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Ph.D. Program in French


A distinctive trait of the Ph.D. Program in French is its longstanding innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum, reflected in particular in five curricular options. These options—Translation Studies, Comparative Studies, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and International Human Rights in the French-Speaking World—draw from an array of courses offered either by our program or by others at the Graduate Center. In addition, students are encouraged to choose one of the Graduate Center’s Interdisciplinary Certificates in American Studies, Critical Theory, Film Studies, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, or Women’s Studies. These certificates are important assets for increasing students’ marketability in the academy and related professions.
The Program provides training in the history, periods, genres, and theories of French/Francophone literatures inside and outside the Hexagon, and stresses the relations between such literatures and the arts, including music and film, between literature, civilization, history, philosophy, political thought, and psychoanalysis. It is attuned to the relations between French/Francophone literatures and literatures in other languages and to current approaches to diversity and “littérature-monde.” It fosters the exploration of all current areas of critical theory, including but not limited to poetics, film theory, feminist, gender, and queer theory, postcolonial theory, translation theory and theories that problematize the notion of the human. The Ph.D. Program in French also provides a welcoming home to projects in the Digital Humanities. 

First-year students take a seminar in research and scholarly writing in which they hone their interests and intellectual skills. Beyond completing our rigorous program of study, students teach French in a CUNY college where they receive training in pedagogy.

With its commitment to interdisciplinary research, our program draws an international student body from a variety of backgrounds, including, among others, art history, philosophy, journalism, and political science. Among our twenty-eight faculty members, we count Distinguished Professors Mary Ann Caws, Nancy K. Miller, and Domna C. Stanton. This scholastic diversity makes our program, located in the heart of New York City, a vibrant place to study.


Francesca Sautman

Professor and Executive Officer
Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 100164309

Phone: (212) 817-8367

Sabeel Kazi

Assistant Program Officer
Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309

Phone: (212) 817-8670