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International PhD Programme Literary and Cultural Studies

IPP Application Form - Deadline: February 1, 2024 (Applications Closed)

The IPP offers a clearly structured and research-oriented three-year doctoral programme of high academic standards. Its curriculum, comprised of both academic and practical course offerings, is tailored to suit the needs of doctoral researchers. Participating departments include English and American Studies, German Studies, Romance Studies, Slavic Studies, Comparative Literary Studies and Theatre Studies. The languages of instruction are English and German.


Set in an intellectually stimulating and international context, the IPP provides ample opportunities for developing an academic profile and acquiring transferrable skills in close cooperation with the GGK/GCSC’s Career Services and Teaching Centre. Extensive supervision and mentoring structures for German and international doctoral researchers will ensure that your time in the IPP is well spent!


The programme:

    • offers an international curriculum that integrates doctoral researchers into national and international academic communities.

    • acquaints doctoral researchers with state-of-the-art theories, methodologies, approaches and concepts in the fields of literary and cultural studies.

    • improves the quality of the dissertation while reducing the time needed to obtain the degree.

    • encourages independent research from an early stage on (e.g. through international publications and conferences).

    • provides ample opportunities to acquire academic and practical qualifications, such as systematic training in academic teaching, as well as other practical and professional skills, in cooperation with the GCSC, Teaching Centre and GGK/GCSC Career Services.


Research profile:

In the thriving field of literary and cultural studies, the IPP is deeply committed to cutting-edge research in four key areas that illustrate the diversity of contemporary perspectives on and developments in the study of culture.


    • Literary and Cultural Theory, Models, Methodology and Terminology
      This area includes basic research in literary and cultural studies such as approaches in poetics, aesthetics, semiotics, discourse analysis, and hermeneutics, as well as in gender studies, postcolonial theory and narratology. Furthermore, key terms, theories, interpretive models and methodology are discussed here.
    • Genre Theory

      This area encompasses not only recent theories in literary genres and their demarcation but also cognitive, feminist and postcolonial approaches in narratology.

    • Literary and Cultural Historiography

      This area foregrounds diachronic perspectives in literary and cultural studies. It discusses and challenges categorisations and periodisation in literary and cultural historiography, as well as re-conceptualises selection criteria for canonisation processes.

    • Comparative and Interdisciplinary Issues

      This area revolves around comparative issues with special reference to memory studies. It also includes intermediality (such as the relationship between image and text or text and theatre stage). It is enhanced by key topics from literary and cultural studies such as identity and transculturality.


Do you want to know more about our research profile? Take a look at the research projects of our current doctoral researchers!


IPP Curriculum:

An integral part of the IPP curriculum is the doctoral colloquium. Each year group meets for three or four times per semester for presentations and discussions of their work in progress. Each member of the IPP presents once a semester and receives feedback from the professors, the IPP coordinator, and her/his fellow colleagues.

Semester Course Type of Course Aim
1 - 6 IPP Colloquium Obligatory To ensure steady progress towards the completion of the dissertation
One workshop and/or master class Obligatory To work on specific topics in literary and cultural studies and to exchange ideas with distinguished scholars
Section meeting (one of the GGK Sections ) Obligatory To read and discuss seminal texts in literary and cultural studies; to organize workshops or conferences
IPP/GCSC keynote lectures Strongly Encouraged To learn more about current research, to stay informed about approaches other than your own, and to get in touch with renowned scholars
GCSC Teaching Centre workshops Voluntary To gain teaching skills
GCSC Career Service workshops Voluntary To gain professional qualifications
1 Core course Obligatory To decide the focus of the dissertation and to identify a methodological and theoretical framework
3 Intermediate course Obligatory To deal with compositional issues and to discuss specific questions concerning the dissertation
One international summer school (see Multilateral Cooperation) Voluntary To present research projects/academic papers in an excellent, international context
5 / 6 The PhD Defence Course

Voluntary (5)


To assist the doctoral researchers in getting prepared for the doctoral viva