Comparative Literature

Ph.D. Reading List for Literary Theory and Criticism

Reading Lists

A reading list for all parts enumerated below will be compiled by the student with the help of the examination committee. The definitive version of the reading list, with a cover page bearing signatures of the committee members and indicating who will direct the examination and chair the dissertation, must be submitted to the graduate director no later than one month prior to the scheduled date of examination. Please note: Students should also submit a description of the special area, related to the dissertation, along with the reading list.

All lists must include at least twenty of the works below. The Graduate director will consider alternative texts from the same historical periods. In addition, the list must contain approximately twenty works from the twentieth century, chosen so as to include a reasonable distribution of texts that address at least three important areas of recent criticism.

Plato, Symposium, "Phaedrus,""Ion," Republic (Bks. 2,3,10)
Horace,"The Art of Poetry"
Longinus, "On the Sublime"
Boethius, "The Consolation of Philosophy"
St. Augustine, "De Ordine," "De Musica"
Dante Alighieri, "Letter to Can Grande della Scala"
Leonardo da Vinci, "Notebooks" (selections)
Marsilio Ficino Commentary on Plato's Symposium
Sir Philip Sidney, "An Apologie for Poetrie"
Nicholas Boileau, "The Art of Poetry"
Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"
Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare, "Rasselas" (Bk. 10)
Giambattista Vico, "The New Science" (Bks. 1-3)
Gotthold Lessing, Laocoön (Chs.2,3,16)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau,"Essay on the Origin of Language"
Immanuel Kant,Critique of Judgement (Bks. 2,3)
G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to The Philosophy of Fine Art
William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads
Samuel T. Coleridge, "Biographia Literaria" (Chs. 7,14,15,17,18)
Percy B. Shelley, "Defense of Poetry"
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, "On Truth and Lies in Their Non-Moral Sense"
David Hume, "Of the Standard of Taste"
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry...
Matthew Arnold, Science and Poetry, Culture and Anarchy, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time"
Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"
Stéphane Mallarmé,"Crise de vers"
Marcel Proust, "Contre Sainte-Beuve"

Please note:

All titles and spelling must be correct. The GSC will not consider any list with more than 5 errors.


Committee for the Examination: Students will discuss the choice of a chair for their examination committees with their advisors and the director of graduate studies. One CAT faculty member will be asked by the student to serve as chair of the committee. Three more faculty members who can examine the student in one or more areas of the examination, as defined below, will be selected by the student in consultation with the director of graduate studies, the advisor and the chair of the committee. At least three of the four members of the examination committee must be members of the CAT graduate faculty (including affiliates). At least three of the members of the committee must be physically present at the examination.     [LD1] 

 [LD1]This is very confusing and doesn’t seem to me to at all explain the process by which students chose faculty to work with on their exams. Mostly, this is because the chair of the committee is an position selected well after the committee has been chosen, and simply runs the examination on the day.  I suggest a more stream-lined description. Something like this: Students will chose their examination committee, which will consist of one faculty member to supervise each of the four lists, as defined below. At least three of the four members…(WaGS only has three lists)


For detailed information click here

Spring 2016


CAT Graduate Colloquium

Wednesday, March 23rd, from 1:00 - 2:20 in Frey Hall 105.

Our speakers include: 

Kathryn Silverstein, "Crime, Time, and the Corporeal in Julia Kristeva's Possessions"

Mark Pingree, "Cosmic Pessimism: Catastrophe, Trauma and Extinction"

Shruti Mukherjee, "Activism during Siege: Rise of Hindu Nationalist Right Wing in India"

CAT Graduate Colloquium

Wednesday, February 10th, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

Humanities Institute, Room#1008

Speakers and Titles: 

Spatiality, Cognitive Ecology, Here 

Professor John Lutterbie, "Gutters and Panels"

David Rodriguez, "Environment at Scale"


Fall 2015

Cultural Analysis and Theory -Graduate Student Conference


2015 Stony Brook University, Dept. of Cultural Analysis and Theory, Graduate Student Conference

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

SBU Manhattan

387 Park Avenue South, 3rd Floor

New York, NY 10016


2015 CAT Colloquium

Wednesday, October 28th, from 1:00 - 2:20 p.m.

Humanities Institute room#1008

Speakers and Titles:

Professor E.K. Tan, “From Exile to Queer Homecoming: Chen Xue’s A Wife’s Diary (2012)"

Yalda Hamidi, “'Diasporic Literature as a Feminist Genre: Re-reading Persepolis and Reading Lolita in Tehran"


Co-Sponsored Events:

Black History Month

Keynote speaker Sonia Sanchez poet, educator, and lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation and Racial Justice. 

Wednesday, January 27
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Student Activities Center Gelber Auditorium

DANTE WORLDS Echoes, Places, Questions -- A Conference on the 750th Anniversary of Dante's Birth 
Wednesday,  December 2, 2015 
Charles B. Wang Lecture Hall 29:30 am to 5:30 pm

English Graduate Student Conference - Spring 2016
Speaking Text(s): Communication in the Humanities

Kadji Amin published "'Blesser' le spectateur blanc américain: Les Nègres aux États-Unis, 1961-64 et 2003" in Études françaises.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship on SEX at the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum for the 2015-16 academic year.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Humanities Institute at Stony Brook Faculty Fellowship for Spring semester of 2015 for the completion of his book, Queer Attachments.

Raiford Guins "Punk archaeologists" explain that they went looking for more than just video-game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.  

Nancy Hiemstra has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Robert Harvey has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Izabela Kalinowska-Blackwood is curating a film series at the IWM in Vienna.


Marcus Brock has been selected to receive the Turner Conference Travel Award to participation in the "Audiovisualtopia" taking place in Madrid, Spain beginning on 10/23/2015. 

Beth Tsai has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Kudos Newsletter 

        May 2016

The Humanities Institute

Cultural Analysis and Theory • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5355 • Phone: 631.632.7460 • Fax: 631.632.5707
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