Last updated: January 12, 2010 @ 08:47AM

Studies in Comparative Literatures & Arts

Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts

Rosemary Drage Hale
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Jane Koustas
Faculty of Humanities

Graduate Faculty

Alex Amprimoz (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Sandra Beckett (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Leslie Boldt (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Corrado Federici (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Rosemary Drage Hale (History)

Associate Professors
Michael Berman (Philosophy), Leah Bradshaw (Political Science), Tim Conley (English Language and Literature), Christine Daigle (Philosophy), Derek Knight (Visual Arts), Mathew Martin (English Language & Literature), Carol Merriam (Classics), Marlene Moser (Dramatic Arts), Brian Power (Music), Cristina Santos (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures)

Assistant Professors
David Fancy (Dramatic Arts), Catherine Parayre (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas (History)

Graduate Program Director
Leslie Boldt

Administrative Assistant
Cora Solway (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
(905) 688-5550, extension 3312
Mackenzie Chown A240

Program Description
The MA in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts is an interdisciplinary and interfaculty program that not only focuses on the study of literature from different nations, but also examines the ways in which literature enters into dialogue with the fine and performing arts. Throughout the program, students examine contemporary approaches to texts of various types, as well as the possibilities and problems that arise in comparative studies, including issues related to the translation and adaptation of works. Through coursework, students are encouraged to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of how works of art or cultural production evolve, are received, and are interpreted.

Admission Requirements
Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline or interdisciplinary program (for example, Modern Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, English Language and Literature, Classics, Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Film Studies, Communication Studies, Cultural Studies, Canadian Studies, or Women's Studies, with an overall average of not less than 75%. Applicants with an honours degree in a discipline not listed above should have completed some courses related to literary, performing, or visual arts as part of their undergraduate program. Students entering the program are expected to have a reading knowledge of at least one language other than English.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission to a limited number of suitable candidates.

Part-time study is available.

Degree Requirements
While the program offers both a thesis and a major research paper option, students are strongly encouraged to pursue the major research paper option, as the additional coursework required by this choice provides more opportunity for comparative analysis across the arts.

Students pursuing the major research paper option are required to take six half-courses: the three core courses (SCLA 5P01, SCLA 5P02, and SCLA 5P03) and three elective courses (selected from SCLA 5P60-5P89). In addition to the courses, each student must complete a major research paper (SCLA 5F91) of 40-50 pages.

Students choosing the thesis option will take four half-courses: the two core courses (SCLA 5P01 and SCLA 5P02) and two elective courses (selected from SCLA 5P60-5P89). In addition to the courses, each student must complete and defend at a public oral examination a thesis (SCLA 5F90) of 75-100 pages.

Full-time students normally complete the program in three terms or one year.

Course Descriptions
Note: Not all courses are offered in every session. Students must consult with the Graduate Program Director regarding course offerings and course selection and must have their course selections approved by the Graduate Program Director each term. Refer to the Timetable for scheduling information: /terms.php
MA Thesis
An extended research project which meets the conditions specified in the description for SCLA 5F91. The thesis involves a more substantial level of research and a fuller treatment of the selected subject. It will be examined by an external reader and will require a public defense.

Major Research Paper
A research project on a subject determined in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and faculty supervisor. The paper should give evidence of original thought as well as a command of primary and secondary sources. It is expected that the project will be comparative in scope, and therefore engage with both literary texts and works from at least one of the other arts.

Comparative Critical Theory in Literature and the Arts
Contemporary approaches to texts of various types, discursive and aesthetic traditions, possibilities and problems arising from comparative studies. Theories of translation and adaptation.

Comparative Critical Theory in Literature and the Arts: Applications
Applications of critical theory to the interdisciplinary study of theatre, visual arts and music.

Critical Theory and the Arts
An examination of the modes of production, reception and analysis of art from its inception to its cultural, institutional or ideological transformation. Workshop format.
Note: field trips may be required.

Crossover Literature
Contemporary fiction read by a dual audience of children and adults. Impact on literary systems, canons, concepts of readership, and the publishing industry. Role of other media, influence of the marketplace. Novels, short fiction, poetry, picture books, comic books from international sources.

Limits of Modernist Expression: Expressionism and Surrealism
Expressionism and Surrealism in literature, painting and film; ways in which these movements diverge and intersect in their experimentation within the limits of literary and visual expression.

The Birth of the Sentimental Self
(also offered as POLI 5P62)
Exploration of modern notions of selfhood and subjectivity, their impact on moral and political understanding. Topics include reverie, confession, hypocrisy, genius, romanticism.

Crossing Cultural Boundaries in the Novels of Umberto Eco
Eco's narrative fiction. Issues include novels as pastiche and palimpsest, open and closed works, intertextuality, high and pop culture, role of the reader, interpretation and overinterpretation, literary genres, translation, visual arts in textual settings.

Space and the Social Ecology of Art
How we construct and adapt to our human or natural environment, how we determine the cultural value or social production of space, and how art, environment and aesthetics interrelate. Topics include urban, suburban and exurban spaces; natural, "naturalized" and simulated environments; site specific, public and installation art.

Violence and Discourses of Otherness in Early Modern Europe
Early modern European literary engagements with discourses of colonial, ethnic, religious and sexual otherness, their cultural functions, and their violent imposition. Selected 16th and early 17th-century English, French and Spanish poetry, prose and drama. Contemporary theoretical examinations of otherness and violence.

Love and Subversion: The Literature of Love as Resistance
Love poetry in political contexts. Literature of the individual in confrontation with society and establishment. Texts from a variety of eras of Western literature, from the Roman period to 20th-century North America.

Representing the Canon: Postcolonial Studies in Drama and Theatre
The study of postcolonial theory and criticism in theatre as realized in rewritings of canonical texts. Both performance texts which rewrite canonical texts through performance codes and literal rewritings which use canonical texts as source material will be considered. Emphasis on strategies of resistance and their intersections in other contemporary theoretical models.
Note: Field trips may be required.

"Word Painting" and Text Setting in Music from the 12th to the Early 17thCenturies
Methods used to highlight, exalt and illustrate words in music, from Biblical texts set in plainchant to secular poetry set by the 16th-century Italian madrigalists. Ability to read music a strong asset, but not absolutely essential.

Disability in Literature and the Arts: Sites of Resistance
Disability as a site of resistance and creativity in literature and the visual arts. Readings in disability studies. Texts and films from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Merleau-Ponty: The Art of Perception
(also offered as PHIL 5P71)
Merleau-Ponty's treatments and analyses of the visual (painting and film) and literary arts, seen as products, explorations and distortions of human perception and embodied subjectivity, which shed light on our cultural and pre-cultural experiences of the world.

Study of this artistic movement from its French and Belgian origins in poetry to its later international impact on German Expressionist cinema and South American Magic Realism in fiction. Artists studied include forerunners, writers of the Symbolist Manifesto period, Symbolist musicians and painters.

Witches, Vampires, and Virgins: The Monstrous Depiction of Women
The socio-historical depiction of women as monstrous in Latin-American, British and American art, literature and film. Marginalized, denied, silenced feminine sexuality versus the construction of an authentic feminine identity.

Performance and Performativity
Notions of performance and performativity from various sources in the fields of anthropology, theatre studies, cultural studies and philosophy. Modes of artistic and cultural expression in a world that is increasingly performative in nature.

Advanced Studies in Aesthetics
An in-depth examination of a specific aesthetic question explored by artists and thinkers of a specific time period (19th century, contemporary, late or early 20th century). Questions include: the function of art, art as representation, the role of theory in the production of art, the role of art in the development of theory.

Literary Translation: Theory and Experimentation
Definitions and purposes of translation from the past century. Readings by Benjamin, Jakobson, Nabokov, Ortega y Gasset, and Spivak.
Note: Students need not have a background in translation.

Religion and Iconography: The Power of the Image
An examination of religious imagery and iconography from a comparative perspective, employing an array of interdisciplinary methodologies. The power of devotional images and para-liturgical objects, whether depictive, performative, or evocative will be explored.

Self and Other in the Visual Field
(also offered as HIST 5P78)
Vision, visuality, techniques of visual presentation, and technologies of display in the study of human interaction in colonial, post-colonial, and neo-colonial situations. Adequate domains for multi-disciplinary analysis of visual and written texts and interpretive frameworks and methodologies for the study of the dynamics of power.