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

CAT Colloquium Series

April 1, 2015

Professor Gregory Ruf will be presenting "The Legend of White Horse: A haunting tale of community origins" and Laura Abbasi-Lemon will be presenting "On MILFs: The Rise of the Pornified New Momism."

Humanities Institute
1:00-2:30 p.m.

Provost's Graduate Student 

Lecture Series

Speaker: Beth Tsai
Lecture: Tsai Ming-liang at the Museum: Cinephilia, the French Connection, and Cinema in the Gallery 

Humanities Institute room 1008, Wednesday, February 25,2015, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Spring 2015 

Co-Sponsored Events


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2015 Philosophy and the Arts Conference

 Outsides Schedule 2015.pdf

March 27th and 28th, 2015 in Manhattan

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Susan Bordo, Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities at the University Kentucky

March 25, 2015  - 11:00 -1:00 p.m. 

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Italy across the Mediterranean:
Politics, Space, and Visual Culture from the Middle Ages to Early Modernity


For detailed information click here


New MA/PhD in Women's and Gender Studies

The Department is pleased to announce that the new MA/PhD program in Women's and Gender Studies has received official certification.  "Click here for more information"


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.


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 

July 2014

The Humanities Institute

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