scholars of German literature, this specialization reflects the intellectual diversity of UCSB’s German faculty, who work in media history, German philosophy, trauma studies, psychoanalysis, science and literature, Holocaust studies, contemporary art, and visual culture.

The CLG’s flexible structure enables students to link their study of German literature with other national literary traditions and related disciplines. Guided by a graduate advisor from the German faculty, students devote two of the three fields required for the Comparative Literature PhD to interdisciplinary and transnational German literary studies. Additionally, they prepare a second national literature, other than German, with a focus that complements their studies in German. For example, a student interested in modern German literature and Frankfurt School philosophy might choose to investigate aspects of the Frankfurt School’s contemporary reception in France. Networking fields in this way enables CLG students to situate their study of the German literary tradition within a broader intellectual and cultural context, thereby optimally qualifying them for academic appointments in a profession in which interdisciplinary and transnational training is essential.

Master of Arts, CLG specialization

The MA requires a minimum of 40 units of graduate-level course work in German literature in an interdisciplinary context and in a second national literature. The 40 units of graduate-level course work must include the 4 unit Proseminar in Comparative Literature (CL210), a minimum of 12 graduate units in German literature, 8 graduate units in the student’s second national literature, and 8 units in comparative literature. A maximum of 4 units of 596 course work may be counted toward the master’s degree. By the end of the second year of study, students must pass a written qualifying field examination or successfully complete a thesis in German literary studies. Students are invited to join the PhD program by the Graduate Studies Committee. The invitation is based upon the student’s outstanding performance in graduate course work, on the first qualifying examination, and upon the recommendations of the student’s exam committee and other faculty with whom the student has worked.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Comparative Literature with a specialization in German Literary Studies requires the study of German literature in an interdisciplinary and transnational context as well as a second national literature.

Students entering the program with an MA in German literature or a closely-related field need a minimum of 24 units of additional graduate-level course work to be distributed in consultation with the graduate advisor. These 24 units include 8 units in German literature, 4 units in the student’s second national literature, and 4 units in comparative literature. Additional course work may be required to make up for deficiencies. Students must pass three field exams, two in German literature and the third in a related field. The first field examination should be taken in the first quarter of their second year at UCSB.

Students entering the program with a BA complete a minimum of 60 units of graduate-level course work including work done at the MA level. A minimum of 24 units of graduate-level course work must be completed in German literature, plus 12 units in a second national literature and at least 12 additional units of graduate-level course work from the offerings in the Comparative Literature Program, with the remaining 12 units to be distributed among the student’s fields in consultation with the graduate advisor. The field exam written at the MA level serves as the first field exam for the PhD. The other two qualifying field examinations and the remaining 24 units of course work should be completed by the end of the fourth year of study. Students may retake each field exam one time.

Upon completion of the three field exams students prepare an oral exam, administered by the dissertation committee, in which they present a dissertation prospectus on the proposed dissertation topic. Students who pass this examination and demonstrate proficiency in a second foreign language will be advanced to candidacy. The final requirement is the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation including an oral defense.

For more information on UCSB’s German Literary Studies Specialization in Comparative Literature Program, please contact:  Professor Catherine Nesci, Chair, Comparative Literature Program (cnesci@frit.ucsb.edu) or Professor Elisabeth Weber, Chair, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies (weber@gss.ucsb.edu).
Visit the web site of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies: www.gss.ucsb.edu