The Doctoral Programme in Literary, Linguistic and Comparative Studies was inaugurated in the 2013/2014 academic year. 

Expected length of the Programme: 3 years

Guide for PhD students: Link

Academic Rules and Regulations: Link


Learning objectives: 

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme in Literary, Linguistic and Comparative Studies constitutes a research experience at the highest level. It builds on a consolidated and well established practice of collaboration that promotes cultural, literary, linguistic and aesthetic collaborations, dialogue and comparative studies.

The Programme fosters research focusing on a rich and wide range of languages, and the possibility of specialising in the research fields of Philology, Linguistics and Translation Studies. Specific attention is paid to contemporary forms of literature, performance and media discourse, as well as to research on studies that place the present in meaningful connection with the cultural arrangements of the past. It has an outstanding comparative vocation

The fundamental aim of the Programme is to nourish studies that conceive the West as a space open to intercultural interaction and that must be studied in light of its cosmopolitan medieval, modern and contemporary connections.

PhD candidates may choose between the following research areas:

Literature, Culture and Performance Studies

Linguistics and Philology

Comparative literature

Literature, Culture and Performance Studies

The Doctorate trains scholars and researchers in the field of Literature and Culture in Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Slavic, Dutch and Scandinavian following the lines of literary criticism and critical theory; literary genres; textual and stylistic analysis; literary history; cultural, postcolonial and gender studies. The comparison between languages, aesthetics and poetics; between canonical literatures and the so-called "new literatures"; transcoding practices; the role of literatures in the 'public sphere'; the dialogue between the arts and the relationship between old and new media are also encouraged.

A specific area of the Programme is constituted by performance studies, which also build upon the rich linguistic and cultural studies based at the Department in order to study dramaturgy in a Euro-American context, the relationship between the avant-garde and experimentation; and the theories and techniques of directing and acting.


Linguistics and Philology

Within this area the Programme ensures a broad and coherent disciplinary training despite the possibility of adopting different scientific perspectives. The theoretical, methodological and applicative aspects of linguistics and philology are connected to European and American languages and dialects from a comparative point of view. In accordance with the University's research tradition, connections and comparisons with the linguistic areas of Asia and Africa will also be sought.

In particular, in the field of linguistics, equal attention will be given to the theories, descriptive models and history of linguistic thought, as it will to its applicative aspects. The studies will include approaches related to the meta-linguistic analysis of languages (oral and written), to historical linguistics, to the history of languages, to sociolinguistics, to pragmatics, to discourse and critical discourse analysis, to cognitive linguistics, to acquisitional linguistics - both in first and second languages - and to translation studies. All levels of language analysis may be the subject of research (phonetics, phonology, lexicology, semantics, morphology, syntax, textuality, etc.).

In the philological field studies on the origins and development of Romance, Germanic, Slavic and Ugric languages and literatures from the Middle Ages to the sixteenth century are included. Space will be devoted to the study of the tradition of literary and non-literary texts, analysed according to a philological methodology which is open to material aspects (the support of texts, their characters, writings, etc.) as well as formal ones (constants, changes and plots), among the forms, styles, rhetorical techniques, etc. The chronological arc of textual philology will extend, according to the different methods of analysis, up to the contemporary age.


Comparative Literature

Within this area, the Programme aims to produce qualified scholars in the field of comparative literature (with specific competences in at least two literatures, in addition to the national one). This is to be done through the deepening of the analysis and use of interpretation tools for literary texts and the intercultural, transnational and diachronic dimension of literatures and cultural traditions. Special attention is given to a theoretical and methodological reflection on literature; to the foundations of literary comparatism and its various forms through time; to the specificity of and the relationships between individual literary traditions and national criticisms; to an analysis of transits and influences between cultures (including an historical, critical and theoretical investigation of literary translation); to the relationship between literature and identity issues; to a reflection upon the different models of description and investigation of literature in its supranational dimension. Enhancing the University's tradition of study and the specific path of its academic education programme this area of research in particular focuses on the investigation of comparison and cultural exchange between West and East, bringing the heritage of European comparative literature into interaction with the geo-cultural areas of Asia and Africa.