The Ph.D. (HLL)

Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures

 

Prerequisites for Admission

  1. A B.A. degree with studies in Spanish, Spanish-American, Portuguese, or Luso -Brazilian literatures or Hispanic Linguistics; or another field with demonstrable bearing on Hispanic and/or Luso-Brazilian studies.
  2. Native or near-native proficiency in a primary language (either Spanish or Portuguese).

Requirements for Conferral of the Degree:

In close consultation with faculty, the student will develop a specialization in one of three tracks: Hispanic and Spanish American literature and culture, Luso-Brazilian literature and culture, or Hispanic Linguistics (Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan). Each track will be organized around four field concepts (space, time, voice, method). Course preparation will lead to the Qualifying Examination.

For admission to the Qualifying Examination, the student’s record at a minimum must show:

  1. Successful completion of the three-semester Research Seminar sequence.
  2. Second Year Review approval by the end of the fourth semester.
  3. Satisfaction of course requirements by the end of the sixth semester and, by the end of the seventh semester, completion of all other requirements stipulated at the Second Year Review meeting.
  4. Demonstrated working knowledge of 2 additional non-English languages, one of which should be Portuguese for specialists in Hispanic literatures or linguistics or Spanish for specialists in Luso-Brazilian literatures or linguistics.
  5. Preparation of field statements with bibliographies in four fields. These must be submitted one month before a scheduled qualifying examination.

Following the Qualifying Examination, the student will write a doctoral dissertation under the guidance of a director and a faculty committee.

Guide for Completion of Degree Requirements

1. The Research Seminar sequence

A three-semester sequence that introduces students to central questions and debates in literary, linguistic, and cultural studies in Spanish and Portuguese, and that assists them in the preparation of an original research paper.

A.   Semester 1: Fall Colloquium (1 unit). Students are required to attend the Department’s Fall Colloquium Series, where they will be introduced to the research projects of the faculty and other graduate students and to the work of ongoing research groups.

B.   Semester 2: Research Seminar I (4 units). During the spring semester of their first year, the Research Seminar will introduce entering students to graduate study in the department. The research seminar has several objectives, practical and theoretical. First, it is designed to introduce students to databases, research instruments, journals, and pertinent bibliographies in the student’s main field of interest. Second, the seminar is designed to give graduate students exposure to different genres of scholarly writing: précis, book review, scholarly article. Students will write reviews and précis of items from bibliographies drawn in their particular field.

Crossing the grain of these practical questions, students will be introduced to the four categories of analysis that will be the basis of their future field statements: time, space, voice, and method. The objective is for students early on in their studies to understand the nature of these key concepts and how they can serve as guides for their studies and their research. Individual faculty members may have unique theoretical convictions about these areas, but the purpose of the seminar is to raise basic issues regarding these approaches, and to help students begin to develop fundamental theoretical questions that traverse their specific areas of inquiry. Faculty members other than the instructor in charge may be invited to participate to contribute to discussions about these four fields. Here, students will focus on how to generate fundamental theoretical questions in their respective fields while traversing the four areas of inquiry.

There are many approaches to the use of these concepts. Some examples of possibilities can be found in Appendix A below.

The research questions raised in Research Seminar I will be particularly fruitful in Research Seminar II when students write a major paper.

C.   Semester 3. Research Seminar II (4 units). The third semester is a writing workshop designed to assist students in writing an original research paper. Here, students will be invited to develop a research idea conceived in one of their other courses taken during the first year of coursework and expand it into a major paper.

During the third semester, the Research Seminar will serve as a forum for students to meet and discuss their projects. It will also serve as an organizational vehicle for their research, establishing, for example, deadlines for revision and drafts. The course will be taught and coordinated by a faculty member. In the process of conducting research and writing, students will avail themselves of advice and constructive criticism from faculty and peers. The objective of this course is to train students in developing article- or chapter-length critical writing early during their training. Students will present short versions of their papers in the Fall Colloquium Series.

Over the course of the first year, the faculty will help students identify professors in this and in other departments at Berkeley whose research interests coincide with those of the students. If students have difficulties identifying faculty with common research interests, the Head Graduate Adviser will assist them. The goal here is to familiarize students with faculty members who might serve as mentors at the 4th semester Second Year Review (see below).

2. Constitution of the Mentoring Committee and Second Year Review Approval.

The Mentoring Committee will provide guidance to students as they move into the fourth semester of the program. Mentors will help students chart a course of study that best addresses individual goals and interests and will be charged with ensuring that students address core issues such as comprehensiveness, depth of knowledge, and critical imagination. In addition, mentors help students think about the fields and texts they will develop for their Qualifying Examination. The Mentoring Committee is charged with ensuring that students maximize their preparation and training.

Constitution of the Mentoring Committee and Second Year Review Approval: By October 15th of the second year, students will have constituted a Mentoring Committee comprised of three faculty members in the department plus the appropriate graduate adviser (if not already a member), ex officio.

Early in the fourth semester, students who wish to be candidates for the M.A. degree, by thesis or comprehensive examination, must announce their intentions. This option does not preclude continuing to the Ph.D. degree. Students must submit form to the Graduate Assistant by the 1st week of the semester.

Also early in the fourth semester (by Mid-February), members of the Mentoring Committee will meet with each student to evaluate that student’s progress and map out a plan for the student’s remaining work. The review will also allow students and faculty to discuss preparation for the four field statements and bibliographies that will be required for the QEs.

At least two weeks before the scheduled review, the student should submit a one–page statement to the Mentoring Committee, indicating courses taken and future course plans, languages chosen, and an indication of measures planned for attaining competence. The student should also indicate what work remains to be done to satisfy course requirements. Finally, students should indicate specific intellectual areas of interest that might lead to the four field statements of the qualifying examination.

The review is designed to be diagnostic in nature. In order to offer a proper and thorough evaluation of the student, the committee will consider all materials it regards as relevant to the student’s case. The committee will issue a report that constitutes a binding recommendation concerning future course work and advancement toward the degree.

In the case that a student’s progress in the program is not sufficiently promising, the committee will recommend to the full faculty of the department that the student not continue. In such instances, the student will have the option of exiting the program with a terminal MA degree, to be granted after successful completion of Plan I or Plan II requirements.

3. Course Requirements

All students, regardless of their prior studies and their ultimate areas of specialization, should seek preparation in the breadth of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian literatures and/or Linguistics, in their historical, geographical, and cultural diversity. The most common way of demonstrating preparation in these areas is to take graduate courses offered in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Three major concentrations are available: Hispanic (Peninsular, Spanish American literatures and cultures), Portuguese (Lusophone literatures and cultures), and Hispanic Linguistics (Spanish, Portuguese, or Catalan). A minimum of 10 courses will be required, with the expectation that most students will take far more than the minimum, under guidance from the Mentoring Committee. Of the 10 minimum courses, 8 must be graduate seminars taken within the department. Two additional courses, taken within or outside the department, will also be required. Advanced undergraduate courses will count in this last instance. All entering students must also enroll in the Fall Colloquium as a 1-unit course.

Track 1 (Hispanic and Spanish American literatures and cultures):

  1. Research seminar I
  2. Research seminar II
  3. one Spanish American graduate seminar
  4. one peninsular Spanish graduate seminar
  5. one Hispanic Linguistics graduate seminar
  6. one graduate seminar in Portuguese
  7. one graduate seminar outside of the historical period of major emphasis in a transatlantic field (Spanish America for those whose major emphasis is peninsular Spanish; peninsular Spanish for those whose major emphasis is Spanish America)
  8. one graduate seminar in literary theory or containing a strong theoretical component
  9. one course within or outside the department relevant to the plan of study (graduate or undergraduate)
  10. one course within or outside the department relevant to the plan of study (graduate or undergraduate)

 

Track 2 (Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures):

  1. Research seminar I
  2. Research seminar II
  3. one graduate seminar in Portuguese
  4. a second graduate seminar in Portuguese from a different geographic area, when available
  5. one graduate seminar in Hispanic Linguistics
  6. one graduate seminar in Spanish
  7. one graduate seminar outside of the historical period of major emphasis
  8. one graduate seminar in literary theory or containing a strong theoretical component
  9. one course within or outside the department relevant to the plan of study (graduate or undergraduate)
  10. one course within or outside the department relevant to the plan of study (graduate or undergraduate

 

Track 3 (Hispanic Linguistics):

  1. Research seminar I
  2. Research seminar II
  3. one graduate seminar in Hispanic Linguistics
  4. a second graduate seminar in Hispanic Linguistics
  5. one graduate seminar in Latin American literature or culture
  6. one graduate seminar in Iberian literature or culture
  7. one graduate seminar in the non-primary language focusing on its linguistic structure or on linguistic aspects of its literary/cultural discourse
  8. one graduate seminar in Hispanic Linguistics outside the field of major emphasis
  9. One course in Linguistics within or outside the department (graduate or undergraduate)
  10. One course in Linguistics within or outside the department (graduate or undergraduate)

It is expected that the student will complete these course requirements and the foreign language examination no later than the 6th semester in order to be prepared for the Qualifying Examinations no later than the 8th semester.

All courses used to satisfy a requirement or courses taken toward study program, must be taken by a letter grade option only. Passing grade for graduate students is a B or better.

In the cases of students who do not meet the standards of the research seminar and/or produce unacceptable work in the seminars during the first year, the Head Graduate adviser in consultation with the relevant teaching faculty will request that the Graduate Division place them on probation. Students will have the third semester to return to good standing.

Students who have fulfilled equivalent courses at another institution as part of a graduate program of study may petition to be exempted from no more than two course requirements.

 

Typical Time-line

Year 1: Students are advised to think about the comprehensive training requirements and to get to know a broad range of faculty in the department. Fall Semester: Students enroll in the Department’s Fall Colloquium and selected Fall courses. Spring Semester: Students will participate in the Research Seminar. The appropriate graduate adviser will advise students on courses to take during the second year. Students are advised to think about an appropriate course from which their major paper will derive.

Year 2: During the second year, students (in consultation with the Head Graduate Adviser) constitute their mentoring committees, and will continue to make progress toward fulfilling their course requirements. Fall Semester: Students will participate in the Research Seminar in order to develop their major paper, and will also enroll in selected courses. Spring Semester: The mentoring committee will convene in the 4th semester for the Second Year Review.

Year 3: All course requirements and language requirements to be completed by the 6th semester.

Year 4: During the fourth year students will take their final courses, polish the field statements and bibliographies, and prepare for their Qualifying Examination to be taken no later than the 8th semester.

4. Foreign Language Requirements:

Two foreign languages pertinent to the specialization. Of these, Spanish for students of Luso-Brazilian studies or linguistics and Portuguese for students of Hispanic literatures or linguistics are required, and must be fulfilled through graduate course work taught in the pertinent language (not English). The second language requirement must be satisfied by passing the Language Reading Examinations administered by the Department (usually during the fifth week of each semester). The requirement should be satisfied as early as possible in the student’s doctoral career and must be completed prior to Admission to the Qualifying Examination.

5. Preparation of Field Statements with Bibliographies in Four Fields.

Field statements (approximately 20 pages each) will define and discuss a set of problems within the four general categories below, and will include the primary and secondary bibliographies most pertinent to each subject. In the aggregate, the four lists should demonstrate a broad knowledge of Hispanic or Luso-Brazilian literary or linguistic studies, and mastery of a broad but coherent area of knowledge. Students are strongly encouraged to incorporate a transatlantic component into at least one of the field statements. Bibliographies will at a minimum include 15 titles and will be prepared in consultation with appropriate faculty.

  • Field 1:    Time    (Temporal/Historical considerations)
  • Field 2:    Space    (Spatial/Geographic/regional/social concerns)
  • Field 3:    Voice    (concerns related to particular kinds of genre/discourse/enunciation/style)
  • Field 4:    Theory/Methodology    (a topic/mode of inquiry)

Please consult Appendix A, section 1 for further guidance on how to define these fields.

 

Qualifying Examinations

When ready (usually by spring of the third year) and under the guidance of the mentoring committee, the student will begin to write four field statements in preparation for an oral examination on selected fields of specialization. Students considering presenting themselves for the Qualifying Examination must alert their Mentoring Committee and the appropriate graduate adviser no later than the tenth week of the preceding semester. The Graduate Advisor will have reviewed the student’s complete record, including completion of all requirements stipulated in the fourth semester review, including foreign language competence, in the semester prior to the Qualifying Examination. The student must also complete an application form with the Graduate Assistant at least four weeks before the exam. Students may not take the Qualifying Examination if they have more than one Incomplete.

Examination committees are made up of five members, including at least one person from outside the Department. One member of the committee will chair the exam; this person may not direct the dissertation. All members of the committee, including the “outside” member, must be Academic Senate members.” All five members of the Qualifying examination committee must be present and voting at the oral examination.

Final composition of the Qualifying Examination Committee is approved by the Head Graduate Adviser. Final versions of the field statements and bibliographies will be turned in no later than one-month before the date set for the oral examination.

The field statements will allow the Examination Committee to evaluate the students’ ability to:

  1. establish a coherent bibliography;
  2. demonstrate solid knowledge of the most relevant critical literature;
  3. identify a set of questions or problems to be examined;
  4. frame an argument;
  5. analyze individual texts.

The student must satisfactorily fulfill the requirement of the four field statements and bibliographies in order to take the QE examination.

Faculty approval of these statements and bibliographies by the five-member examining committee will be necessary in order for the student to take the Qualifying Examination. This is a three-hour oral examination that will focus on field statements and bibliographies. Faculty evaluation of student performance on the QEs will consist of a brief written narrative to be retained in the graduate assistant’s office in the department.

The Graduate Assistant will schedule the date by which the field statements will be turned in as well as the date of the oral examination (one month later).

Dissertation Proposal

The student will submit a dissertation proposal, with selected bibliography, to the Dissertation Committee before the end of the first semester following the Qualifying Examination. It is expected that the proposal will describe the intended research, establish the textual corpus to be examined, provide a basic bibliography and, if possible, set the project within current research in the field (10-15 pages on average). After examining this material, the dissertation committee will meet with the student to discuss the proposal, to set up a timetable, and to give final approval to the dissertation project. A signed copy of the report should be given to the graduate assistant for the student’s file.

Dissertation

Students must constitute their dissertation committees in order to complete advancement to candidacy.

Once the Qualifying Examination has been passed and formal Advancement to Candidacy is approved by the Graduate Division, the student will write a doctoral dissertation under the guidance of a director and faculty committee (selected by the student and his/her Graduate Advisor and approved by the Graduate Division), embodying the results of original research on a subject chosen by the student in consultation with the dissertation director.

Dissertation committees are made up of a minimum of three members, including one person from outside the Department. The outside member serves as the Dean’s representative and must be a member of the Berkeley Academic Senate. The Chair of the student’s Qualifying Examination Committee cannot direct the dissertation.

Should the need for a change in membership of the committee arise, students should speak both with their dissertation director and the Graduate Adviser in the Department. To effect a change, a form entitled “Request for Change in Higher Degree Committee” must be completed and signed by the Graduate Adviser (after having informed all parties involved in the change, including those that have been dropped from the committee). This form is then submitted to the Graduate Division for review and approval.

After obtaining the dissertation director’s approval of the proposed topic, the student will complete the “Application for Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D.,” a form available from the Graduate Assistant in the Department, for approval by the Graduate Division. Students should bear in mind that it is to their advantage to be “Advanced to Candidacy” as soon as possible following completion of the Qualifying Examination (see Normal Progress Schedule).

Submitting a Dissertation in a Language other than English

Special approval from the Graduate Council is required to submit a dissertation or thesis in a language other than English. A memo from your dissertation director requesting permission to the Dean must be sent to the Graduate Division the semester prior to filing the dissertation. After approval is given, an abstract in English must be included with the dissertation or thesis. Requests for approval should be submitted to Graduate Degrees and Petitions, 318 Sproul Hall. Please notify the Graduate Assistant the semester prior to filing the dissertation to petition approval.

Normal Progress Schedule

“Normative Time” (NT) allowance for the program is set at six (6) years. The Normative time to Advancement to Candidacy is 4 years (time to Q-E). Progress toward Normative Time is required for Dean’s Fellowships.

* Please Note: Foreign ABD students have a maximum of three-years (after passing Q-E) of waived Non-Resident Tuition (NRT) to file the dissertation. Any delay in filing will be at the student expense.

Normal Progress Schedule for Hispanic Languages and Literatures

SEMESTER REQUIREMENT COMPLETED
1 Enroll in Fall Colloquium (Span 200A).
Begin course/foreign language requirements.
2 Enroll in Research Seminar I (Span 200B).
Continue fulfilling course/foreign language requirements.
3 Enroll in Research Seminar II (Span 200C).
Continue fulfilling course/foreign language requirements.
Constitution of Mentoring Committee.
4 Second Year Review.
Further coursework in fulfillment of requirements.
5 Fulfillment of course requirements stipulated in the Second Year Review.
6 Completion of all course requirements.
Begin work in Field Statements.
7 Preparation of Field Statements.
Further Coursework.
8 Qualifying Examination completed no later than the eighth term
9 Advancement to Candidacy/Dissertation Proposal
10
11
12 Filing of finished dissertation by the end of the 12th term.

APPENDIX A: Definition of Four Fields for the Modified Ph.D.

Working in close consultation with a Mentoring Committee, each student will define four fields of study within the following categories: Time, Space, Voice, and Theory/Methodology. Each field will involve a specific bibliography elaborated by the student. Taken together, these fields and their respective bibliographies should reflect the student’s broad area of concentration as well as the chosen specializations within that concentration, and should also chart a direction towards dissertation research.

There are no uniform or standard definitions of these fields. Each student will arrive at such a definition taking into account his or her own interests and the advise of the Mentoring Committee. The following list offers some examples of field definitions. The list should not be taken as a complete list of options. Rather, the examples below are meant to serve as inspiration as students begin to think about how to define their individual interests.

Examples of field definitions

A.
Field 1 (Time): 19-20th century (texts written during this period)
Field 2 (Space): Spanish America (presumably a diachronic selection of texts)
Field 3 (Voice): A literary genre (i.e. the novel)
Field 4 (Theory/Method): Narratology

B.
Field 1: Early Modern Era
Field 2: Empire/imperialism
Field 3: The chronicle
Field 4: Authorship and authority

C.
Field 1: time and narrative
Field 2: the city
Field 3: film
Field 4: semiotics

D.
Field 1: The idea of modernity
Field 2: The nation
Field 3: Public intellectuals
Field 4: Orality and literature

E.
Field 1: The time of transitions
Field 2: Public/Private Spheres
Field 3: Voices of memory
Field 4: The body

F.
Field 1: Historical linguistics
Field 2: Regional/social variations of language
Field 3: Literary representation of language variation

Field 4: Linguistic theory

Some additional notes:

  1. As examples A and F suggests, there is room for conventional approaches to defining these fields. Some students will feel more comfortable with this way of organizing their exams. Others will want to explore other kinds of combinations.
  2. In examples B through E above, note that the actual bibliographies elaborated for each field will also reflect the professional arena the student plans to move into (i.e. Spanish American, Luso-Brazilian, Iberian etc.) as well as the standard period specializations within these areas. E, for example, would be one exam for a medievalist in training, another for a contemporary Luso-Brazilian candidate, another for a student interested in Southern Cone Post-dictatorships, and yet another for a student with a dedication to Early Modern Spain.

Section 1: Modified Master’s Degree

The modified Ph.D. program in Hispanic Languages and Literatures eliminates the M.A. examination as a prerequisite for proceeding to the Qualifying Examinations. However, some students may present themselves for the Master’s (Plan I or II) for any of the following reasons: to give evidence of a university degree short of completing the doctorate; to benefit from the added opportunity for evaluation of student progress that an MA exam or thesis provides; or, in cases in which a student’s progress in the program is not adequate as determined by the Permission to Continue review (in the fourth semester), to exit the program with a terminal MA degree no later than the 5th semester.

In all cases, students will have the option of receiving the MA degree after successful completion of Plan I or Plan II requirements:

Plan I (coursework and thesis): Students must complete 6 graduate courses in the dept and 2 additional courses that can be either upper division or graduate courses, within or outside the department. Distribution of these course requirements depends on the track:

  • For Hispanic and Spanish American: Research Seminars I and II and at least one course in each of the following: Spain, Spanish America, Portuguese, Linguistics
  • For Luso-Brazilian: Research Seminars I and II, two courses in Portuguese, and one each in Spanish and Linguistics.
  • For Linguistics: Research Seminars I and II, two courses in Linguistics, one each in Latin American and Iberian literature or culture.

Students must also complete one foreign language requirement, demonstrated either by examination or by one graduate course in the language.

Students will write a thesis, between 50 and 75 pages long, in which they advance an original idea and demonstrate a solid knowledge of secondary bibliography. The evaluating committee will consist of three faculty members: the chair and two readers.

Plan II (coursework and a comprehensive final examination): Students must complete 6 graduate courses in the dept and 2 additional courses that can be either upper division or graduate courses, within or outside the department. Distribution of these course requirements depends on the track:

  • For Hispanic: Research Seminars I and II and at least one course in each of the following: Spain, Spanish America, Portuguese, Linguistics
  • For Luso-Brazilian: Research Seminars I and II, two courses in Portuguese, and one each in Spanish and Linguistics.
  • For Linguistics: Research Seminars I and II, two courses in Linguistics, one each in Latin American and Iberian literature or culture.

Students must also complete one foreign language requirement, demonstrated either by examination or by one graduate course in the language.

Students will take a comprehensive written examination based on a reading list of at least thirty works that reflect the historical, geographic, and cultural diversity of Hispanic and/or Luso-Brazilian literature as well as linguistic and/or literary theory. The reading list is to be devised by the students in consultation with the three members of the examining committee and the appropriate graduate advisor. The examination will be three one-hour long questions. Students planning to take the M.A. exam should consult with the Head Graduate Adviser for a sample reading list.

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