98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:

Interdisciplinary Program in Literary Studies

(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:25:35])

Comparative Literature, French,German, Russian, and Spanish


The Interdisciplinary Program in LiteraryStudies offers uniquely flexible M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. It aimsto equip its graduates with knowledge, skills, and insights thatare wide-ranging and individualized, according to the specificneeds and interests of the student.

The program seeks to ensure that each graduatestudent is rooted in one traditional literary area (French, German,Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Latin American, or comparativeliterature), but with special emphasis placed on the interdisciplinary,comparative perspective.

IPLS students conduct roughly one third oftheir course work in other areas (such as English and Americanliterature, history, women's studies, music, politics, fine arts,philosophy, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, sociology, theaterarts). The IPLS advisory board includes a member from each ofthese departments and programs.

The degree will be in Interdisciplinary LiteraryStudies.

The program also offers an M.A. in Translationor a Certificate in Translation.

How To Be Admitted to the Graduate Program

The general requirements foradmission to the Graduate School, given in an earlier sectionof this Bulletin, apply to candidates for admission tothe Interdisciplinary Program in LiteraryStudies. Candidatesshould have a bachelor's degree in American, English, French,German, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, or Russian literature/language,and must demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in at leastone foreign language upon entry. Candidates are required to submita 35-page sample of their critical writing. The sample may consistof a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximatelyequal length.

Students who apply for theM.A. degree translation program or the certificate program intranslation must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Studentsaccepted into the program may attend on a full- or part-time basis.Qualifications for acceptance into either program will be basedon an undergraduate study of literature and foreign languagesand on submission of samples of previous translation work. Applicantsshould provide a statement of purpose and evidence of strong competencein both English and the language of proficiency. The deadlinefor application to the translation program is March 5, 1999.


Stephen Dowden(German)

German modernism. Romanticism. The Novel:Kafka, Bernhard, Thomas Mann, Broch, Musil, Goethe. Austrian literature.

Eberhard Frey(German)

Eighteenth-, 19th- and 20th-century Germanliterature. German and general stylistics.

Dian Fox(Spanish)

Spanish 16th- and 17th-century drama, prose,and poetry. Cervantes.

Stephen Gendzier(French)

Enlightenment. Diderot. French-English 18th-centurycrosscurrents.

Jane Hale(French)

Twentieth-century French fiction and drama.Beckett. Queneau. Literature and painting. Francophone literatures.

Erica Harth(French)

Seventeenth- and 18th-century French prose.Cultural studies and comparative literature. Feminism and genderstudies.

Edward Kaplan(French)

French romanticism. Michelet. Hugo. ModernFrench poetry and theory. Baudelaire. JabËs. Bonnefoy. Religionand literature. Translation.

Richard Lansing(Italian)

Dante. Italian and European Renaissance courtlytradition. Modern Italian literature. Literary theory and criticism.

James Mandrell(Spanish)

Modern Spanish literature. Don Juan. Picaresqueand historical novel. Genre and gender. Film.

Robin Feuer Miller(Russian)

Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Nineteenth-centuryRussian literature and comparative literature. The Novel. Reader-responsecriticism.

Alan Mintz(Hebrew)

Hebrew literature. Modern Jewish culture.Holocaust literature. Cultural criticism.

Angela MarÌa PÈrez (Spanish)

Colonial Latin American literature. Filmand literature. Cultural studies. Race and gender.

Michael Randall(French)

French Renaissance. Middle Ages literature.Philosophy. Politics.

H. Jay Siskin(French)

Foreign language pedagogy. French and Francophoneculture. French and Romance linguistics.

Robert Szulkin(Russian)

Nineteenth- and 20th-century Russian literature.Soviet literature.

Luis Yglesias(Spanish)

Traditional, modern, and contemporary poetry.Native American literature. Folklore and myth.

The following faculty members are availablefor advice in interdisciplinary matters:

Pamela Allara (Fine Arts)

Rudolf Binion (History)

Thomas Doherty (American Studies, Film)

Erica Harth (Women's Studies)

Arthur Holmberg (Theater Arts)

Mark Hulliung (History)

Robert Marshall (Music)

Alan Mintz (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Paul Morrison (English)

George Ross (Sociology)

Ibrahim Sundiata (African and Afro-AmericanStudies)

David Wong (Philosophy)

Requirements for the Degree of Masterof Arts

A. Twoyears of full-time study in residence. Students are required totake a four course load per semester.

B. Completionof either a thesis (a scholarly paper of between 50 and 80 pages),or a substantial revision and expansion of two seminar papers.Such written work will be read by the student's principal advisorand at least one other faculty member. The student need not bein residence at the time of writing the thesis.

Requirements for the Degree of Masterof Arts in Translation

A. Oneyear of full-time study in residence or its equivalent, withoutany unresolved incompletes.

B. Twoseminars in the theory and practice of translation or the equivalent.

C. Onesemester course in the theory of literary criticism.

D. Twosemester courses in the literature of the target language.

E. Onesemester course in texts and sight translation. This may be anindependent study course.

F. Oneelective course in the student's specialization.

G. A majortranslation project consisting of a translation of a collectionof poems or short stories, a novel or drama, or a non-literarytext of a critical nature of suitable length. The translationshould be accompanied by an introduction locating the work withinits appropriate context and identifying the procedures and techniquesemployed in resolving translation difficulties.

Requirements for the Certificate inTranslation

The requirements for the certificate in translationare the same as those for the M.A. in translation with the exceptionthat no major translation project is required.

Requirements for the Degree of Doctorof Philosophy

Program of Study

Required courses for Ph.D. students usuallyinclude an introduction to critical methods, all IPLS seminars,Language Teaching Methodology, and two semesters of the IPLS FacultySeminar. The latter are offered annually with variable topics(LS 200b Movements, Genres, and Major Figures, IPLS 260a and b,IPLS Faculty Seminar).

The principal national literature will demandthe candidate's most systematic scrutiny. From the perspectiveof finding academic employment it is crucial that the candidatebe fully competent in that literature and its language. This meansthat the student must be well versed in major figures, works,and movements, with a specialist's knowledge of at least one period.

Interdisciplinary course work should supportand enrich the student's critical perspective. For example, astudent interested in German romanticism would naturally gravitatetoward course work in Rousseau, in Idealist philosophy, in Beethovenand Wagner, in 19th-century French and German history, and soforth. The details of an individual program of study will be workedout with the student's advisors.

Residence Requirement

Three years beyond the undergraduate degreeare the minimum for the Ph.D. Those who arrive with an M.A. alreadycompleted will be credited with one year toward residency. A yearin residence normally comprises eight courses, four each semester(usually fewer for TAs). At least one, and no more than three,of these courses should be in fields outside the major literature.Tutorials (301-307) serve to fill gaps in knowledge where no suitable100-level course is available. The course load of eight per yearis subject to variation. Teaching assistants reduce their courseload in proportion to their teaching load.

Language Requirement

Near native mastery of the student's principalforeign language; and reading competency in two supporting languages.


Teaching is normally expected of every IPLSstudent in the Ph.D. program. It is an intrinsic component ofthe educational process, parallel to academic work, and it isthe bread and butter of any career in language and literature,as well as a source of financial aid. In most cases students beginteaching in the second year of residence. The program's pedagogycourse (LS 222b Applied Linguistics: Language Teaching Methodology)is a required course and should be taken in the first year. Studentsentering with an M.A. in hand and previous teaching experiencemay teach in the first semester, but may be required to takeLS 222b as well.

The normal teaching load is two courses peryear, which may include a USEM writing section (University Seminarsin the Humanities). However, each language has variable needs,and students in some areas may have fewer opportunities for themaximum load.

Qualifying and General Examination

The qualifying examination is a comprehensivewritten and oral exam taken at the beginning of the student'sthird semester. Afterwards the examining committee will writea letter to the student either giving or denying permission toproceed in the program. Only those students whose first-year recordis complete and satisfactory will be permitted to present themselvesfor examination. The student may not postpone it.

The Ph.D. general examination occurs in thestudent's third year of study. It occurs twice each year, eitherin October or in May, and is individually prepared and scheduledfor each student. These examinations are based on the program'sprescribed reading lists, available in Shiffman 108. Carefulconsultation with advisors is essential in preparation for theexam, which consists of three written sections and an oral exam.

The first session (three hours) is an examinationof the depth and breadth of the student's primary national literature.

The second session (three hours) focuseson a period to be selected by the student and must emphasize interdisciplinaryperspectives in the approach to that period.

The third session (three hours) is dedicatedto literary or theoretical works of the student's choosing (thoughnot from the period examined in the second session). Normallytwo substantial texts (novels, plays, poetry cycles, or othermajor works) are expected. Again, the student is expected to bringinterdisciplinary knowledge and expertise to bear.

The oral examination (one to two hours) beginswith the candidate's analysis (ca. 30 minutes) of a text chosenby the committee and given to the student 24 hours in advanceof the exam. A discussion of the presentation and some of thewritten exam will ensue. At the end of the oral exam, the studentwill be asked to leave the room so that the committee can considerthe exam as a whole. The student will be called back in to beinformed whether or not the performance has been satisfactory,or whether he or she must re-take a portion of the exam. The chairof the examining committee will also write a final letter to thecandidate, evaluating the exam as a whole. One copy of this reportwill be kept on file in the IPLS office.

Dissertation and Defense

Within one year of the general examination,the student becomes ABD (all but dissertation) by completing allcoursework, satisfying the residency requirement, language requirement,and dissertation prospectus. The prospectus is a ca. five to 20page document and is to be submitted to the student's dissertationcommittee (the principal advisor and at least two other facultymembers) for approval and will be signed by the IPLS chair. Theprospectus reviews previous research into the proposed topic,defines objectives and the critical methods to be used. It alsojustifies the dissertation by clarifying the nature of its contributionto the field. A bibliography, both primary and secondary is required.

The prospectus will become a part of thestudent's file. When it is complete and the other conditions havebeen met, the chair will recommend the student to the GraduateSchool for Admission to Candidacy. It is a Graduate School policythat at least one semester must elapse before a degree can beawarded. Students cannot receive funding if the prospectus hasnot been approved by the beginning of the fourth year of residence.It is Graduate School policy that the dissertation must be completedwithin eight years from the start of graduate study (seven yearsfor those who enter with an M.A. in hand).

The dissertation is customarily between 200and 300 pages, though no length is set as a requirement. Consultthe Graduate School for specific guidelines for preparation. Whenthe principal advisor is satisfied, the manuscript must be readby at least two other faculty members whom the IPLS chairman hasapproved. As soon as all readers have been approved and that approvalhas been certified by the Graduate School, an oral defense willbe scheduled. Two copies of the finished manuscript will be availablefor inspection at the IPLS office at least two weeks in advanceof the defense. The time and place of the defense will be publiclyannounced.

The defense is an oral examination. The dissertationcommittee and at least one faculty member from outside IPLS willdiscuss with the student the thesis and related topics. The fourthcommittee member may be a specialist from outside the university.The defense usually lasts about two hours, and at its conclusionthe candidate will be informed that the dissertation has or hasnot been accepted, that it does or does not require revisionsbefore final approval. Two corrected copies of the dissertationmust be deposited with the Graduate School office for the UniversityLibrary, which is the final step in the dissertation process.

Courses of Instruction

(200 and above) Primarilyfor Graduate Students

LS 200b Movements, Genres,and Major Figures: Modernism

Explores continental Europeanmodernism, especially from the perspective of formal innovation,gender, mass culture, and canon formation. Readings include Proust,Benjamin, Broch, Beckett, Yourcenar, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Gombrowicz,Bruno Schulz, Musil, and Céline. Usually offered everythird year.

Mr. Dowden

LS 202b Fiction: Theoryand Practice

Consulting a variety of textsranging from paleolithic caves through Homer to Rilke, this courseseeks to understand what role the imagination plays in what weperceive as real. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Yglesias

LS 204a Theory and Practiceof Literary Translation

A consideration from a varietyof perspectives of issues relating to the translation of texts--primarilyliterary texts--to English. Combines theoretical views with theactual practice of translation. Usually offered in even years.


LS 204b Theory and Practiceof Literary Translation

Further consideration of issuesrelating to the translation of literary texts to English.Continuationof IPLS 204a. Usually offered in odd years.


LS 209a Modern Phenomena

Usually offered in odd years.


LS 215a Poetry, Criticism,and Modernity: Baudelaire and His Contemporaries

Usually offered every fourthyear. Last offered in the fall of 1990.

Mr. Kaplan

LS 217a Russian Prose Formsand the European Tradition

Focuses on three major Russiannovels of the 19th century--Dead Souls, War and Peace,and the Brothers Karamazov--in the double context of thenovel in Europe and current critical theory. According to theirown interests, students will draw additional readings primarilyfrom the work of Cervantes, Diderot, Rousseau, Sterne, Maturin,and George Eliot.

Ms. Miller

LS 218b Topics in Genreand Gender

An exploration of the interrelatedtopics of genre and gender in the context of a specific fictionalgenre, such as the picaresque, historical fiction, utopian and/ordystopian fictions, or detective fiction. Usually offered in evenyears.


LS 219b Postromantic andPostmodern Fictions and Theory

Close reading of short fictions(fables, parables, prose poems, stories) by Baudelaire, Kafka,Borges, which themselves question their status as literature.The thematic relation of ethics and imagination (for example,irony versus compassion) will be emphasized. Examined also iscontemporary theory of Romanticism, Modernism, and the post-modern,with special attention to deconstruction: e.g., Paul de Man onsymbol, allegory, and irony. Usually offered every fourth year.Last offered in the spring of 1996.

Mr. Kaplan

LS 220a Modes of Narrative:Epic and Romance

Departs from The Odysseyand examines texts from the medieval and Renaissance periods,tracing the journey motif and the development of related epicand romance structures and conceptions. Typical works includeChrétien's Yvain, Dante's Purgatorio, Sir Gawainand the Green Knight, selected romances from Chaucer's CanterburyTales, Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Cervantes DonQuixote, and Joyce's Ulysses. Usually offered in evenyears. Will be offered in the fall of 1998.

Mr. Lansing

LS 221b Renaissance Literature:Divine and Literary Creation

Investigates the relationshipbetween the literary text and the epistemological context of theRenaissance. Although devoted most specifically to the Renaissance,writers and philosophers from the Middle Ages and from the 17thcentury are examined to show what contributed to these issuesin the 16th century and how they were developed later. Writersincluded: Dante, Aquinas, Ockham, Boccaccio, Rabelais, Montaigne,Ficino, Descartes. Usually offered every fourth year. Last offeredin the spring of 1996.

Mr. Randall

LS 222b Applied Linguistics:Language Teaching Methodology

The goal of this course isto train teaching assistants in the art of teaching a second language;to give them a thorough knowledge of the process of learning asecond language, the methods and approaches to teaching the targetlanguage, and the topics related to class planning, testing, andevaluation. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Siskin and Staff

LS 223a Rebellion AgainstRomanticism: Baudelaire, Flaubert, Nietzsche

European Romanticism containedits own internal dialectic, resistance against idealizations inthe realms of literature, philosophy, and politics. We study literaryand critical works by Baudelaire, Flaubert, and Nietzsche concerningart, religion, personal ethics, and politics. The case of RichardWagner provides one basis of comparison, as well as the theoriesof Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man. Usually offered every thirdyear.

Mr. Kaplan

LS 224b Reading, Writing,and Teaching Across Cultures

Contemporary literary representationsof literacy, schooling, and language from a cross-cultural perspective.Students analyze their own educational trajectories and considerways to integrate this material into their future teaching oflanguage and literature. Usually offered in even years. Will beoffered in the spring of 1999.

Ms. Hale

LS 225b The Novel of Marriage

Examines marriage, eros, andadultery in selected novels of the 19th and 20th century. Readingincludes: Laclos, Austen, Goethe, Balzac, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Fontane,Durrell, Rhys, Duras, Kundera, Updike, Euripides, Pasolini, ChristaWolf, Sontag. Usually offered every third year.

Mr. Dowden

LS 260a and b InterdisciplinaryProgram in Literary Studies Faculty Seminar: Literature and Translation

Offers students the opportunityto encounter the research interests and teaching styles of ourstaff. A different faculty member presides over each weekly meeting.Obligations include reaction papers to weekly reading assignmentsand a substantial monograph at the end of each semester. Usuallyoffered every year.


LS 301-308a and b Readingsin Area Studies: Tutorials

Usually offered every year.

LS 301a and b Readings inComparative Texts

Mr. Yglesias and Staff

LS 302a and b Readings inFrench Texts

Mr. Kaplan and Staff

LS 303a and b Readings inGerman Texts

Mr. Dowden and Staff

LS 304a and b Readings inRussian Texts

Mr. Szulkin and Staff

LS 305a and b Readings inSpanish Texts

Ms. Fox and Staff

LS 307a and b Readings inLatin-American Texts

Mr. Yglesias and Staff

LS 308a and b Readings inItalian Texts

Mr. Lansing and Staff

LS 312-318a and b Directed Translation

Open to qualified students. Usually offeredevery year.


LS 312a and b French Translation

Ms. Hale and Staff

LS 313a and b German Translation

Mr. Dowden and Staff

LS 314a and b Russian Translation

Mr. Szulkin and Staff

LS 315a and b Spanish Translation

Ms. Fox and Staff

LS 317a and b Latin-American Translation

Mr. Yglesias and Staff

LS 318a and b Italian Translation

Mr. Lansing and Staff

LS 351-358a and b DirectedResearch

Open to advanced graduate studentswith the consent of the instructor and the chair of the IPLS Program.Usually offered every year.


LS 351a and b ComparativeLiterature

Mr. Yglesias and Staff

LS 352a and b French

Mr. Kaplan and Staff

LS 353a and b German

Mr. Dowden and Staff

LS 354a and b Russian

Mr. Szulkin and Staff

LS 355a and b Spanish

Ms. Fox and Staff

LS 357a and b Latin-American

Mr. Yglesias and Staff

LS 358a and b Italian

Mr. Lansing and Staff

LS 400d Dissertation Research

Usually offered every year.