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Doctoral Program "Culture – Text – Act(ion)", University of Graz

The doctoral program "Culture – Text – Act(ion)", situated at the University of Graz, is jointly realized by researchers from four different faculties (Arts and Humanities, Law, Social and Economic Sciences, Theology) and offers a structured postgraduate education with high academic standards.

The research based doctoral program aims at an interdisciplinary investigation of the theoretical and methodological implications of the notions "text" and "act" or “action” ("Handlung") as key concepts for the historical and systematic analysis of literary and cultural questions. Reaching from ancient rhetoric, poetics and ethics to modern cultural theory with its paradigms of "culture as text" and "culture as practice", the reflection on these key concepts not only has a long tradition but also a strong presence in contemporary theories of various disciplines and domains. The program involves researchers from the following disciplines: Literary Studies, Linguistics, Philosophy, History of Ideas and Science, Sociology, Law, History, Jewish Studies, Musicology. It integrates doctoral researchers in interdisciplinary and international research networks and provides theoretical and methodological support for dissertation projects that involve textual, performative or pragmatic approaches (e.g. poststructural theories, discourse analysis, narratology, performance and performativity studies, pragmaticism, action theory).


Doctoral Programme for Philosophy, Arts and Society, University of Helsinki

The Research Program for Philosophy, Arts, and Society brings together branches of philosophy (theoretical philosophy, social and moral philosophy, and philosophy in Swedish) and a wide array of research of the arts: aesthetics, art history, comparative literature, theater research, Finnish and Scandinavian literature, literary research in philologies, musicology, theater research as well as film and television studies.

The program's research encompasses such topics as the nature of reality as a whole and how, through individual observation and inquiry in the scientific disciplines, the world can be known. Questions dealing with scientific explanation and scientific reasoning are among its staples. Further, the topics include the examination of values and virtues, the generation of knowledge concerning the human being and societies as well as the ethical and political questions embedded in such knowledge. The research topics also address the nature and functions of fictional worlds and the relation of these worlds to conceptions of reality. The specific characteristics of textuality, figurality, musicality, and representation in general are among its key research areas.

Further issues address research on human activity and social institutions, especially the moral question of how, individually and socially, we should live. Problems dealing with the nature and significance of perception and knowledge as well as of the emotions and experience are additional examples of the kinds of topics that form the basis of this multifaceted program. It employs the theories and methods of philosophy and art research but it also promotes their innovative combinations. While the program continues to foster research on traditional topics of its respective fields, it also actively encourages interdisciplinary approaches.


International Doctoral Program in Culture Studies (INTDCS), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon

The International Doctoral Program in Culture Studies is a four-year and joint-degree program in Culture Studies, which comprises 6 full fellowships (3 national grants and 3 mixed grants) funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

As part of a tri-national network (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, University of Giessen and University of Copenhagen), students will benefit from up to two semesters at one of the partner institutions in order to conduct empirical or theoretical research. The stay abroad is part of the co-tutelle agreement and will also allow candidates to work with their second supervisor.

Culture Studies draw on the interpretative skills of the humanities and the growing attention to forms of mediation in media studies to look at the multiple ways in which culture matters as driver of artistic creation and also address how societies represent themselves and view others, look at the past and prepare the future. Culture Studies are by definition transdisciplinary. It has risen to become a problem-oriented metadiscipline, representing a new paradigm of integrated reflection on the artistic forms of expression of individuals and societies, across the visual arts, literature, cinema and the media.


PhD Programme in "Transcultural Studies in the Humanities", University of Bergamo

The University of Bergamo offers a PhD programme in "TRANSCULTURAL STUDIES IN THE HUMANITIES" which combines three curricula in an innovative and interdisciplinary context, namely: “Narrations, Translations, and Cultural Productions” (“Narrazioni, traduzioni, produzioni culturali”), “Theories and Analysis of Artistic and Literary Processes” (“Teorie e analisi dei processi artistico-letterari”), and “Cultures and Knowledge: Histories, Philosophies, Sciences” (Culture e saperi: storie, filosofie, scienze”).

This three-year PhD programme is grounded in the study of literary and visual productions from a transnational and intercultural perspective. It is designed for intellectually creative doctoral students who desire to extend their research into fields such as literature, literary and cultural theory, art, geography, history, anthropology, history of science, and history of the theatre.

As a site for joint research and enquiry, the PhD programme develops across theme-oriented modules, seminars, guest lectures and colloquia, bringing together a number of disciplines including: Cultural Antropology, Anglo-American and Anglophone Studies, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian languages and literatures, Translation and Cultural Studies, Film and Media Studies, Art History, Contemporary History, History of Science, History of the Theatre – Faculty from other areas are also involved in the PhD programme.

The University of Bergamo, as the only institution of Higher Education in the Italian province of Bergamo, was founded in 1968 and it started with language-based degree courses, but has since greatly expanded its focus and extended the numbers of attending students. It now consists of six Faculties/Departments (Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Human and Social Sciences; Law; Letters, Philosophy, Communication; Economics and Quantitative Methods; Engineering and Applied Sciences; Management; Information and Production Engineering). At present it caters for the needs of about 20.000 students. Despite its extended focus, and a growing interest in it at national and international level, the University remains true to its close connections to the local communities of Bergamo and Lombardy, focussing on the specific needs and requirements of the region.


Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German, University of Stockholm

The department offers language, literature and culture study courses in Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish, Meänkieli and German. Students can earn B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in “Baltic Languages”, “Finnish” and “German”.

The doctoral programme consists of a four-year study curriculum (as regulated by law) and is made up of two to three semesters of doctoral courses and seminars and five to six semesters of dissertation work. The course work can be spread out over all of the eight semesters. Doctoral researchers will at times teach or do administrative work for the department, in which case their study time will be prolonged accordingly. Students cannot be accepted into the Ph.D. programme without proving financial support for all of the four years.

Stockholm University provides some funding but students can also be eligible for external grants and stipends. The university accepts applications to the Ph.D. programme twice a year, October 15 and April 15. All available positions in the programme are publicly advertised on the Stockholm University web site.


School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) at the University of Warwick, with its focus on literary, cultural, aesthetic and visual studies, offers a buoyant research culture and community for graduate students pursuing a PhD in French Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies or Translation and Transcultural Studies. For more information on the individual degrees, see here. Research at Warwick’s SMLC encompasses a wide chronological period, including the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Enlightenment. The School promotes innovative research in interdisciplinary fields such as film history and aesthetics, postcolonial and transnational studies, translation studies, war, trauma, Holocaust and memory studies, and on representations of disability, gender, sexuality, and cultural identity. The individual programs raise issues of linguistic, cultural, regional, national, and ethnic diversity in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and North, Central and South America. Exploring the significance and impact of different types of aesthetic expression and conceptualization, particular attention is given to encounters and translations between cultures, literal and intellectual traditions and their mobility, as well as to cultural hybridity and transnationalisation. For staff profiles, specific research interests and areas of supervision, see here. SMLC at Warwick University invites applications for doctoral study commencing in September. Competitions for the following financial support are available and closing dates tend to fall between January and March in the year of commencement of study: School of Modern Languages and Cultures Doctoral Fellowships for UK/EU applicants, covering maintenance and full tuition fees over 3 years; EU Chancellor’s Scholarships for EU (non-UK) applicants, covering maintenance at RCUK rates and full tuition fees over 3.5 years, Chancellor’s International Scholarships for International (non-EU) applicants, covering maintenance and full tuition fees over 3.5 years and AHRC studentships through the M4C Doctoral Training Partnership for UK and EU applicants, covering full tuition fees and maintenance over 3 years. For information on how to apply for programmes and scholarships please see here.