Graduate Studies


The Ph.D. in Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Studies (French, Portuguese, and Spanish) offers two major concentrations:

1) Literary and Cultural Studies

2) Critical Studies of Language/Linguistics.

At the University of Miami, comparative cultural and linguistic studies are an integral part of the Ph.D. Program in Literary, Cultural and Linguistic Studies which constitutes the graduate division of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Our Ph.D. Program is not divided into sub-sections by languages. It actually assembles scholars who conduct graduate teaching and advising across language borders. Its courses in Critical Theory; Teaching Methodology; Early Modern Studies; Gender, Queer and Sexuality Studies; Socio-linguistics; Professionalization, among other ones, are alternatively taught by colleagues from different language fields; and French, Spanish and Portuguese graduate seminars on any topic, genre and / or period are often or may be conceived in a comparative and inter-lingual way. Our department and the University of Miami also hosts many faculty members working in Anglo, French and Spanish Caribbean Studies.

While students in can take seminars related to the literature(s) and culture(s) of specific linguistic and cultural traditions (mostly in French, Spanish and Portuguese), they also have the opportunity, if linguistically qualified, to develop comparative projects involving (an)other language(s) such as Arabic, Chinese, and Italian. In addition, German and Japanese are also taught in our Department at the undergraduate level, as are Hebrew and Haitian Creole, and we have faculty members knowledgeable in Basque, Catalan, Netherlandic and Serbian. We actively encourage research that crosses, bridges and / or intersects languages, literatures, media, geographical areas, and periods. Through the Directed Independent Language Study Program, whose director’s office is located within our Department, individualized training in more than thirty other languages is offered, including Catalan; Egyptian, Levantine and Moroccan Arabic; Turkish and Persian / Farsi; Cantonese; Quechua; Kikongo, Swahili, Wolof and Zulu.


Virtual Open House 


Open House will be held over Zoom.  Registration required.  

Are you interested in a Ph.D. in Literary, Cultural, and Linguistic Studies?
Please watch the recording of our Fall 2023 Open House (below) and get to know more about our program.

Structure and Description of the Program

The Program offers two tracks, which can also be combined by doing a major in one and a minor in the other: Literary and Cultural Studies and Critical Studies of Language / Linguistics.

A variety of geographic, temporal, and theoretical options allows students to carry original interdisciplinary research projects, often with a trans-national / trans-regional focus.

The Program’s strong theoretical component grounds our students in a range of fields across periods, literary genres, cultural discourses and media (cinema, the visual and performing arts), permitting the linkage of French and Francophone Studies with Africana; Caribbean; Mediterranean, Maghrebi and Middle Eastern; Italian; Peninsular; Latin – American; Luso - Brazilian; Chinese and Transatlantic Studies. Among the areas of expertise of the faculty participating in our Literary, Cultural and Linguistic doctoral program which covers all periods from medieval / early modern to 21stcentury, are: bilingualism; gender, queer, trans and sexuality studies; comparative race and ethnicity studies; (im)migration and diaspora studies; indigenous studies; theater and performance studies; postcolonial and decolonial studies; subaltern studies; sociolinguistics; environmental humanities; media, film and visual studies; science and technology studies; translation studies; literary and critical theory; cultural and cultural policy studies; social movements studies; digital humanities.

In addition to being involved in a highly interdisciplinary academic environment within our Program itself, students are required to develop competency in a cognate field related to the scholarly pursuits leading to their dissertation topic. They will therefore take at least two courses with professors from another Department and be exposed to their disciplinary methodologies. Recent examples of cognate specialization include anthropology, communication studies, film studies and cinematography, urban studies, religious studies, history, philosophy, musicology, and sociology.

The department offers two graduate certificates or two concentrarions to prepare students beyond their specialization, which may be fulfilled with course electives:

Starting with their second year, graduate students teach one undergraduate course per semester in their language area(s) of expertise, in a progression going from basic to intermediate instruction, and they do have the opportunity to team-teach and co-teach advanced literary, cultural, and / or linguistic courses in conjunction with a faculty member.  Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Miami's Office of Civic & Community Engagement.


Research Environment

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures sponsors each year numerous lectures, workshops, film series, and conferences across languages and disciplines, often bringing leading national and international scholars, writers, intellectual figures and socio-cultural activists.  Moreover, our Department as a whole, which has been the academic home, among numerous other scholars of international reputation, of Nélida Pinon (Luso-Brazilian), Jean-Pol Madou (French), Jose-Maria Beneyto - Perez (Spanish, German and French), Barbara Woshinsky (French), Anne Cruz (Spanish), Hugo Achugar (Latin-American), Gerard Aching (French and Spanish Caribbean) and David Ellison (French and German), has hosted interdisciplinary lectures by prominent scholars, writers and intellectual figures from the Americas and Europe, such as Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Leenhardt, Isabel Allende, Blandine Kriegel, Tom Conley, Rolena Adorno, Didier Eribon, Edmund White, Parvati Nair, Nestor Canclini, Patricia Ybarri, Jasbir Puar, Carlos Decena, Joseph Massad, John Keene, Andrew Ross, Ben Sifuentes Jàuregui, among innumerable others; and international conferences and symposia on topics going from Literary Translation to Transforming Cities Through Innovative Aesthetics and Cultural Action. It also created, and still organizes in cooperation with English and History, a pluri-disciplinary conference on Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Studies 

Graduate students collaborate with faculty on these endeavors and host their own annual interdisciplinary / multi-lingual conference. Recent conference themes have included: Outrage Around the World; Cyberaesthetics and Narrative; War and Conflict; Spaces of Relation; Poetics and Politics of Love; Translation and Transitions; and Transnational Futures.

In addition to regular departmental events, students and faculty participate in the initiatives of the Center for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies,  the Miami European Studies Center, the Programs in Africana Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies, along with several Research Study Groups (Early Modern Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, Queer Studies,  Digital Humanities, etc.).

Graduate students have been highly successful in securing competitive funding from some of these entities, as well as from the Department, in order to support travel, national and international conference participation, research, and writing.

Competitive scholarly travel grants and flexibility in their teaching duties permit graduate students to do work in situ and also to take one semester off to conduct research abroad while maintaining their financial support.


Student Body

MLL typically enrolls between 30-33 domestic and internations students from 12-15 difference countries.  While most students begin their doctoral studies with an M.A., those holding a Bachelor's degree are also welcome to apply.  The Department admits a small number of students each year and is committed to intensive classroom interation, close mentoring, structured pedagogical training, and careful preparation for the academic job market or alt-ac employment.  



Our city – diverse, dynamic, and plurilingual – offers an ideal environment for the comparative study of languages, literatures, and cultures. In addition to UM’s first-rate library services and internationally recognized special collections, Miami is home to a complex configuration of (im)migrant communities and host to numerous annual cultural and intellectual events, ranging from art festivals and book fairs, to film series and music performances in every genre and from all over the globe.


For more information, please contact:

Gema Perez-Sanchez, Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: (305) 284-5585



Graduate Secretary 

Phone: (305) 284-5585



Mailing address: 

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures

University of Miami

P. O. Box 248093

Coral Gables, Florida 33124-4650