Ph.D. Program in Transformations in the Classical Tradition

Administrators

Graduate Advisor: Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Classics 26, sbartsch@uchicago.edu
Chair of Graduate Admissions: Sarah Nooter, Wieboldt 115, nooter@uchicago.edu
Department Administrator: Kathy Fox, Classics 22B, 773-702-8514, kfox@uchicago.edu

The Program

The PhD program in Transformations of the Classical Tradition enables students to approach the long history of classical thought and literature by following a course of study tailored to their particular interests.

The first two years of study towards the Ph.D. are spent on coursework. In consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the TCLT program Chair, students will devise a program of courses that focus on, but are not limited to, key texts in literature, philosophy, historiography, and political theory in either Greek or Latin, and the reception, development, and transformation of these texts in one of the modern languages. During their first two years, students must also satisfy the requirements for their second ancient and modern language.

Students entering the program are introduced to the methodological opportunities of studying the long history of the classical tradition in a two quarter introductory seminar, co-taught by two TCLT faculty members, one of whom will be a member of the Classics faculty, and the other from one of our partner disciplines: Art History, the Committee on Social Thought, Comparative Literature, Germanic Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Romance Languages & Literatures, and the Divinity School. In the third year, students progress to an oral examination in their chosen field of study, followed by the dissertation proposal workshop, and the submission of the dissertation proposal. The fourth and fifth years are devoted to dissertation writing and the curriculum is designed so that all requirements can be fulfilled within six years.
 

Students in the program are encouraged to attend presentations that are relevant to their interests at the following CAS workshops: 

Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

Ancient Societies

Early Modern

Late Antiquity and Byzantium

Literature and Philosophy

Poetry and Poetics

Renaissance

Rhetoric and Poetics

Western Mediterranean Culture

 

A.M. Degree in Transformations of the Classical Tradition

All students admitted to the program must:

  • Take a diagnostic examination in Greek or Latin in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. On the basis of these results, the Director of Graduate Studies and Program Chair will discuss individual candidates’ specific linguistic needs and suggest a program of study designed to enable the student to pass their ancient language competency examination by the end of the second year. The Program Chair will also work with individual candidates to develop appropriate courses of study in their primary modern language, their secondary ancient language, and their secondary modern language.
  • Pass, by the end of the second year, with an average grade no lower than B, one two-quarter sequence devoted to rapid reading of Greek or Latin texts and to a survey of Greek or Latin literature with emphasis on grammar and translation skills. A translation examination in the language of the survey will be set at the end of the spring quarter. The passages for translation will be drawn from the reading list. The examination will consist of two passages of poetry and two passages of prose and will last two hours. Prose passages will be approximately 150 words, poetry passages approximately 20 lines. Dictionaries (LSJ or OLD only) will be allowed during the examination.
  • Complete the course of study in the primary modern language developed in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. This will include an examination in that language that will normally be administered by TCLT faculty members and the Director of Graduate Studies in the appropriate department in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in Classics so that TCLT students are authorized to teach the language of the department other than Classics.
  • Pass, by the end of the second year, with an average grade no lower than B, one two-quarter sequence devoted to rapid reading of Greek or Latin texts and to a survey of Greek or Latin literature with emphasis on grammar and translation skills.
  • Demonstrate competence in the reading of a second modern language.
  • Complete, in each of the first two years, with a grade no lower than B, at least two quarters of seminar work with emphasis on scholarly research and writing, resulting in two research papers per year; two seminar research papers, selected by the student, are to be placed in his or her file. (One two-quarter seminar resulting in a single, longer research paper fulfills this requirement.) Prior to the end of the third year the student must present a workshop paper based on one of the four completed seminar papers.
  • Satisfy any other divisional requirements, including taking the full roster of 9 courses per year.

 

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Advancement to the Ph.D. in Transformations of the Classical Tradition

To be advanced to the Ph.D. program, candidates must:

  • Complete course work as specified for the A.M. above. These requirements should be fulfilled before the end of the second year of residence. All requirements from the first year, including incompletes in any courses required for the A.M., must be completed no later than the first Monday of Autumn Quarter. Students who do not meet this deadline will be placed on academic probation until the requirement is met (see below).
  • Pass the translation examination in Greek or Latin. Candidates who fail the translation examination will be given one further chance to pass it in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. Failure to pass a second time by the end of the second year will result in the termination of the student’s enrollment.

To be advanced to Scholastic Residence Year 4, candidates must pass a two-hour oral examination in their proposed area of study for the dissertation in the autumn quarter of their third year. The examination will be based upon a reading list devised by the student in consultation with the Program Chair and will be administered by a panel of three faculty members. Individual students will schedule the examination in consultation with the Program Chair. In the case of failure, there will be the provision for a single retake. In the third year, students must also complete the dissertation proposal workshop, with the expectation that they submit a dissertation proposal by the end of the third year.

Academic Probation

Students placed on academic probation are ineligible for teaching and assistantship positions and for any forms of additional fellowship money, such as an increase in their annual stipend or a Boyer or Ryerson Fellowship. Any student who remains on academic probation by the beginning of the fourth week of Spring Quarter will be discontinued from the program.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. in Transformations of the Classical Tradition

To be admitted to candidacy students must assemble a dissertation committee (normally three faculty members, of whom at least one must hold a full-time appointment in the Classics Department) and submit a dissertation proposal, consisting of a prospectus of approximately 20–25 pages, including bibliography. The committee chair should be a member of the Classics department. While the prospectus is necessarily provisional and dissertations will evolve in different directions with further research and writing, the dissertation prospectus should present: (i) a succinct statement of the problem or topic to be addressed; (ii) a brief overview of the most important previous scholarship on the question; (iii) a clear articulation of the scholarly contribution that the dissertation will make; (iv) a brief account of the methodology or methodologies to be applied, with relevant examples; (v) a provisional outline of the dissertation’s contents and chapter organization; and (vi) a preliminary, working bibliography. The proposal should be submitted in the term following the completion of the dissertation proposal workshop, and in no case later than the end of the fourth year of residency. The faculty will vote electronically whether to approve the proposal within two weeks of submission. Once approved, the candidate will be considered as advanced to Ph.D. candidacy and the full committee will meet with the student to discuss the proposal in light of the comments from the faculty as a whole.

After completing these requirements, the candidate is formally admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.

The Ph.D. in Transformations of the Classical Tradition

To graduate with a Ph.D. in Classical Languages and Literatures, a candidate must:

  • Be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.
  • Complete the dissertation and defend it before the gathered members of the Department and interested members of other Departments.
  • Satisfy any other Divisional or University Requirements.