This program will develop your abilities to undertake and complete individual research in an area of English Literature. The doctoral dissertation will contribute in a significant way to advancing disciplinary knowledge. The program is particularly strong in modern and contemporary literature and cultural studies.
Students take several seminars to broaden and deepen their knowledge of modern and contemporary literature in English, two comprehensive exams to ensure general knowledge of the discipline in preparedness for teaching, as well as a field exam in their area of research interest. They undertake specialized research under the direction of a supervisor or two co-supervisors with complementary expertise in the students’ area of study area. The final dissertation is limited to 80,000 words, including bibliography, endnotes and appendices.
All of our courses are taught in English and are governed by the same standards as those at English-language universities. Students have the advantage of living in a vibrant French-speaking city that offers a stunning array of historical and cultural opportunities, and a region that boasts incredible natural wonders.
- Situated in Quebec City, Université Laval offers students the rare opportunity to study for a PhD in English while they learn and practice French as part of their daily routine.
- Relatively small seminars ensure that students are able to participate in lively discussions while exploring their subjects in detail. Students also have plenty of access to their professors.
- The university library is well stocked for research in the various literatures of the English language, and students have quick and ready access to more materials through an efficient inter-library loans service and electronic databases.
- Students are encouraged to participate in professional development activities. Professors work closely with students on their projects, and funding is available for attending conferences and colloquia.
- Students acquire public speaking experience at our biannual Take Ten research forums at which they present their proposals, work-in-progress, and finished projects.
- Students can gain experience teaching at the post-secondary level through teaching assistantships. Paid tutoring opportunities at our Writing Centre offer other pedagogical experience. Some research assistantships are also available to help finance students’ studies.
- With a high demand for experts in English and bilingual people, Quebec City also offers students a range of employment possibilities off campus.
- Bursaries and scholarships are available, including the bourses de réussite, which students earn in regular instalments as they progress through the requisite stages of their program.
- The program is supported by an active and collegial graduate student association.
- Students have the opportunity to participate in an exchange program with l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris 3) as a part of their studies. It is home to the largest research team working on literatures of the English-speaking world in France.
- Students may widen their avenues of study through the option of registering in a co-tutelle or joint PhD. This allows outstanding students, with prior arrangement, to take courses at Université Laval and another international university. Two doctoral programs jointly award the PhD degree when the student successfully completes all the program requirements.
The professors’ research broadly falls in the fields of American, British, Canadian, Irish, and Postcolonial Literatures.
Professor Kent is interested in two broadly defined areas: the intersections of literature and the political sphere; and literature and the history of ideas in their transnational dimensions. His research is currently engaged with the effects of censorship on literature, writers, and society; freedom of expression; and the ethics and responsibilities of public intellectuals. His current project, “Censorship, Literature, and the Cultural Politics of Affect in Ireland, 1922-75,” is funded by a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant.
Professor Kent is also the general editor of an eight-volume series of Bernard Shaw’s writings. These will be published by Oxford University Press under the rubric of Oxford World’s Classics in 2021. Shaw was the most influential socialist thinker and best-known playwright and public intellectual of his generation. These volumes will make a case for his importance in cultural and political history and his continued relevance to the contemporary world.
Dr. Lochner’s research interests are in the fields of postcolonial and world literatures and critical theory, especially literary and theoretical responses to discourses of power. Past projects have examined the political and ethical promise of literature, reading works by authors such as J. M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro and Aravind Adiga as contesting the subjectivation of discourses on biotechnology, neoliberal globalization, and state racism. Building on her interest in literary ethics, her focus recently has shifted to theories of affect, literature and the archive, and autobiography and women’s writing in South African literature, specifically the work of Zoë Wicomb.
Dr. Marcoux is interested in the cross-fertilizations between literature, music, and social movements, with a particular focus on African America. He is in the process of completing a second monograph, this time on the Umbra poets, a group whose poetic production in New York's Lower East Side is often believed to have acted as the progenitor of the Black Arts Movement. He is also at work on a larger project about the St. Marks Church Poetry Project. Other areas of interest include Nuyorican poets, Chicano/Chicana Literature, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the History of Black Studies in the U.S. Co-founder of the Amiri Baraka Society, Dr. Marcoux is also active in the preservation and dissemination of Baraka’s literary legacy.
Dr. Tulloch’s research interests are two-fold: the relationship between literature and the environment, and the relationship between literature and film. Her current ecocritical interests focus on narratives of ecological disruption, biodiversity loss, or extinction, and memoirs bearing witness to these issues. Her research has also examined the politics of cinematic adaptation. Recent work has examined adaptations of Canadian literature by a major cultural institution, the National Film Board of Canada. This research involved the study of English- and French-language adaptations of Canadian literature. Drawing on theories of adaptation, this research was concerned with issues of representation as well as the intersection of literature with historical narrative and socio-cultural policy. As part of her outreach work, Dr. Tulloch has been involved with the organizing committee of the ImagiNation Writers’ Festival at the Morrin Centre, a dynamic Anglophone cultural centre in Quebec City with a centuries-old history. Held every April, this vibrant festival has afforded students, aspiring writers and the general public alike the benefit of hearing from many of Canada’s celebrated writers, from innovative emerging authors to recent international award winners. It provides wonderful volunteer opportunities for interested students.
Our graduates work in various areas, including teaching at the college and university level. Doctoral graduates also bring their expertise to academic editing and publishing, translation, cultural affairs, public relations, public policy research and development, documentary research, and various writing professions.