Learning Outcomes for Comparative Literature Ph.D.

PLO 1. Disciplinary Knowledge

  • We train our students to understand diverse topics, approaches to literature and culture, bodies of literary and cultural work, and theories of reading and interpretation. They will train to become experts in a chosen area of specialization. They will also have a sense of interpretive questions and debates current in the profession. This is achieved in coursework, paper writing and revision, speaking at conferences (at UCI and nationally), and reading of professional literature.
  • They will demonstrate reading knowledge of two foreign languages through exams or approved translation projects. (We offer five ways to satisfy the language requirement; for the full discussion see http://www.humanities.uci.edu/complit/graduate/).
  • Students will demonstrate a competence in their field of specialty through course work, seminar papers, independent study, leading to a professional dissertation.
  • Students will learn to develop and sustain essay- and book-length research projects. This is achieved by having them revise their MA papers, develop a prospectus and research program for their dissertation, and through work with their dissertation committees.
  • Students present their work in fora across campus, organize a graduate student conference in their third year, participate in colloquia and talks on campus and at professional meetings, present their work at academic conferences, connect with scholars outside UCI in their disciplines, and send their work for publication in peer-reviewed professional journals.

PLO 2. Research Methods and Critical Analysis

  • Students will gain an understanding of research at the graduate level. This work will be modeled in graduate seminars and in discussions of the student’s work. They also examine and discuss the published scholarship in the areas of their course work and in their own developing areas of interest. In their first year, students typically take nine courses toward their degree where they write seminar essays. One of these is our methodology course, CL200A, which reviews and engages different methodologies in the profession. In their second year, normally, they revise an essay for the MA. Students receive written comments on their work and meet with faculty to discuss their work. They also participate in colloquia and talks that reinforce and model professional constructions of comparative literature work.
  • Students will need to develop new methodologies that move the field forward. This is encouraged through interdisciplinary work that draws on diverse disciplines and by bringing students into contact with emergent discourses in and in the periphery of the profession. Fostering a broad range of talks and courses in SOH will be crucial for that work.

PLO 3. Teaching

  • Students learn to develop expertise as classroom teachers, to engage students in person, and to see learning as a developmental process. Teaching in Comparative Literature is not only about the delivery of information or content, but rather connects learning with personal engagement and develops ways of thinking, asking questions, and interacting with others. Students learn this work in their own graduate classes where they routinely participate in person and give presentations or lead class discussion. They also take the required pedagogy course E398 in English, where they attend regular staff meetings during the teaching of composition.
  • Students need to learn how to develop new and untested curricula that move the profession forward. They need to be encouraged to take risks in class as well as to do what is tested and recognized.
  • Our students will be able to: Design courses at the appropriate learning level and develop syllabi for the quarter; Select course materials; Shape writing assignments; Guide students in argumentative writing, teaching them to develop a thesis and to conduct research to support their work; Lecture in class and lead group discussion; Comment on student papers in a way that encourages student to learn and revise; Hold office hours on course content and writing assignments; Grade papers and exams constructively and consistently, and Direct underperforming and/or troubled students to UCI support resources including academic and personal counseling.
  • Students learn and develop these skills in their own class experience, through the E28 workshop offered in English for students teaching composition, in 18 quarters of teaching or being a TA in courses taught by regular faculty.

PLO 4. Professionalization. 

  • Preparing for becoming faculty is part and parcel of the coursework and student activities, including teaching, in our program. Opportunities for professional development include participation in all department committees; representation at faculty meetings; mock interviews (in preparation for job interviews); mock job talks; presentation of dissertation research in a public, on-campus forum; a workshop on academic publishing; presentation of papers at professional conferences both at UCI and elsewhere; and opportunities to apply for fellowships at research libraries and elsewhere.

    1. Our students should be able to present their work to their peers and to discussion groups and fora. See above for the work we expect in this regard.
    2. Students will learn to distinguish their suitability for sustained work in the profession from enthusiasm for learning, literature, and culture. This is achieved through consistent engagement with the student at each stage of her or his work.
    3. Students will learn about the operation of departments and professional bodies; they also learn to organize symposia and events and to be constructive institutional citizens by helping identify and solve issues of concern to the department. Students will do this by participating in department governance and having representational members in all department committees.
    4. Students will learn to discuss their own and others’ work constructively and professionally. They learn to present their research in preparation for job interviews and professional work. The department offers ongoing workshops to help students transition to professional work environments.

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