Studying Comparative Literature takes you beyond national and linguistic borders, helping you to develop an intercultural and transnational understanding of diverse cultural and literary practices. To further extend your experience, you study at our Canterbury campus and our Paris centre.
On this programme, you explore 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.
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.
A cross-cultural, interdisciplinary programme, you spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities. In the spring term, you relocate to the Paris School of Arts and Culture where you study at the Columbia Global Center (known as Reid Hall) in a historic corner of Montparnasse. You visit Paris in the autumn term, where you meet our Paris staff and are taken on a tour of the city. We offer advice and support to help you relocate to Paris.
Studying at the Paris School of Arts and Culture
The Paris School of Arts and Culture is a specialist, postgraduate centre located in the heart of Paris. We offer interdisciplinary, flexible programmes, taught in English, which take full advantage of all the cultural resources Paris offers. Study trips to the city’s museums, art exhibitions, archives, cinemas and architectural riches are an integral part of your studies.
The interdisciplinary nature of the School means you can choose modules from outside your subject area, broadening your view of your subject. As part of our international community of students and staff, you can take part in regular seminars and talks, write for the student-run literary magazine or help to organise our annual student conference.
About the Department of Comparative Literature
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 Department of Modern Languages, as well as from colleagues in the School of English.
This programme is ideal for those wanting to pursue detailed literary and cultural studies and also wishing to benefit from the experience of living and studying overseas.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, modern languages and linguistics was ranked 3rd for research quality, 3rd for research output and in the top 20 for research intensity, research impact and research power in the UK.
Our submission was the highest ranked nationally to include modern languages – a testament to our position as the UK’s European university. An impressive 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
This programme enables you to study in Canterbury in the autumn term and in Paris in the spring term. The autumn term modules are the same as those for the standard MA in Comparative Literature. The spring term modules are taught by staff from the University of Kent and occasional guest lecturers, ensuring consistent academic standards and assessment throughout the year. These modules are designed to be specifically relevant to the experience of living and studying in Paris. You are encouraged to make full use of Paris’ cultural resources and to integrate these into your studies. University of Kent staff are resident in Paris during the spring term to ensure year-long continuity of academic guidance and pastoral support.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
FR820 - Paris: Reality and Representation
The curriculum includes a selection of texts from various countries, all readily available in English and all specifically relevant to the modern history, evolving population and changing appearance of Paris and to how these aspects of the city has been perceived and represented in literary prose.
The set texts are by writers from different periods and of various nationalities and they are all set in and inspired by Paris. The texts are chosen for their high literary quality, but also because they represent essential aspects of the city's evolution and exemplify various narrative strategies and ways of engaging with the realities of life in the city, always shaped by personal preoccupations and sensibilities. This varied selection within the genre of prose fiction allows study of Zola's naturalism and his presentation of the political and aesthetic implications of baron Haussman’s plans for urban renewal and control; Edith Wharton’s perspective as an American incomer; André Breton’s combination of oneiric urban encounters with photographic illustrations of the city, inserted into the text; Jean Rhys’s clearly gendered experience of the city in the 1920s and 1930s; the identity of the city as a site for postwar liberation and literary dynamism in the work of expatriates from the Beat generation; and the representation of today’s city as a centre for immigrant communities and cultural diversity. The primary texts are thus all Paris-focussed but are chosen to open an international perspective on the literary representation of an increasingly cosmopolitan city.View full module details
|Optional modules may include||Credits|
DR900 - European Theatre: Landscapes and Dramaturgies
The module provides an introduction into selected contexts, histories, dramaturgies, and contemporary practices of European Theatre. Students will encounter the specific institutional and cultural contexts of creating theatre and performance in a variety of (Continental European) countries and historical periods of European theatre history. The module thereby provides a selective panoramic overview, focussing on practitioners, dramaturgies and current theatre work. Students will also become familiar with prominent contemporary discourses and theoretical perspectives in European theatre and performance studies, such as the paradigms of 'post-dramatic theatre', ‘mise en scène’ and the ‘performative’.
Where possible, the module will draw on current theatre work presented at London, Canterbury, and – for the version of the module delivered at the Paris centre – at Paris, offering direct encounters with a range of different European theatre traditions, genres, and core practitioners, from Regietheater to contemporary dance performance or music theatre. Approximately three joint (compulsory) theatre visits are therefore an integral part of the curriculum.View full module details
EN893 - Fiction 2
In this module you will learn further techniques of writing fiction, including how to plot a full-length novel, work on deep characterisation and the construction of an intellectual framework within your fiction. You may be continuing to work on a project begun in Fiction 1, or starting something new. Rather than expecting you to try new techniques, voices and styles, your tutor will work with you to identify your strongest mode of writing and will encourage you to develop this.View full module details
EN894 - Poetry 2
The main focus of Poetry 2 is to further develop and refine your writing with the eventual aim of producing a successful dissertation portfolio of fully realised, finished poems. Poetry 2 differs from Poetry 1 in that you are encouraged to develop a sequence or series of wholly new poems.
In this module you will develop your practice of writing poetry through both the study of a range of contemporary examples and constructive feedback on your own work. Each week, you will be exposed to a wide range of exemplary, contemporary sequences. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical rather than historical; at every point priority is given to your own particular development as poets.
The reading list does not represent a curriculum as such, but indicates the range of works and traditions we will draw upon to stimulate new thought about your own work. Decisions about reading will be taken in response to individual interests. Likewise, you will be directed toward work which will be of particular benefit to you.View full module details
EN899 - Paris: The Residency
‘Paris: The Residency’ contributes to the poetry and prose strands of the MA in Creative Writing and the Literature strand of the Paris Programmes. The objective of ‘Paris: The Residency’ is to give students as close an experience as possible of what it might be like to be a writer in residence or retreat, and to produce work inspired by a specific location for a specific period of time. The emphasis will be on producing a body of creative work for the main assessment. This module aims to enable students to develop their practice of writing through both the study of a range of contemporary examples and practices, and constructive feedback on their own work. Throughout their stay, students will be exposed to a wide range of instances of exemplary, contemporary work relating to Paris, or which was written by writers whilst staying, or living in Paris (as suggested by the indicative reading list). They will be encouraged to read as independent writers, to apply appropriate writing techniques to their own practice and to experiment with voice, form and content. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical as well as historical. At every point in the module, priority will be given to students’ own development as writers. It is an assumption of the module that students will already have a basic competence in the writing of poetry or prose, including a grasp of essential craft and techniques. The purpose of this module will be to stimulate students towards further development of, and to hone their already emerging voices and styles through engaging with various literary texts, raising an awareness of place as the starting point for new writing, and how their work can develop with large chunks of time for independent study, reflection and exploration of a city like Paris.View full module details
EN904 - Modernism and Paris
'Modernism and Paris' provides students with an opportunity to study a selection of texts from the UK, USA and mainland Europe, all readily available in English and specifically relevant to both Paris and modernism. The texts are all either inspired by, set in, or refer significantly to Paris and most were written in the city. They seek new and experimental literary expressions for the experience of modern city life and demonstrate a range of literary forms, including the novel, poetry, manifestos, essays and biography. In exploring the cultural contexts as well as avant-garde politics and aesthetics of modernism, the module presents texts by major authors of different nationalities, chronologically ordered, allowing students to appreciate the beginnings and development of modernism from the late 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century. It recognises the importance of modernist cross-fertilisation between literature and the visual arts and encourages students to explore links between modernist literature and the development of, for example, cubism and surrealism. The primary materials are Paris-focused but are chosen to open an international perspective on literary culture and history.View full module details
EN906 - Diaspora and Exile
Among the various paradigms from which diasporic writing should be distinguished is the literature of exile. Exile is often the consequence of political pressure or disaffection with a society rather than the result of the larger and often spatially and chronologically extended migratory movements which led to the emergence of diasporic communities. While both paradigms may intersect, the concerns and motivations of diasporic and exilic literatures usually differ.
A historically and culturally significant geographical, and frequently also imaginary, point of intersection between the diasporic and the exilic paradigms is the metropolis of Paris. In this module, our comparative focus will be on diasporic and exilic literatures and on the significance of the diasporic or exilic space of the French metropolis, both as production context and as informing literary production. Writers to consider include: American expatriates in 1920 (like Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes), in the Post World War II era (like Richard Wright and James Baldwin), and other writers who chose exile in Paris (like Heinrich Heine, Oscar Wilde, Rainer Maria Rilke, Samuel Beckett)View full module details
FI821 - Film and Modernity Paris
The module is conceived as open to all Humanities MA students in Paris. It examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art and industrial form and the particular ways in which it is influenced by and influences other artistic and cultural forms in turn of the 20th century Paris. The emphasis of the course varies from year to year, responding to current research and scholarship, but it maintains as its focus the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, technological developments, and historical change, particularly as they are developed in the growth of Paris as a city. The course also addresses the strategies used by the cinema to communicate with its historical audience. The course explores both the historical place of the cinema within the development of twentieth-century urban culture in Paris as well as how this historical definition informs the development of the cinema.View full module details
AR848 - Theory and History of Urban Design
This module explores the idea of the city, and the major concepts related to urban life. It analyses and determines the conditions of their emergence within a broader cultural context. It traces how these concepts have changed through time, with the aim of enhancing our present understanding of cities and their regeneration. It follows the development of city planning and the establishment of planned, ideal cities as a political goal up to the foundation of new towns. In its dealing with historically modern cities, the module centres on case studies of cities representative of urbanism from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, drawing lessons from the methods and types of documentation used in its development. The course also introduces the manner in which architecture has generated a number of spontaneous and critical responses to the demands of the city in the past four decades. The arguments are drawn from sources in architectural and urban theory, philosophy, art history, anthropology, literary sources and social sciences.View full module details
HA841 - Modern Art in Paris
The module will focus on Paris as a centre of artistic experimentation. The city served as the launch pad for key artistic movements from the mid-19th century through to the period after the Second World War (Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc.), and as a magnet for budding and established artists from all around the world. The module will take advantage of the great museum collections that encapsulate such developments (Musées d'Arte Moderne and d’Orsay, Rodin and Picasso Museums, Beaubourg, Quai Branly, etc.) and also of the major exhibitions on show in Paris in any given year.View full module details
HI839 - Modern Cultural Diplomacy
This module, to be taught at the Paris School of Arts and Culture, looks at Paris as a centre for modern cultural diplomacy. The module will be taught primarily through a series of case studies, each of which is intended to offer the opportunity to view the enormous diversity of international activities that constitute cultural diplomacy. Where possible, examples that place Paris at the centre of the discourse will be chosen, although it is hoped that students will come to see modern cultural diplomacy as a global phenomenon. The range of case studies are deliberately wide so as to reflect the broad academic base of the students and their interests. Examples of case studies include: Human rights; sexuality and gender; cinema and the media; the UN, NATO and NGOs; cultural attaches; state visits; education and cultural exchanges and advertising as cultural diplomacy.View full module details
MT803 - Gothic Art and Architecture, c. 1100-1350
This module explores the dynamic relationship between the cult of relics and Gothic art. It will begin by retracing the aesthetics of devotion across Western Christendom, culminating in the creation of towering Gothic cathedrals. Throughout history, the design of cult images could reveal sacred presence, testify to miracle-working powers, and explicate the significance of a holy place using visual narratives. Through pilgrimage, gift-giving, and even theft, people acquired relics and 'invented' new cults. The success of a relic cult would benefit from the design of a magnificent reliquary, the depiction of pictorial programmes (in glass, sculpture, and painting), and the placement of the relic within a spectacular architectural setting. Together we will explore the development of Gothic art in light of changing devotional needs. Using a number of diverse case studies, students will acquire a wealth of historical information and develop a variety of intellectual approaches to function and significance of visual culture. Beginning with Paris and its surrounding cathedrals, we will extend our analysis to Gothic Canterbury, London, Castile, Prague, Siena, and Florence. Above all, this course will encourage students to think critically about the influence of art in the religious imagination.View full module details
MT884 - Pre-modern Paris
This module is designed to introduce students to the range of evidence and approaches to that evidence available to investigate the pre-modern past. This objective will be achieved in the context of providing them with the opportunity to undertake in-depth investigation of the city in which they are studying: Paris. Paris was one of the great cities of the pre-modern world and long before the French Revolution, Paris was a crucible of cultural change throughout the Medieval and Early Modern period. Here, surrounding the banks of the Seine, the city witnessed the rise of the University, the creation of Parliament, the invention of Gothic art and architecture, and the formation of the Huguenots, leading to the spread of scholasticism, democracy, artistic development, and religious reformation across Europe and beyond.
A study of its history offers unparalleled opportunities for students to examine themes of European relevance, such as the beginning of urbanisation, the growth of Universities, or the outbreak of religious violence during the Protestant reformation, grounded in a particular historical, literary or artistic context. Likewise, the study of Paris in Paris will allow staff delivering the module to introduce students to a range of types of evidence and of scholarly approaches to that evidence, thus giving them the skills they need to proceed to the MA dissertation. This aspect of the course will include appropriate field trips, locations might include the royal palaces of Sainte-Chapelle and Versailles, leading museums such as the Musée national du Moyen Âge, or to world-class libraries, such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The opportunity to study the history of Paris in situ using real artefacts will present a uniquely stimulating opportunity for students to develop their understanding of the period and of the use of evidence in research.
By providing research-driven teaching, access to source material through site-specific analysis, and facilitating pedagogical encounters with the history of the city in which they are studying, this core module presents an exceptional pathway for MEMS graduates. The curriculum design will enable MEMS students to enhance their historical, literary and artistic knowledge, cultivate their interdisciplinary skills, and acquire the necessary methodological tools to prepare for their dissertation. Above all, the study of pre-modern Paris in modern-day Paris will present MEMS students with an unparalleled opportunity to engage with the past in a dynamic learning environment.View full module details
SCL800 - The Idea of Europe
From the French Revolution to the European Union, the term 'Europe' has long been a placeholder for a large number of utopian, internationalist aspirations. These aspirations are necessarily culturally and politically contingent; to trace the history of cultural constructions of Europe is to hold a mirror up to its changing intellectual faces. Focusing on a series of influential texts published at significant moments in the recent history of the continent, this module investigates how the changing ‘idea of Europe’ reflects the changing priorities of cultural discourse. In particular, it considers the key role – but also contested – played by Paris in particular as a European cultural capital, central to the idea of Europe and to the development of European culture. The texts studied on this module range across disciplines and genres, and include poems and pamphlets, essays and lectures, philosophy and politics. Through studying these texts in their socio-political contexts, the idea of Europe is triangulated through reference to a number of key categories (e.g. ‘prophecy’; ‘crisis’; ‘utopia’; Europe as ‘conservative’; Europe as ‘progressive’). The overall aim of this module is to explore what it means to be – in Friedrich Nietzsche’s words – a ‘good European’, and to consider the central role played by Paris in the emergence of modern European culture.View full module details
TH830 - Religion and European Thought (Paris)
In recent decades European intellectual culture has seen a turn towards the post-secular, the post-critical, the “return” of religion, or, as Claude Lefort described it “the permanency of the theologico-political”. Such gestures invite a rethinking of the political, social, and intellectual role of “religion” in the recent history of European thought. Such reworking intimately affects the understanding of Europe within a scene of global political and economic development, European traditions of philosophy, concepts of political autonomy; its critical theories of culture and economy, links between the idea of Europe and democratic political foundations; and the nature of artistic, social, and psychological exploration. This course creates capacities to interact with and to intervene in these important and on-going cultural discussions by developing new maps of “religion” as a central preoccupation in the formation of European intellectual identity, with a strong focus on Paris and the history of religion in “French theory” (e.g the works of Badiou, Benslama, Derrida and Foucault).View full module details
CP810 - Comparative Literature in Theory and Practice
This module is designed to familiarize students with the history of Comparative Literature as an academic discipline, to develop their ability to analyse critically the major conceptions of Comparative Literature that have emerged over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and to enable them to apply theories of Comparative Literature in the analysis of literary movements, literary genres, literary topoi (such as the ‘fallen woman’), and literary figures who recur at different moments in literary history (such as Odysseus, Oedipus, Antigone, and Faust). Students will begin by studying a range of major conceptions of Comparative Literature, and will consider the implications for the discipline of Comparative Literature of theories of globalization, multiculturalism, translation studies, and world literature. They will then proceed to analyse selected literary works within the framework of these conceptions of Comparative Literature. The module will therefore combine a theoretical with a practical literary-critical dimension, encouraging close reading and an appreciation of historical context in the analysis of theoretical and literary texts.View full module details
CP816 - Literature and Capitalism
By studying literary works in conjunction with economic and sociological theory, this module investigates the manifold ways in which literary texts may reflect and/or critique the social, political, and economic contexts in which they were produced. Proceeding chronologically from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, we shall analyse literary texts that engage with the psycho-social consequences of capitalism in its various manifestations. Topics of enquiry include the socio-political and psychological repercussions of industrialization, bureaucratization, globalization and neoliberalism and how these have been theorized and represented aesthetically, as well as questions pertaining to alienation and disenchantment, the rationalization of everyday life, work ethics, burnout, the psychology of consumption, and broader ethical issues relating to the tension between economic self-interest and communal values. Theoretical works we will study on this module include extracts from Marx, Weber, and Simmel, as well as texts by Adorno, Hardt and Negri, Sennett, Boltanski and Chiapello, Klein, Ehrenberg and Crary.View full module details
FR866 - Literature and Theory
This module will introduce students to a wide range of theoretical positions with the aim of enriching their understanding and appreciation of literature and critical practice. We will begin with the thinking of Nietzsche and Freud, before examining that of Saussure, Benjamin, Lévi-Strauss, Genette, Foucault, Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari, Kristeva, Cixous, and Irigaray. As well as encouraging a critical engagement with the claims of the theories themselves the module will examine a number of representative theoretical readings of literary works. Students will learn to evaluate these various thinkers and use their ideas, as appropriate, in their own writing.View full module details
FR872 - Theories of Art in Modern French Thought
This module examines a selection of pre-eminent texts in modern French art theory and philosophy. It invites students to analyse and to chart intersections and developments in French writing on the image across shifting critical landscapes, including those marked by phenomenology, structuralism and post-structuralism. Students will be encouraged to explore French theories of art with due attention to historical precedents, and to reflect on the aesthetic, political and technological significance of the visual arts for a wide range of French thinkers.
The course will be taught in English. Relevant texts may be studied in English translation, but students with proficiency in European languages are encouraged to read texts in the original language.View full module details
|Compulsory modules currently include||Credits|
CP998 - Comparative Literature Dissertation
The topic of the dissertation will usually be based on, and develop from, work undertaken on one or more of the four coursework modules undertaken in the course of the MA. The dissertation must be comparative in nature, including an analysis of more than one work, from more than one national/linguistic tradition.View full module details
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment is by one 5,000-word essay for each module, and the dissertation.
This programme aims to:
- provide the opportunity to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and to allow, if required, a smooth transition to doctoral studies
- allow you to spend the first term in Canterbury, studying modules in comparative literature, and the second term in Paris, studying modules in French, European, English and American literatures
- enhance your knowledge of European literature and European cinema
- enable an in-depth exploration of areas of modern European culture
- develop your knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of contemporary Paris and the cultural history of the city as reflected in modern French, European, English and American literatures and other artistic media
- develop a critical awareness of these topics
- build an understanding of critical theories linked with the study of these topics
- introduce various methodological approaches
- develop knowledge of relevant databases
- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
- provide access to intercultural awareness and understanding
- provide opportunities for the development of your personal, communication and research skills and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector
- develop your critical, analytical, problem-solving and other transferable skills.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- aspects of comparative literature
- Modernism as an international movement in literature and art and the role of Paris as a site of modernist experimentation
- the cultural history of modern Paris, as reflected in art and literature
- research methodology
- critical theory and its application to appreciation of literature and to a research dissertation.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- language skills: reading, comprehension and communication skills in English
- problem-solving skills: the ability to reason logically, critically and analogically
- how to evaluate complex information critically
- how to synthesise complex information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
- research methodology: gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and primary sources
- academic skills: identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems. Develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
- adaptation skills: learn to work in different environments by adapting to the educational, cultural and professional environments of England and France, while adopting an interdisciplinary approach to literary studies.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- analyse a variety of sources, both textual and visual, in English
- develop an appreciation of a variety of literary styles and art forms and their lines of divergence and convergence
- develop in-depth knowledge of European culture and literature
- develop a comprehensive knowledge of the cultural development of modern Paris, as expressed in literature and art
- a comprehensive understanding and ability to apply and evaluate various theoretical approaches to the study of literature and other art forms.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- oral communication: the ability to communicate orally at a high standard
- written communication: the ability to produce written work of a high standard, in appropriate register, in English
- IT: a high level of competence in information processing using relevant databases and online research
- teamwork: the ability to undertake group tasks that will encourage co-operative skills
- utilise problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- time management
- living and working in diverse cultural environments: you will participate and work in academic communities in both Canterbury and Paris. You will thus develop cultural knowledge and understanding, flexibility, imagination, resourcefulness and tolerance.
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.
At Kent, we are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, equipping you with the right skills to successfully enter the competitive world of work. By living overseas, and studying at our Paris centre, you are showing employers that you are independently minded, ambitious and confident; combining these attributes with the transferable skills we help you to develop throughout your studies makes you very attractive to future employers.
By studying in Paris's rich cultural and international environment, you are able to increase your cultural awareness as well as develop advanced language skills, which are invaluable assets for many careers.
We also recommend that you take advantage of the expertise and knowledge available from our Careers and Employability Service in Canterbury, which provides a range of advice, guidance and opportunities to enhance your career.
About the Department of Comparative Literature
Comparative Literature is part of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL), which embraces eight other disciplines: Classical & Archaeological Studies, English Language and Linguistics, French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian, Philosophy and Religious Studies. This means that students enrolled on a postgraduate programme in Comparative Literature can draw on the excellent resources of a diverse team of teachers with expertise in many key areas of European culture.
The research interests of our staff are specifically comparativist in nature, and include the European avant-garde, modernism and postmodernism, postcolonial literature, literary theory, and the relationship between literature and the visual arts. In addition to the research expertise of our staff, all postgraduates in Comparative Literature benefit from the activities organised by the Centre for Modern European Literature.
The Templeman Library has excellent holdings in all our areas of research interest, with particular strengths in modern European literature. The School of European Culture and Languages provides high-quality IT facilities, with state-of-the art language laboratories, dedicated technical staff and designated areas for postgraduate study. Language-learning and translation facilities include eight all-purpose teaching rooms and two networked multimedia laboratories.
All postgraduate students in SECL have the opportunity to undertake both subject-specific training and an extensive postgraduate skills training programme provided by the Graduate School. The School provides training workshops for postgraduate students with teaching responsibilities, bringing together students from all its subject areas. Research students gain further academic experience by giving research talks in the Centre for Modern European Literature seminar series, and attending national and international conferences.
Every year, a considerable number of native speakers of foreign languages follow our courses, and several European exchange students stay on to do graduate work. There are also foreign language lectors who are either combining teaching with a Kent higher degree or completing a dissertation for their home universities. We can assist with language-training needs for overseas postgraduates, particularly where English is concerned, and are also involved in the Erasmus and Tempus networks.
In Paris, you are encouraged to make full use of the city's cultural resources and to integrate that experience into your studies. The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Musée d’Arte Moderne, Grand Palais and other world-class museums and exhibition spaces are on your doorstep.
In addition, you benefit from borrowing rights at the libraries of the University of Paris VII, which have viewing facilities and holdings of films, books and periodicals in English. You also have access to the libraries of University of Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle). Other Paris libraries with relevant holdings include the French National Library, the Centre Georges Pompidou Public Library and the American Library in Paris, to which you are given access and a guided visit.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Comparative Critical Studies; French Studies; Forum for Modern Language Studies; German Life and Letters; Modern Language Review.
Students based in Paris collaborate with Kent students from other campuses to produce a literary magazine, Le Menteur, which was founded in 2012. Le Menteur specialises in poetry, fiction, essays and visual art.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
A first or 2.1 in a relevant subject (eg, English, French, German, Italian, Hispanic Studies, Classics), or equivalent.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
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. The list below indicates the range of current research interests of members of staff within Comparative Literature and the other disciplines with whom we work closely. Many of these staff are members of the Centre for Modern European Literature. They can supervise postgraduate students for the MA or PhD degrees in any of their respective areas of expertise. If you are considering applying to undertake a research degree, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your plans at an early stage of your application.
- The European avant-garde
- Modernism and postmodernism
- Postcolonial literature
- Literary theory
- Literature and medicine
- Literature and philosophy
- Literature and sexuality
- Literature and the visual arts
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 postgraduates to run the student journal Skepsi.
Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies
Founded in 2007, the Centre for Language and Linguistics (CLL) promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language and Linguistics but also other SECL members with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and subdisciplines of linguistics.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Katja Haustein: Lecturer in Comparative Literature
French and German autobiographical writing; visual culture; memory and identity; literature and the emotions; women and gender; art and medicine.View Profile
Professor Ben Hutchinson: Professor of Modern European Literature
Nineteenth and 20th-century German and European literature, especially Rilke, W G Sebald, Jean Améry, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Geoffrey Hill, 20th-century poetry, modernism.View Profile
Dr Patricia Novillo-Corvalan: Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature
Modernism, 20th-century Hispanic and Latin American literature; Borges, Cortázar, Joyce; reception studies; medical humanities.View Profile
Dr Anna Katharina Schaffner: Reader in Comparative Literature
Modernist literature, the history of sexuality, the European avant-garde, the history of medicine and psychoanalysis.View Profile
Dr Axel Staehler: Reader in Comparative Literature
Jewish literature and culture, early modern European festival culture, the 18th-century novel in Europe, intermediality and ‘iconarratology’, postcolonial literature and theory, contact zones and intercultural communication, fundamentalism and literature.View Profile
Professor Shane Weller: Professor of Comparative Literature
European modernism, postmodernism and literary theory; Beckett, Kafka, Blanchot, Celan, Bernhard, Sebald; literature and ethics; literature and philosophy; history of ideas.View Profile
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
|Comparative Literature - MA at Canterbury and Paris:|
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
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