The Doctoral Program in Literary Studies at the University of Basel, founded in 2010, is part of the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies. It offers excellent doctoral students in literary studies and related fields a framework for intensively supervised, interphilological doctoral studies.
Doctoral students enrolled at the University of Basel in the following philologies may apply for membership: Anglophone Literary and Cultural Studies, French Literary Studies, German Literary Studies, Ibero-Romance Literary Studies, Italian Literary Studies, Scandinavian/Nordic Literary Studies, Slavic Literary Studies, and General and Comparative Literature.
Applications from related disciplines will also be considered if the dissertation project has a clear literary focus. About the application process
The research profile of the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies is divided into three basic and three profile areas:
The basic areas reflect general research interests in literary studies:
Literary and Cultural Theory: reflection of general knowledge (synchronous).
History of Literary Forms: reflection of general knowledge (diachronic)
Current Research: current developments, theories, and problems
The profile areas are closely linked to the research foci that are dominant in Basel:
Arts and Media: inter- and transmedial perspectives.
Forms of Knowledge: literature and knowledge
Cultural Practice: translation, editing, textual criticism, literary criticism, cultural practice
By joining the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies, members commit to earning at least 18 credit points (ECTS) within their doctoral education. The courses taken should be composed of different basic and profile areas and at least two philologies.
In addition, at least one doctoral colloquium of the Doctoral Program, two Study and Networking Days and a two-day retreat must be attended.
A maximum of one-third of the 18 credit points may be from Transferable Skills.
(For admissions prior to the spring semester 2019, other provisions apply according to the then-current Regulations and Doctoral Agreement.)
Frequently asked questions
No. If you are writing an interdisciplinary dissertation, you must choose one and only one doctoral program.
We do not have an exhaustive list of disciplines. It is central that your dissertation has a decidedly literary focus. This can be the case in a variety of disciplines: Jewish Studies, Gender Studies, African Studies, Media Studies, etc.
There are various designations of our philologies. On this website, for convenience, the following designations are used largely interchangeably:
- Anglophone Literary and Cultural Studies, English Studies as an umbrella term, English Studies (focus British), American Studies (focus U.S.)
- French Studies, French Literary Studies
- German Studies, German Literary studies
- Ibero-Romance Studies, Hispanic Studies, Ibero-Romance Literary Studies
- Italian Studies, Italian Literary Studies
- Jewish Studies, Jewish Literary Studies
- Nordic Studies, Scandinavian Studies
- Slavic Studies, Slavic Literary Studies, Slavic Philology
Most doctoral students in General Literary Studies are at the German Department. Comparative Literature is usually a combination of two or more of the above philologies.
The Doctoral Program in Literary Studies announces start-up fellowships twice a year (usually in October for students beginning April 1st and in March for students beginning October 1st). Learn more about the application process. Start-up grant recipients automatically become members of the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies. An application as described above is not necessary.
Study the research profiles of the professors in your department (links: see here, under Philologies). If you think that your dissertation project might be of interest, write to the relevant person with a project outline and your CV. If you are able to secure a supervisor, then enroll as a doctoral student and subsequently apply to the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies. For more information, see the Guidelines Doctorate.
If you are not successful, then your project is not mature enough, does not coincide with the research interests of the supervisors in question, or they do not have the capacity to supervise other doctoral students.
For a regular doctoral program, you only need to acquire 12 credit points (ECTS) in the course of your studies. For the Doctoral Program in Literary Studies 18 credit points in various basic and profile areas and philologies are required (for detailed information see above).
The Doctoral Program in Literary Studies offers numerous opportunities—from special doctoral colloquia to retreats and barbecues—to network with like-minded people at the University of Basel, to discover common interests, and to broaden your horizons beyond your own discipline. In addition, the Doctoral Program has financial resources to support its members in organizing conferences and guest lectures, conference visits, research trips, and archive visits.