Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Middle Eastern Literatures and Cultures

This track provides graduate students with a comprehensive and in-depth training in Middle Eastern literary and cultural production. The course of study is engaged within and across national and linguistic boundaries, disciplines, genres, and historical periods. Students are trained in comparative and theoretical approaches to literature, film, and media. By interrogating conventional nationalist, cultural, and literary paradigms, students will deepen their understanding of the cultural dynamics of the region and confront complex questions as part of a larger humanistic inquiry. 
In consultation with an adviser from their chosen field, students devise a program of study that includes training in literary and cultural theory and close textual reading in original languages. MELC students have the unique opportunity to draw on a wide range of Middle East experts and literary and cultural theorists across the university. They are expected to take graduate seminars conducted in the Middle Eastern language of their primary specialization, and to contextualize and complement their chosen focus by taking seminars in other Middle Eastern literature and intellectual history, comparative literature, and in other relevant fields and departments. Some work in a second Middle Eastern language is also recommended. Students who complete this track will be equipped with the necessary critical methodologies and literary training that will strategically position them for the job market in Middle Eastern Studies.




Ph.D. Requirements 2018-2020

Core Degree

• a minimum of 30 hours of MELC courses;
• 9 hours of language seminars; 
• at least 3 hours of comprehensive exams;
• reading knowledge of French or German;
• mastery in a Middle Eastern language;
• at least 6 credit hours of dissertation coursework


Track Specifications and Requirements

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
Courses must include 6 hours of literary theory/cultural studies;
Students are strongly encouraged to acquire a second Middle Eastern language. 




We encourage prospective students to read our Graduate Admissions FAQ, as many general questions are answered on our website.


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    Austin, TX 78712