MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures
The MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC) provides you with the critical and theoretical tools to enable you to undertake in-depth study of specific aspects of European literature and culture and/or Latin American and Francophone contexts. It introduces you to a broad range of critical theory concepts and includes the writing of a thesis based on original research. You take three taught courses consisting of lectures and seminars, one of which is a core course in critical theory.
The course has a Medieval and Early Modern Pathway for students who wish to specialize in subjects linked to Medieval and/or Early Modern studies. There is also a Latin American Pathway: two modules run in conjunction with the MPhil in Latin American Studies, one of which is a module on Latin American Film. It is also possible to borrow modules from the MPhil in Screen Media and Cultures, and the MPhil in English Studies: Criticism and Culture, run by the Faculty of English.
Generally, students receive, over the academic year, 40 hours of seminars, 16 hours of lecture classes, and 6 hours of one-to-one supervision.
Core Course in Critical Theory
The course offers an overview of central concepts of modern literary/cultural theory together with the chance to study in depth the work of two theoretical contexts. The overview is provided in the form of a series of eight lecture classes running throughout the first term which aims to introduce the major conceptual issues and theoretical problems and show how they can be applied to the reading of literature, whilst the in-depth view takes the form of eight mini seminar courses, four in the first half of term and four in the second half, from which students choose one for each half of term.
The overview course will cover theoretical issues or problems such as: ‘Narrative, politics, ethics’, ‘The Spatial Turn’ and ‘History and Context’ (see timetable below).
The in-depth seminar courses cover diverse areas and reflect the specific research interests of those convening the seminars. These will change from time to time and details can be found on the timetable below.
Students may also opt to take a Medieval and Early Modern Pathway through the Core Course. The pathway is aimed at students registered in the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures who wish to specialize in subjects linked to Medieval and/or Early Modern studies. The course offers tailored training to students working in this field, providing theoretical and practical tools to read, understand and work on pre-modern sources. The pathway is a flexible structure that can be adjusted to particular needs and interests offering a wide range of approaches to a variety of texts and historical contexts. This course is particularly suited to students wishing to pursue their graduate studies further and work on a PhD in Medieval and/or Early Modern studies. Students interested will have to register to the pathway before the beginning of the academic year.
During the first term of study (Michaelmas term), students attend weekly lecture classes and mini-seminars designed to give them a broad insight into European literature and culture. At the end of this term, they submit one 4,500-word essay. The essay focuses on a specific theoretical framework or critical approach. One hour of individual supervision, which may be divided into two 30 minute sessions, is provided.
Lent term Modules available in 2016/17
During the summer months before term starts, students are asked to pre-select two modules from the list below. This list can change from year to year depending on the availability of academic staff. We will also ask students for back-up choices just in case modules are under or over-subscribed, but we endeavour to offer first preferences where possible.
ID City: The Modern City (Dr G Kantaris)
ID Cultures: Cultures of the Renaissance (Dr H Sanson and Dr T Chesters)
ID Marginalities: Marginalities in Nineteenth-Century European Culture (Dr A Tapp)
FR Contemporary: Modern and Contemporary French and Francophone Culture: Articulations of the Real (Dr M Crowley)
FR Early Modern: Searching for Happiness (Dr J Leigh)
FR Medieval: Inventing History (Prof B Burgwinkle)
GE Medieval: The alterity of medieval literature (Dr M Chinca)
GE Modern:Enlightenment and its Critics from Kant to Foucault (Dr M Ruehl)
GE Novel: Memory and Subjectivity in the German Novel (Prof S Colvin)
IT 20th Century: New Commitments: Literature, Cinema and Culture in Italy, 1960 - present (Dr P Antonello & Prof R Gordon)
IT Dante: Dante: Medieval and Modern (Dr H Webb)
IT Women & Text: Women Writers in Italy (Dr H Sanson)
SL 20th Century: Cultural Isolation and Integration in Late Soviet Culture (Dr von Zitzewitz)
SL Medieval and Pre-modern: The Rus’ legacy and pre-modern identities in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (Dr O Pevny)
SL Nationalism: Literature and Nationalism in Russia and Eastern Europe (Dr R Finnin)
Spanish & Portuguese
SP Myth and Invention: Medieval and Early Modern Iberian and Latin American Culture (Dr L Haywood and Dr R Cacho)
Spanish & Portuguese / Latin American
SP LA Culture: Modernity and Marginality in Latin American Literary Culture (E Segre)
SP LA Film: Latin American Film and Visual Arts (Dr J Page)
Codes used above:
ID = Interdisciplinary; FR = French; GE = German; IT = Italian; SL = Slavonic; SP = Spanish & Portuguese; SP LA = Spanish & Portuguese/Latin American
Who should apply
Applications for the MPhil course are welcomed from those who have or expect to obtain a good first degree (at least a high 2.1 or the equivalent) in Modern European Language/Culture. Other humanities degrees are also considered.
If you are not a native English speaker we would expect you to have passed an English Language Proficiency test at the required level. The following examinations with minimum scores are accepted: IELTS 7.5 (with a minimum of 7 in each unit); TOEFL iBT 110 (with at least 25 in each individual element); CAE Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment; CPE Grade A, B or C (with at least 200 in each individual element).
How to apply
You can apply online at the Graduate Admissions website. Their site also provides detail on the course structure and content; fee rates; information on the College system; and information regarding the application process.
Once you have submitted your Applicant Portal application online and paid the application fee, you will later receive an email which will grant you access to your Applicant Self-Service. At this stage you will be able to upload your supporting documents.
- Academic transcripts for any degree-level courses you have taken
- Evidence of your English ability (if you are not a native English speaker)
- A sample of writing, of approx 3000 words. The sample can be either an essay produced during undergraduate studies or a section of a dissertation, and must be a single-authored work in English.
- A research proposal, maximum one page.
Your nominated referees will be sent an automated email when you submit your application, inviting them to upload their references directly to the system.
Funding for the ELAC MPhil
Funding opportunities for the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures are part of a centralized cross-University system. When you apply for the MPhil, by specific deadlines depending on the central funding competition, you simply indicate that you wish to be considered for the specific source of funding listed on the application form.
Central funding competitions for full or partial scholarships are: Gates Cambridge (overseas and EU only); Cambridge Trusts (overseas, EU and home); the AHRC (home and EU). Funding deadlines are generally early October of the previous year for overseas, early December for EU students, and early January for home students.
There are also some sources of non-centralized funding, such as scholarships offered by individual Colleges. For more information, consult individual college web sites, or the Cambridge Student Funding database.
For student of Hispanic and Lusophone studies, Clare College in conjunction with the ELAC MPhil offers two Santander scholarships of £15,000 each to students applying for the MPhil. Applications will be considered by the Faculty and awarded to the two best placed applicants wishing to work on Hispanic or Lusophone studies who have not received any other scholarship or external economic support. Candidates do NOT need to apply initially to Clare College to be considered for funding.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.
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