This PhD track in comparative literature aimed at international writers proceeds from the conviction that advanced study and credentials in literary studies support and enhance the intellectual and creative work of writers by complementing and informing their endeavors with comparative historical, cultural, linguistic, and theoretical frameworks. It offers highly qualified international students the opportunity to advance their careers with academic training in comparative literary studies in the United States.
“Writer” in our sense comprises fiction writers, poets, essayists, journalists, translators, screenwriters, filmmakers, and public intellectuals. As an internationally-renowned center of literary study in multiple languages and home to one of the best creative writing programs in the country, WashU offers a rich intellectual and cultural foundation for writers from all backgrounds. We recruit candidates who would benefit from pursuing such studies in a context where they can simultaneously work on their writing, make literary contacts, pursue comparative literary and theoretical studies and complete translations of their work (collaborating with fellow graduate students when appropriate). Students completing the program are not necessarily expected to pursue university teaching positions in the United States or elsewhere worldwide, although they may choose to do so; the degree is offered with the expectation that it will help them enter the world of writing and publishing beyond the academy and in their respective home countries.