The PhD program is comprised of three distinct research fields. Students may be admitted into one of the three fields.
Digital archiving, editing, and publishing in a Francophone context
This unique field includes the study of manuscript retrieval and editing, new media studies, the study of the impact of digital media on French and Francophone literatures and cultures, questions on the history of the book and the e-book, digital and multimedia teaching of French and Francophone literatures and cultures, and also the archiving of book illustrations and other cultural material such as letters, personal archives, and private texts.
Early modern French literary studies and theory
Early modern French literary studies and theory have long been a traditional strength of the Department of French Studies at the University of Waterloo. A cluster of internationally known scholars work in innovative areas in the period ranging from the early Middle Ages to the end of the eighteenth century. These areas include the study and publishing of texts produced by women, research and archiving of travel literature and epistolary documents, the study of early image projections in revolutionary France, and the examination of the importance of print culture in the creation a national literary institution in France.
Cultural Studies in a Francophone context
This field focuses on contemporary Francophone contexts from the nineteenth century to the present; areas of study might include such topics as contemporary North African literature, recent Franco-Ontarian literature, or women’s writing in contemporary France. In addition to considering literature as the product of conditions in a particular place and time, the cultural studies field encourages interdisciplinarity through the critical study of cultural artefacts produced in a variety of media: literary texts, para-literatures, theatre, film, music, painting, etc. This field draws upon diverse methodologies (semiotics, feminist and queer theory, poststructuralist theory, post-colonial theory, neomarxist and historical approaches, minority studies, genre and media studies, etc.) to study a variety of cultural products.
The professors of the French Studies Department are specialized in various research areas.
- Five additional graduate courses
- Reading proficiency test in a language other than French and English. First languages are normally accepted, as is the successful completion of two introductory language courses
Please confirm with the Department’s Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.
- Selection of a specific area of research and a thesis supervisor
- Submission of the form Proposition de sujet de doctorat (DOC) to the Graduate Studies Committee (end of first year in PhD program)
- Comprehensive exams (PDF)
- PhD dissertation and oral examination
- Students must prepare and read, under the supervision of their thesis supervisor, a list of primary texts (a “corpus”), and develop a broad critical and theoretical bibliography in areas relevant to the proposed thesis topic. This first component is followed by an oral examination.
- Students then write a field exam that is submitted to the thesis committee for approval.
- Finally, students must submit, under the supervision of their thesis supervisor, a dissertation proposal and outline. The bibliography, the field exam, and a dissertation proposal and outline are defended orally before the committee.
During the third and fourth years of study, students conduct research and write the PhD thesis. The thesis is evaluated by a committee comprising the thesis supervisor, two additional members of the Department, one internal university reader and one external examiner. Students must also successfully defend their thesis during an oral examination, open to the public.
Selection of an area of research and thesis supervisor
|YEAR II||Comprehensive examinations|
|YEAR IV||Thesis completion, submission, and defence|
Important Note : Students must plan to submit their thesis at least EIGHT WEEKS before their planned defence date. Please discuss your planned timeline with the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.