The Program in Literary Theory offers two different degrees (MA in Literary Theory and PhD in Literary Theory) and two non-degree programs (certificate in Literary Theory and postdoctoral program in Literary Theory). Visiting student status can be granted for limited periods of time. In the Program there is no mandatory language of instruction. Theses and dissertations may be written in any language approved by the advisor.
Students admitted to the Master’s program must take two semesters of coursework. After the second semester they may apply for a Certificate in Literary Theory, or fulfil the remaining requirements for their Master’s (which include writing an MA thesis). Students admitted to the PhD program must take four semesters of coursework. At the end of the fourth semester they generally begin writing their dissertations. Postdoctoral fellows working on their projects have access to all seminars on offer and may teach courses and supervise dissertations in the Program.
MA in Literary Theory
The number of admissions for each year is made public in advance. Applications must include a max. 750 word statement of purpose and a curriculum. All applications are reviewed and a number of applicants is invited for on-campus interviews. Offers of admission are made public after the interviews. Applications are evaluated regardless of undergraduate major. Reading knowledge of at least two foreign languages (including English) is required.
Students must obtain 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System units) in coursework and thesis work, and must pass a thesis defense exam. The advisor is chosen by the student by the end of the third semester of residence. The thesis topic and the name of the advisor must be filed with the School’s Registrar within 45 days of completion of coursework requirements.
The requirements for the degree are fulfilled in four consecutive semesters of residence, in the following way: in the first two semesters, 12ECTS in Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, 36ECTS in three Topics in Literary Theory seminars, and 12ECTS in one elective course; in the last two semesters, 60 ECTS in Research Seminars I (12 ECTS) & II (6 ECTS) as well as 42 ECTS thesis credits.
The thesis consists in a max 35,000 word original unpublished work (the model for the title page can be found here). Theses must be submitted by the end of September after the fourth semester upon admission to the Program.
PhD in Literary Theory
Prior to submitting their applications prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Director of Graduate Studies. Although funding is not a necessary condition for admission, applicants may also want to apply for funding independently.
Applications are evaluated regardless of undergraduate major. Reading knowledge of at least three foreign languages (including English) is required. The Program may require the passing of additional qualifying language and field exams, especially (but not solely) in the cases of applicants who do not hold an MA. Students must obtain 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System units) in coursework, and must pass a dissertation defense exam. The dissertation topic and the name of the advisor must be filed with the School’s Registrar within 60 days of completion of coursework requirements.
The requirements for the degree are fulfilled in up to ten consecutive semesters of residence. Coursework requirements are fulfilled within the first four semesters of residence, in the following way: in the first two semesters, 12ECTS in Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, and 48ECTS in four Topics in Literary Theory seminars; in the final two semesters, 60 ECTS in a fifth Topics seminar (12 ECTS), one elective course (12 ECTS) and Research Seminars I (30 ECTS) & II (6 ECTS). The completion of all coursework requirements is certified by a passing grade in Research Seminar II.
After fulfilling the coursework requirements, students typically start working on their dissertations. A dissertation consists in a max. 75,000 word original unpublished work, with evidence of original research (the model for the title page can be found here). Dissertations must be submitted within ten semesters after admission to the Program.
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Literary Theory
Applications must include a research project and a timetable for completion. A doctoral degree completed within the previous five years and reading knowledge of at least three foreign languages (including English) are usually required. After the application is approved, the Program proposes an ad hoc course of study, which may include a teaching component (in the Program or in the School), and appoints a senior faculty supervisor. Upon completion of the residence, usually between one and six consecutive semesters, and based on a detailed report by the student as well as on a favorable recommendation from the supervisor, a certificate might be issued.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Program’s chair prior to submitting their applications. Typically the applicants will also apply or would have applied for funding independently, though funding is not a necessary condition for admission. Admissions are decided on a rolling basis. Applications must include a curriculum, the description of a research project, and the preliminary acceptance of an academic supervisor. Accepted applicants are appointed postdoctoral fellows in the Program and become affiliated with the University of Lisbon (School of Arts and Humanities) for the length of their tenure.
The Program also receives visiting postdoctoral fellows for periods of at least three months.
The School by-laws for postodoctoral programs (in Portuguese) can be found here.