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The PhD program in international letters and cultures offers professional training that is linguistically well-grounded, historically and culturally informed, and methodologically transdisciplinary, through courses and supervision of research. Central to the program is the critical inquiry of primary texts, media and cultural expressions, aiming at an original understanding of cultures and social groups in their formations, interactions and transformations throughout history.
The program is attentive to the various roles of language in societies, and in the different perspectives through which language can be studied --- among other aspects, its variations, transformations, hybridizations and processes of acquisition. The doctorate in international letters and cultures focuses particularly on research questions and themes that cannot be fully explored within the traditional disciplinary boundaries; instead, it fosters dynamic collaboration across disciplines in order to engage in the production of knowledge that is crucial to understanding transnational and transcultural interactions across time and space.
This degree program provides an innovative intellectual platform that advances transdisciplinary research and teaching. In consultation with their advisor, students arrange their coursework in both a primary and a secondary area of emphasis. Both areas are organized around interdisciplinary study and research in more than one language. Advanced language requirements will vary depending on chosen areas of research. Sample programs of study might include a primary emphasis area in medieval theater and a secondary emphasis area in medieval book culture, with a focus on France and Italy, or students might study multilingualism from a comparative sociolinguistic perspective, comparing trilingual communities like the Yaquis in Arizona and the Uros in Bolivia. Faculty members are drawn from various departments and programs in the humanities and social sciences.