Programs of study

Undergraduate programs
Arabic Language and Culture

Spoken daily by over 300 million people worldwide, Arabic is one of the world’s major languages. The programs in Arabic language and culture provides you not only with a good knowledge of the language itself, but also with an invaluable perspective into Arabic culture, history, literature, philosophy, religion and society. In addition, agreements between the University of Ottawa and other universities in the Arab world allow you to go on exchange programs in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt or another country.

If you wish to discover the world and learn Arabic at the same time, the major is for you. It includes a mandatory immersion stay abroad in an Arabic-speaking university, where you will be surrounded by the language and be required to take at least twelve credits of courses. A mobility scholarship to help you cover the cost of your travel and stay is available.

Asian Studies

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers a new minor in Asian studies. Chinese, with more than 1.1 billion speakers, represents the world’s largest linguistic community, while Japanese is the language of the world’s second-largest economy. Besides Chinese and Japanese language courses at all levels, the program features topics in Asian culture, literature, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, politics, and development. It is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of Asia’s multi-faceted role in the contemporary world and of its historical and cultural transformations. The wide range of skills and knowledge you acquire not only gives you important academic assets, but also prepares you for interesting careers in both the public and private sectors. 

Languages of instruction

All of our language courses are taught in Chinese or in Japanese. Other courses are offered in either English or French.

Specific admission requirements

If you already know the Chinese or Japanese language, you must take a placement test to evaluate your proficiency and determine if you can be exempt from certain courses.

 

Minor in Asian Studies

Celtic Studies

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is now offering a minor in Celtic studies. With the significant growth of courses in this area at the University of Ottawa, the program allows you to explore the full range of subjects associated with the discipline, starting with the modern Celtic languages (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Breton).

The program also includes courses devoted to the rich cultures of the Celtic world during antiquity in Continental Europe and during the early Middle Ages in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The study of today’s Celtic nations in Western Europe and the Americas is also an integral part of the program.

What's more, by definition, this field brings many disciplines together, including linguistics, archaeology, classical studies, medieval studies, as well as heritage languages, sociolinguistics and dialectology. On the strength of such a multidisciplinary approach, you gain a thorough understanding of the importance of the Celtic roots of France, Britain and parts of Central Europe, and of the vitality of Celtic cultures wherever Celtic people have settled or lived from ancient times into the 21st century.

Language of instruction

Except for those in the Celtic languages, almost all courses are taught in English.

Specific admission requirements

If you already know Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh or Breton, you must undergo a language-proficiency test to determine if you can be exempt from certain basic courses.

 

Minor in Celtic Studies

German

If you truly want to broaden your horizons in the 21st century, learning German will give you the edge you need. German is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Indeed, more than 120 million people have German as their mother tongue, while thousands of others study it for reasons both practical and social. With knowledge of German, you improve your employment opportunities: Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the third largest in the world. German is a leading language of science, literature, art, philosophy and history. Bottom line: being able to speak and write German puts you in high demand.

Our courses not only allow you to acquaint yourself with contemporary German, but also give you insights into the cultural and political history of German-speaking countries, and into German cinema and literature. Through exchange programs with Germany and Austria, you can complete some courses toward your degree in a native-speaking environment. Closer to home, the activities of the German Club provide an informal setting for honing your German-language skills.

If you wish to discover the world and learn German at the same time, the major is for you. It includes a mandatory immersion stay abroad in a German-speaking university, where you will be surrounded by the language and be required to take at least twelve credits of courses. A mobility scholarship to help you cover the cost of your travel and stay is available.

Italian

The Bel Paese has it all: art, fashion, fast cars, Dante, dolce vita, cinema, popes! By enrolling in the Italian program you can learn not only about Italian language and culture from the Middle Ages to the present but also about the fascinating Italian heritage in North America. You can visit Italy and practice speaking the language through our Italian summer program and our study-abroad programs. You will love the fact that more than 60% of the world’s art treasures are found in Italy. By enrolling in our Italian courses, you can partake in this ancient tradition as well as in modern-day Italian culture.

Employers nowadays actively seek Italian speakers. Through our program, you will not only learn the Italian language but also understand Italian cinema, literature, fashion and other aspects of Italian culture. You will quickly acquire the tools needed to enter the workplace with an excellent knowledge of Italian.

If you wish to discover the world and learn Italian at the same time, the major is for you. It includes a mandatory immersion stay abroad in an Italian-speaking university, where you will be surrounded by the language and be required to take at least twelve credits of courses. A mobility scholarship to help you cover the cost of your travel and stay is available.

Latin American Studies

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures has launched a new minor in Latin American studies. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the cultures, histories, languages and societies of a region that boasts roughly five hundred million people, as well as close and growing ties to Canada. 

Open to students from all faculties, the program represents a unique chance to complement your main field of studies through a mind-broadening exploration of a changing, heterogeneous universe. For instance, you have the opportunity to study Latin America from the perspective of multiple disciplines thanks to interdepartmental and interfaculty courses, conferences, discussion groups and cultural activities.

By introducing this minor, the University wants   to help you discover a new and exciting field of studies, expand your knowledge base by acquiring insights into the multiple facets of Latin America, gain intercultural and multidisciplinary competence, and become well acquainted with the polyphonic discourse of this immense region of the world.

Language of instruction

Except for the compulsory Spanish and Portuguese language courses, all our courses are taught in English or French.

Specific admission requirements

Students with prior knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese must write a placement test to determine if they can be exempted from the introductory language courses.

 

Minor in Latin American Studies

Russian

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers a range of courses focusing on the language, history and culture of a fascinating country—Russia. 

Russian, which is spoken in Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union, ranks fourth among the world’s most widely used languages, after Chinese, English and Spanish. The achievements of Russian writers and artists in ballet, cinema, theatre and painting are internationally recognized. Russia has a population of some 145 million and is the largest country in the world, geographically speaking. Since the fall of communism, the Russian economy and Russian life in general have gained new vigour. What’s more, Russia is easy to visit and offers a myriad of exciting experiences.

If you wish to discover the world and learn Russian at the same time, the major is for you. It includes a mandatory immersion stay abroad in a Russian-speaking university, where you will be surrounded by the language and be required to take at least twelve credits of courses. A mobility scholarship to help you cover the cost of your travel and stay is available.

Spanish

Spanish is spoken by roughly 360 million people in Spain, Spanish America and Equatorial Guinea, and is one of the leading languages in North America. The political, social and cultural importance of Spanish increases everyday, and a degree in Spanish opens an array of professional opportunities in today's world. 

Students in the Spanish Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures receive comprehensive training in language, linguistics, literature and culture. In addition, they enjoy a full program of social and cultural activities (films, lectures, conferences, Spanish Club, etc.), often with the cooperation of embassies in the National Capital Region. Many students complete part of their studies abroad through exchange programs at universities in Spain and Spanish America.

Graduate programs

Master's program

Master of Arts in World Literatures and Cultures (MA)

The Master of Arts in World Literatures and Cultures is the first and only program of its kind in Canada.

 

Logo LCM

This one-year MA brings together areas of study such as literature, film, media, sociolinguistics, gender, diasporas and minorities. The program explores the comparative and interdisciplinary nature of world cultures and arts, both past and present. It draws upon the combined expertise of professors from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and from other departments in both the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences.

 

Discover how identities are shaped by cultural expressions in a national and transnational context. Explore the nature of representation and cultural diversity. Expand your intercultural knowledge in the dynamic setting of the nation’s capital.

Options

MA with research paper

Language requirements

Proficiency in English or French with a good knowledge of the other official language at the University of Ottawa. Knowledge of a third language is strongly recommended.

Admission information

Fall admission only. Offered both full- and part-time, this MA can be completed in one year.

Admission requirements

Honours Bachelor of Arts with a major in one of the following disciplines:

  • communication
  • film studies
  • intercultural studies
  • international studies
  • languages
  • linguistics
  • literatures
  • translation
  • another discipline deemed relevant

Information

Student Handbook

For more information, go to www.grad.uottawa.ca.

Courses Fall 2013-Winter 2014

Automne | Fall 2013

LCM 5901 Méthodologies de la recherche interculturelle / Methodologies of Intercultural Research (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. May Telmissany
Les mardis 16h-19h | Tuesdays 4 :00-7:00 pm 
Obligatoire pour tous les étudiants au programme de Maîtrise en littératures et cultures du monde. Étude de la méthodologie et des techniques de la recherche interculturelle et comparative et des théories sur la formation de l’identité, de la différence et de la représentation. 
Mandatory for all students registered in the M.A. in World Literatures and Cultures program. Study of intercultural and comparative research methodology and techniques. Theories of identity and difference formation and of representation.

LCM 5501 Les langues et littératures moins répandues et minoritaires (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. Pawl Birt
Les jeudis 16h-19h | Thursdays 4 :00-7:00 pm 
Étude de la situation (ex. les problèmes de l’acculturation et de l’assimilation; la langue en tant qu’expression de l’identité culturelle), de l’importance et de l’influence culturelles des langues et littératures moins répandues ou vivant dans une situation minoritaire. Étude dans un contexte international, au présent ainsi qu’au passé.

LCM 5201 Special Topics in World Literatures and Cultures: The Nobel Prize in Literature (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. Douglas Clayton
Les mercredis 16h-19h | Wednesdays 4:00-7:00 pm 
Comparative study of selected topics pertaining to at least two different cultures, literatures, and/or cinematographic and artistic traditions.

 

Hiver | Winter 2014

LCM 5902 Séminaire de recherche / Research Seminar (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. Joerg Esleben
Les mardis 17h30-20h30 | Tuesdays 5 :30-8 :30 pm
Obligatoire pour tous les étudiants au programme de Maîtrise en littératures et cultures du monde. Techniques avancées de rédaction. Développement,  présentation et discussion des projets de mémoire.
Mandatory for all students registered in the M.A. in World Literatures and Cultures program. Advanced techniques of essay writing. Development, presentation and discussion of the final research projects.

LCM 5502 L’Europe et ses autres (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. Agatha Schwartz 
Les mercredis 16h-19h | Wednesdays 4 :00-7:00 pm
La culture européenne et ses rencontres avec l’Autre à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’Europe.  L’étude de différentes formes de l’hybridité ainsi que des stéréotypes culturelles, raciales et sexuelles dans la littérature, le cinéma, les arts et les médias dans de différents contextes géographiques et historiques, incluant le Canada.

LCM 5202 Special Topics in World Literatures and Cultures II: Cities and Urban Culture (3,0,0) 3 cr.
Prof. Cristina Perissinotto, 
Les jeudis 17h30-20h30 | Thursdays 5 :30-8 :30 pm 
Comparative study of selected topics pertaining to at least two different cultures, literatures, and/or cinematographic and artistic traditions.

Doctoral programs

Doctoral program - Internal regulations for the PhD in Spanish

Qualifications

Applicants must have an MA in Spanish or an equivalent degree, with an average of at least 75% (B+). (Please note that our program reserves the right to raise the required grade point average above the level set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies [FGPS] in its calendar). All applicants will be required to submit a two-page summary of their proposed doctoral research project, as well as a master’s thesis or research work of equivalent value.

Doctoral research project

a) Identify the main area(s) of your research project (Hispanic linguistics, Latin American literature and culture, Spanish Peninsular literature and culture, etc.).

b) Outline the topic to be addressed and describe the theoretical approach or framework to be used (gender studies, intercultural studies, narrative theory, discourse analysis, textual criticism, sociocriticism, language acquisition, bilingualism, contrastive grammar, etc.).

c) Situate your project in relation to the relevant scholarly literature (add a bibliography identifying up to 10 critical or theoretical sources).

d) State the major hypothesis or hypotheses you would like to explore in your research.

 

Admission procedures

The faculty of the Spanish section will review each application to the PhD program and, if a candidate meets the required standards, will suggest a thesis supervisor (or co-supervisors) from the core faculty (including adjunct professors). The selection of the thesis supervisor will be made on the basis of the professor’s research expertise and workload.

The Graduate Committee will then recommend the candidate’s admission to the FGPS. Candidates with a grade point average of 8 or above will also be recommended for an admission scholarship.

Courses

Students will take a minimum of six graduate seminars, but after considering their background and preparation, the Graduate Committee may recommend additional courses. One of the compulsory courses must be ESP 5901 (Research Methods and Bibliography). Since this course is also compulsory in the MA program, students who completed their MA in Spanish at the University of Ottawa or at another institution where they took an equivalent course will be exempt (and therefore required to complete only five courses while in the PhD program). One of the six courses might be a directed studies course supporting the development of the thesis topic. Depending on their research project, students may be encouraged to take courses outside the department. Course work is expected to be completed during the first three sessions.

 

Thesis committee

Within six months of a student’s admission, the thesis supervisor, in consultation with the student and the graduate committee, will nominate a thesis committee composed of the thesis supervisor and two other members, who could be professors in the core faculty, adjunct professors, or, where appropriate, professors from other universities. The thesis committee will provide academic guidance for the student’s research program and thesis writing and will be available to discuss thesis-related issues.

Doctoral examinations

At the beginning of their second year, students will present a more developed and precise version of their research project accompanied by a bibliography, which will form the basis of their doctoral examinations. Each thesis committee, in consultation with their student, will prepare a reading list whose scope will depend on the nature of the research project and the student’s background. In the field of literary and cultural studies, the reading list should cover areas and issues related to the thesis project such as genre, cultural and historical context, and theoretical and critical approaches.

The thesis committee will prepare the exam questions. The examinations will consist of two take-home exams, each on a field of research related to the thesis, and an oral exam. In the field of literature and culture, the first written exam will focus on theoretical, historical and methodological questions relevant to the thesis project, while the second one will ask the student to apply those questions to a sample of the student’s specific subject of study. In the field of linguistics, the first exam will focus on the theoretical field(s) of a topic, and the second on an aspect of the topic itself. Alternatively, students may choose to carry out an empirical study (40-50 pages) of publishable quality, as a prelude to the thesis research itself.

The exams will be completed within 18 months of entering the program, and one week will be allowed for each exam. Two weeks after the second written exam, there will be an oral exam before the thesis committee, based on a student’s written exams. A student may be required to repeat the exams partially or in their entirety. A student who fails the exams on a second attempt will be required to withdraw from the program.

 

Registration of the topic

By the end of the third session, the topic of the thesis must have been determined. After being approved by the Thesis Committee, it will be submitted to the FGPS for registration. The form used for this purpose will be signed by a student’s thesis supervisor, the academic unit's Director of Graduate Studies or Director, and the student.

Thesis project

Within six months of passing the doctoral examinations, a student will be expected to present a revised and extended version of the initial thesis project (approximate length: 30 pages plus bibliography), which will then be considered the definitive thesis proposal. The proposal will be evaluated by the Thesis Committee and the results communicated to the student within two weeks. Approval of the proposal will signify the thesis committee’s authorization for the student to proceed with the research and the final writing of the thesis.

Progress reports

During the second year of registration and again a year thereafter, a progress report will be submitted to the FGPS. Any concern regarding the progress of the thesis will be addressed in these reports.

Approval of thesis

Prior to being deposited in the FGPS, the thesis must be approved by the thesis supervisor in consultation with the thesis committee.
For regulations concerning the thesis defence, please click here.

 

Timetable

First year

Completion of course work (6 seminars). This may include fall, winter, and spring/summer sessions. Registration of the thesis topic by the end of the third session.

Second year

At the beginning of the first session:

  • Preparation of the research project and of the reading list for examinations

During the second session (18 months after entering program):

  • Doctoral examinations.

 

Third session:

  • Revising, extending and defending research project

 

Third year

Research and writing of thesis

Fourth year

Completion and defence of the thesis.