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Comparative Literature at Kent offers an excellent environment for the postgraduate study of literature beyond national and linguistic borders. The programme involves the study of literature from two or more national and linguistic traditions, allowing you to gain an intercultural and transnational understanding of diverse cultural and literary practices.

The MA programme explores three main areas: themes, genres, movements and major literary figures; the interactions and exchanges between national literary traditions; and the theory and practice of comparative literature. These complementary strands encourage comparative analysis in a variety of contexts, ranging from the study of national literatures to the exploration of different genres, periods, media and literary theory.

The programme is offered by the Department of Comparative Literature and benefits from staff expertise in a range of areas, including European modernism, postmodernism, postcolonial literature, literature and medicine, literature and sexuality, literature and psychoanalysis and literature and the visual arts. Our programme also draws on additional expertise in the School of European Culture and Languages, particularly from colleagues in the departments of French, German, Hispanic Studies and Italian.

You begin by studying a choice of four modules across the Autumn and Spring terms, before writing a 12,000-word dissertation over the summer, supervised by an expert in the department. The programme can also be studied in Canterbury and Paris, where you relocate to Kent’s Paris centre for the spring term.

The MA in Comparative Literature is an ideal programme for those wanting to engage in and pursue detailed literary and cultural analysis that crosses national boundaries.

Course structure

The programme comprises three main interweaving strands:

- themes and major figures in European literature

- interactions between European national literatures, as reflected in important genres such as autobiography and the fantastic

- comparative literature in theory and practice, with an emphasis on the history of the discipline and ways of reading literature comparatively.

These complementary strands encourage comparative analysis in a variety of contexts: national literatures, genres, media and theory.

Assessment

Assessment is by one 5,000-word essay for each module, and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with the knowledge and skills to prepare you for the academic study of comparative literature at MPhil/PhD level

- attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, background, gender, or physical disability from within the UK

- further the University’s International Strategy by attracting graduate students from abroad as well as from the UK

- enable you to begin to specialise in your areas of interest

- enable you to hone your ability to read literature and literary theory critically and comparatively

- provide you, consistent with point one above, with a transition from undergraduate study to independent research

- provide you with a training that will culminate, if followed through to PhD level, in the ability to submit articles to refereed journals in comparative literature.

Research strengths

Areas of particular research strength in Comparative Literature at Kent include the European avant-garde, modernism and postmodernism, postcolonial literature, literary theory, literature and medicine, literature and the visual arts, literature and sexuality, and literature and philosophy.

- Centre for Modern European Literature

Many of the most significant European writers and literary movements of the modern period have traversed national, linguistic, and disciplinary borders. Co-directed by members of Comparative Literature, French, and German, the Centre for Modern European Literature aims to promote collaborative interdisciplinary research that can do justice to these kinds of border crossing. Ranging across English, French, German, Italian and Spanish literature, the Centre focuses in particular on the European avant-garde, European modernism and postmodernism, literary theory, the international reception of European writers, and the relations between modern European literature and the other arts, including painting, photography, film, music and architecture. The Centre’s activities include a lecture and seminar series and the regular organisation of conferences. It also works with the editors of the postgraduate journal Skepsi, and runs the MA in Modern European Literature.

Careers

A postgraduate qualification from the University of Kent opens up a wealth of career opportunities by providing an impressive portfolio of skills and specialist knowledge.

Comparative Literature graduates develop key skills, including critical thinking, analysis and problem solving. They go on to successful careers in areas such as the media, academia and many different cultural institutions including libraries, museums and galleries.

Find out how to apply at http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/


Visit the Comparative Literature - MA (Canterbury) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

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