MA in History and Literature (Reid Hall, Paris)
The MA in History and Literature trains students in historical approaches to the study of literature and in the interpretation of texts for the study of history. It is taught at Reid Hall, Columbia’s campus in France, located in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, and it draws on the resources of local libraries and archives. Students also have access to the courses and seminars of France’s top two graduate schools in the humanities and social sciences: the Ecole normale supérieure and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales. The program starts with the premise that literature and history owe their current forms to many past developments that both separated them and leave much common ground for interconnections. It introduces students to the main critical and theoretical debates at the intersection between history and literature, including the narrative qualities of historical writing, the linguistic turn in history, and the tension between history and theory within the literary field.
An important part of the program is the consideration of literature itself as a field of moral, philosophical, sociological, and historical knowledge. Students develop a sophisticated awareness of theoretical and methodological issues. They also acquire the philological tools required for the interpretation of texts in print or manuscript form. This practical training includes hands-on sessions conducted at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Archives nationales de France. We expect many students to have an interest in French history and literature, but we also welcome students who wish to work on materials in other modern European languages, Latin, Hebrew, or Arabic. MA courses are taught in English or French. Written work is normally done in English. This program does offer a small number of partial, merit-based fellowships.
New York State Department of Education
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